Career Coaching Blog

5 Ways to Handle Stress in the Workplace

We’ve all been there. You’re up against a deadline, your inbox is overflowing, and your to-do list keeps getting longer. Suddenly, what was once a manageable level of stress has morphed into an all-out anxiety attack. If you’re struggling to keep your head above water at work, you’re not alone. According to a recent study, nearly 80% of People say they experience frequent stress at work. So, what can you do to stay calm, cool, and collected when things get hectic?

Here are 5 tips that will help you take control of your workplace stress;


1. Get Organised 

One of the quickest ways to feel overwhelmed at work is to let your desk (or email inbox) become a catch-all for all of your tasks, both big and small. Before you know it, you’re buried under a mountain of paperwork with no idea where to start. Sound familiar? The next time you’re starting to feel frazzled, take a step back and spend 10 minutes getting organised. Make a list of everything that needs to be done and then prioritise those items by urgency. Once you have a plan of attack, it’ll be much easier to tackle each task one by one until everything is crossed off your list. 


2. Take Breaks 

When you’re in the throes of a stressful situation, it can be tempting to power through and try to get everything done as quickly as possible. But working non-stop without taking any breaks will only make you more anxious and less productive in the long run. When you start to feel your stress levels rising, take a few deep breaths, step away from your work for a few minutes.

Go for a walk around the block, chat with a colleague, do a short meditation, or listen to some calming music.

Taking even just a few minutes to clear your head will help you attack your tasks with fresh eyes when you sit back down at your desk and reduce your levels of stress.


3. Don’t try to do everything yourself 

There’s no shame in admitting that you can’t do it all. We all need help from time to time.

If you’re feeling bogged down by too many tasks, try to delegate some of these out to other people on your team and if you’re self-employed, is there someone you can contract to help you perform these tasks. Trying to do everything yourself will only lead to burnout in the long run. Remember, just because you delegate a task doesn’t mean that it’s not still technically your responsibility – you’ll still need to follow up and check in on the progress periodically.


4. Set Boundaries 

In today’s 24/7 world, it’s easy to feel like we’re expected to be available around the clock, but that kind of pressure is only going to add unnecessary stress to our lives. If you find yourself regularly working nights and weekends, it’s time to have a talk with your boss about setting some boundaries. Explain that while you’re always happy to lend a hand when needed, being available 24/7 is not sustainable in the long run. Once you’ve set some clear boundaries about when and how often you’re available for work calls/emails outside of normal business hours, stick to them! Your boss may not like it at first, but he or she will respect the fact that you know your limits and aren’t afraid to assert yourself when necessary. 


5. Talk about it

Sometimes the best way to deal with stress is simply to talk about it, either with a colleague who’s experiencing similar feelings or with a professional who can help you develop healthy coping mechanisms. If your workplace stress feels like it’s getting too much to handle on your own, don’t be afraid to reach out for help from those around you who care about your well-being.


In Summary

If you’re struggling with stress in the workplace, know that there are ways to manage it so that it doesn’t take over your life. try to understand your stress triggers, identify your support system, and take time for yourself each day (we mean it, put it in your calendar!). By taking these steps, you can begin to find relief from the symptoms of workplace stress.