Over the past two years we’ve all experienced unparalleled amounts of stress and anxiety stemming from the unknown. But what perhaps wasn’t new for most, but was simply exaggerated, is the stress and anxiety that stems from work. In fact, over half of American workers state that they suffer from workplace stress daily and 25% say it’s the biggest stressor in their lives. In addition, 67% have experienced increased stress due to the pandemic.
From deadlines to workplace conflicts, financial struggles to management problems, workplace shifts and pandemic schedules, there are plenty of reasons why people could feel stressed by their career! The key, though, is learning how to overcome and not being afraid to ask for help. One way to do this is focusing on building skills to add to your toolbox that decrease stress and anxiety in the workplace!
Here are a few skills that lead to positive habits. They’re moldable skills that will allow you to start concentrating on improving your mental health at work!
Time Management > Setting BoundariesHow many days a week do you sit furiously typing away trying to dig out of your emails at 10:00 p.m.? Do you reach for your phone to check your emails the moment you wake up? Perhaps you’re spending Saturday mornings reviewing reports rather than spending time with your family? Do you get yelled at by your partner for taking calls during a vacation?
All these are signs that you’re not appropriately managing your time. So many people, whether at the management level heavily burdened or at the lower levels hustling to rise to the top, let work take over everything. Building time management skills isn’t just about increasing productivity and efficiency. Sometimes it’s about slowing down too. Set a time you’ll log off each day, disable your email after hours, create a block schedule with set timeframes to achieve certain tasks without meetings, prioritize tasks by setting goals for what you want to get done by Friday each week with a plan on how to achieve that.
By setting boundaries for yourself and reclaiming your time, you’ll be able to mentally disconnect, take a breather, and come back feeling refreshed.
Collaboration > Asking for HelpSo, when you start setting those boundaries and prioritizing certain tasks to take a step away, how do you get everything done? A lot of times at work, individuals have too much on their plates. And they feel obligated to go at it alone! This shouldn’t be the case.
Use your team, collaborate, ask for help. This could mean creating joint-goals, co-planning for an upcoming launch, delegating to your team when you simply don’t have time, outsourcing to contractors to extend your team’s bandwidth.
It can be daunting to take these steps, and sometimes feel like more work. But once you get systems and processes in place for collaboration, you’ll feel the impact.
Effective Communication > Regular Check-Ins with ManagementWhen it comes to what causes stress and anxiety in the workplace, a lot of it comes down to poor communication. You took something your boss said the wrong way, perhaps deadlines and expectations were rushed but you didn’t say anything and chose to accept it, ideas were stolen by a colleague, but you brushed it off, you’re struggling with something at home that’s flowing into your productivity at work. All these things will impact your work. But, those who experience stress and anxiety tend to let that take over, bottling things up while avoiding self-advocacy. Communication is key to not letting this happen.
Set up a weekly one-on-one with your boss where you can discuss any tasks or projects on your plate, but also use it as a time to reset expectations or clear up any miscommunications.
Over communication is not a bad thing, especially when you’re struggling. If you don’t say something, you’ll never know what the alternative outcome could be. Oftentimes, these conversations will lead to solutions, creative problem solving, and peace of mind.