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Coping With Workplace Stress

Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax. - Mark Black

We have to be careful not to allow acute stress to become chronic. Once we experience prolonged stress, our bodies can be severely affected. One of the hormones to blame is cortisol. Chronically elevated cortisol levels can wreak havoc on our health. Fortunately, coping with workplace stress is possible.

Related: What is the deal with cortisol really?


Coping with workplace stress

What can you do once you notice that you have become chronically stressed?


Identify the stressors

Maybe the root of your stress is listed in our previous article, but maybe it is something entirely different. Whatever the cause, you should identify the stressor. When you know what is causing your stress, you can work towards a solution. Consider making notes about situations that make you feel stressed and how you react to them in order to identify patterns.


Take some time off

Whether you use your vacation leave to get away completely, or you just use your evenings and weekends recharging instead of working, it is important that you have periods of time when you don’t engage in work-related activities at all.


Set some boundaries

With everything and everyone being online 24/7, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to switch off completely. Establishing some clear boundaries might be necessary to allow yourself time to recharge. Try and make some “rules”, for instance not checking your email after a certain time in the evenings.


Take time to relax

Sitting at your desk from 8-5, only getting up when you need to go to the bathroom, is actually very unhealthy. Eat your lunch away from your desk. Also, get up and move around at least every hour. Learn some breathing techniques to help you relax and remember to include some light exercise in your daily routine.


Talk to your manager

Don’t just go to your manager with complaints. Have at least a few suggestions to be able to have an open and meaningful discussion with your manager to come up with a plan for coping with workplace stress. Certain parts of the plan might be to improve your skills like time management, and other parts may be to enrich your job to include more meaningful and challenging tasks, or making your workspace more comfortable.