On-the-job stress can feel like someone sucker punched you. Or it can feel like a slow burn. No matter how your stress feels, you’re among the three-quarters of American workers who have reported physical symptoms due to workplace stress.
Researchers are still analyzing the consequences of workplace stress on our health, but what we do know is this: You may not be able to do anything about the cause of stress in the workplace, but your response to it is in your hands. Take these steps:
Don’t try to be the hero. Getting burned out won’t help anyone. Instead of wasting time complaining about how much work is on your plate, politely but firmly communicate with your superiors that you’ve reached your limit and can’t handle additional assignmentsÂ at the moment.
Let go of your inner perfectionist. Your word for the week is “delegate.â€ Trying to micromanage everyone or act as if you’re the only one who can do a job leads to increased workplace stress. But don’t try to overhaul your working style in one fell swoop, either. Find small, one-time tasks or projects to hand off to others, and don’t fret about them not doing the work exactly the way you would.
Seek help. Do you think asking for help is a sign of weakness? This behavior isn’t much help when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Understand that saying you need assistance will likely feel uncomfortable at first. Start by asking for help on something small, and then work up to requesting assistance with the bigger stuff.
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