Going to work is one thing. Taking work home with you is another. If you’re feeling stressed at work, you’re definitely not alone! In fact, according to a survey of 2,000+ US full-time employees, more THAN HALF of the workers (ages 18- 79) find themselves feeling stressed at least 60% of the workweek…BRB, going to take a few deep breaths…OK, I’m back. Managing stress at work can feel like a full-time job in itself, but there are things you can do to balance and cool down worker burnout. Let’s talk about the symptoms of worker burnout, everyday career stressors, and five ways to take control of your stress at work.
Symptoms of Worker Burnout
Look, if you know, you know. But here are just a few common symptoms that I have personally experienced in my career travels:
- Lack of inspiration or creativity
- Fatigue or inability to focus
- Resentment towards coworkers or your boss
- Inability to leave work at work
- Anxiety or trouble winding down
- Sadness or irritability
- Trouble concentrating on tasks
Common Career Stressors
Again, you know if your work situation is stressful. But here are a few common causes of stress at work:
- Overworked and underpaid
- No room for growth
- Lack of support
- Unattainable goals or expectations
- Poor work/life balance
- Interpersonal conflict
Managing Stress at Work
One. Thing. At. A. Time.
You are a human being, not a machine. When you’ve got a laundry list of tasks to do, it can feel extremely overwhelming, and you’re often wondering how you’re going to get it all done. Focus on one thing at a time. Multitasking is a great skill but can be counterproductive when you’re already feeling burned out. When you’re trying to do too many things at once, it’s easy to lose focus and details around the work you put out into the world. So please, take it one thing at a time, cross off tasks as you go, and remember, you are only one person.
Talk About It
I know easier said than done but talking about how you’re feeling can be helpful, especially if you have positive work relationships. Letting your stress build.. and build.. and build.. to the point where you feel like you’re going to implode on everyone, and everything is no way to work or live. Having a conversation with your boss or a coworker you can trust and expressing your worker burnout can help lessen the load. Perhaps your boss can delegate some of your tasks or review your role to see where improvements can be made. If you’re a good worker, your company won’t want to lose you! Sometimes difficult conversations are worth having. And if you’re still not sure or need a boost of confidence, a Psychic who specializes in career and money topics can help.
Steer Clear of Drama
Kool-Aid tastes good, but don’t be thirsty. It’s easy to get wrapped up in workplace conflicts, such as gossip, politics, favoritism, and tattle-telling. These behaviors are super toxic and will drag you down and impact the vibe of the workplace. If you have a coworker who loves to spill the tea or talk negatively about their work or others, try to avoid engaging in conversation. In my experience, I’ll change the topic to avoid confrontation or excuse myself for a bathroom break. And suppose you’re really feeling stuck in the middle of the drama. In that case, you might need to consider setting professional boundaries – another tough conversation but necessary if interpersonal conflict is causing you stress at work.
Take a Break
If your days are like mine, I sit in front of a computer all day long. Sometimes I’ll try and write a blog post and just stare at my laptop with zero inspiration or ideas. And most of the time, it’s because I need to step away. Oh, you too? Take a walk at lunch, a lap around the office, or simply a few minutes to refresh your mind. I love lunchtime walks because the fresh air and light exercise helps reset my mentals, especially when I’m feeling burned out.
Remember, work is just a part of your life. It should never run your entire world. Taking time for self-love and care is vital to your health and well-being and helps manage stress at work. Do things that make you feel good, and surround yourself with supportive people who will listen and offer advice when you're feeling overwhelmed. If you take work home with you and have trouble relaxing at night because you're anxious about what tomorrow will bring, I highly suggest trying a guided meditation right before bed to help you settle. Here are a few self-care activities that help me:
- Indoor cycling
- Read fiction novels
- Blog for fun
- Take walks with my best friend
- Cook healthy meals (and sometimes unhealthy too!)
- Guided meditations – check out The Mindful Path
Is It Time to Update the Resume?
If you're at the point where your job is taking over your life, perhaps it's time to update your LinkedIn profile and look around for other opportunities. The workplace is changing rapidly. The pandemic has reshaped the way we work, and workers are taking a stand and leaving positions or declining offers that don't serve their needs. Companies are embracing advances in technologies as WFH is becoming the new normal. A recent survey conducted by PEW Research Center showed that nearly 60% of teleworkers say they can do their jobs at home and are working all or most of the time remotely. Would a career shift that offers more flexibility be a better fit for you? Opportunity is out there, and companies are hiring! Unless you're the owner of your business, you're not tied down, so why not take a look around…
Managing Stress at Work with a Psychic Reading
If you don’t have anyone to talk (or vent!) to about your career, a Career & Money Psychic here at PathForward is someone you can turn to you for an objective opinion. A Psychic can help you understand the root cause of your stress and offer next steps to improve your future outcome at work. Feeling burned out is a very popular topic of conversation, and we are always here to help!
Do you have other ideas or examples of ways you cope with stress at work? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!