Workplace stress seems as universal as the law of gravity; it affects everyone, and there’s no getting away from it. We’re happy to say this isn’t entirely true. While there is no way to guarantee a future full of stress-free work days, here are three simple steps that you can take to make sure your professional life stays mostly free of anxiety and frustration.
1) Remember it’s not about you. Unless you’re a Kardashian or a NBA star, your colleagues and your boss are likely to be more concerned about their own projects, deadlines and challenges than they are about you, as long as you’re pulling your weight. So relax! If the people around you are irritable or tense, it’s probably not related to you at all. Maybe they are having family or money problems, or just didn’t sleep well the night before. Stay focused on your own work, respond to them with courtesy and let their stress roll off of you.
2) Double down on the self-care. Got a big deadline coming up? Run into glitches on a key project? Instead of losing sleep, living on junk food and energy drinks and working 16-hour days, give yourself a break. You’ll work smarter and more efficiently if you give your brain and body the extra care they need in times of intense demand. Give yourself 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Eat real food. Or take a fast walk at lunchtime to boost your energy and brainpower.
3) Learn to let it go. In our world of cellphones and email, it’s easy to let work take over every waking moment. This is a foolproof recipe for toxic stress. To be a productive employee, you need (and deserve) a life outside of work. Switch gears after work to spend time with family and friends, and to focus on your personal growth and relaxation.
It’s easy to absorb workplace stress and let it erode your mood and attitude. These steps will help you reclaim your focus and your energy at work, and restore serenity to your professional life.