You spend eight hours a day at work, five days a week, year-in, year-out. Aside from the occasional summer holiday and Christmas vacation, you rarely get a substantial break. Your time at work adds up to about a third of your adult life.
In itself, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you love your work and are doing a job you’re passionate about, you probably don’t mind spending this much time on the clock. You are filling your days doing something meaningful and worthwhile. What more could you want from life?
But for so many people, this isn’t the reality. Almost 11 million people in the United Kingdom are unhappy in their jobs. People have to deal with high-pressured working conditions, unfulfilling careers, unpleasant bosses, and office politics. Spending all this time feeling stressed and anxious will have disastrous impacts on your mental and physical health. Feeling stressed is unpleasant in and of itself, but it can escalate and become so much worse. It can lead to serious mental health issues like depression and makes you more susceptible to all kinds of illnesses. It affects your sleeping pattern, your social relationships and your overall happiness. And no one should have to feel this way.
If this sounds like you, there are steps you can take to reduce the stress in your working life. If changing your job is not an option, there are several things you can do to eliminate and manage the stresses of work. Here are a few of the best tips.
Reduce your workload
If your mental health is suffering from the pressure and deadlines of work, you should talk to your boss right away. Speak openly about what is on your mind and discuss whether there is anything they could do to help you manage your workload and remove some of the pressure.
Nothing gives your mental health a boost like being outdoors. Nature has proven benefits for your stress levels and happiness, so going for a midday walk or eating lunch outside can make a huge difference. No more eating lunch at your desk.
If you work in a large office, there will inevitably be some disagreements between some of your coworkers. Don’t get involved unless it directly impacts you. Interpersonal conflicts can take a toll on your emotional health, so avoid it if possible. Stay away from gossip and arguments, and report any offensive or unacceptable humour to your boss.
Get the right tools
When technology refuses to cooperate, it can be stressful and infuriating. Rather than spending hours on the phone to IT support next time your tablet plays up, look after yourself by surrounding yourself with the best possible tools to get the job done. Your technology should work for you, not against you, and your chair and desk should be as comfortable as possible. This will allow you to focus on the work you need to do without fighting distractions all day.