Stress is one of the biggest causes of health problems in the workplace and is often a reaction people have to excessive demands and pressure being placed on them. Whilst it is a ubiquitous issue, some occupations tend to be more stressful due to the challenging nature of the job, for example working in education, as a public relations executive or in social work jobs.
There are several causal factors that can contribute to stress at work, for example excessive demand, loss of control, lack of support, managing relationships and constant change. For people struggling with this issue it can be very difficult for them to identify why they feel as they do, and even harder to know how to deal with it. There are some practical steps you can take however, to try and cope with these pressures and to relieve the stress you are feeling.
Firstly, it can be helpful to take some time and consider what regularly sets off feelings of stress, for example, interactions with particular members of staff or an excessive workload, in order to help anticipate problems and begin to think of ways to solve them. Once you have done this you can begin to organise your time by identifying your most productive time of day and allocating your most important and energy-sapping tasks to this time. It can also be helpful to prioritise your tasks in order of importance and even create a timetable to plan how much time you will spend on each task.
Setting yourself large, unachievable targets is often a result of excessive workload and pressure, and so it may be beneficial to be more realistic and set smaller, achievable targets to make you feel more in control and aware of your progress and achievements. Varying your activities to balance stressful tasks with more mundane and simple ones is also a good way of breaking up your routine and ensuring your stress levels don’t get too high.
Taking on too much at once is a sure-fire way of raising the pressure on yourself and increasing stress, and whilst it can be difficult to ask for help, it is important to communicate to colleagues and peers if you feel you have too much to do. Attempting to do too much may affect the quality of your work and only lead to further stress and pressure. We hope these small adjustments can help you feel more in control of your workload and able to cope better with pressure and stress at work.
Disclosure: This commissioned article was produced in association with Sanctuary Social Care