How to Feel Less Stressed During the Workday

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How to Feel Less Stressed During the Workday

With fewer jobs available around the nation, employees are beginning to feel the pressure to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities. Many companies have made cuts to their total number of staff members, leaving the remaining employees to cover the job duties of positions which have been furloughed or cut entirely.

For some employees, this means their total number of hours have increased. For others, their hours may have been reduced due to new budget constraints, and yet they may be asked to perform the same amount of work before COVID-19 struck. Whatever the case, it is not uncommon for people to feel stressed as they try to meet these new expectations in the workplace.

The Mayo Clinic sites some of these symptoms as warning signs that you are under stress:

  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach problems

In serious cases, when these symptoms remain unaddressed and escalate, people who are stressed can go on to develop diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. It is important to manage your stress before it gets out of control.

How can you minimize the impact of stress when you are expected to meet impossible deadlines, attend countless Zoom meetings, and answer an endless flood of e-mails?

  • Voice your concerns. – Know what you can and cannot handle long-term. The pandemic has placed us all in an unprecedented situation, and many companies had to make split-second decisions to keep business afloat. Your supervisor may be unaware of how these new responsibilities and work structure are panning out in real life. Keep your supervisor in the loop of your concerns. Make them aware of the long-term implications of impossible standards (lesser work quality, employee burnout, missed deadlines, etc.)
  • Take frequent breaks. – Do whatever it takes to get up out of your desk chair, and take your mind off work for a few minutes. Don’t take just one break. Take multiples ones scattered through the day. If you are working from home, try taking a walk outside around the house one or two times. If you’re still going into the office, go the breakroom for a snack or make a quick phone call to a friend or partner.
  • Care for your body. – It is all too easy to fall into the trap of working through lunches and reporting for work in off-hours. Set a reminder on your phone so that you remember to eat meals appropriately. Junk food does not count as actual meals. Remember to include grains, protein, fruits, and vegetables in your daily diet. Stay hydrated to prevent dehydration, which can leave you feeling tired and irritable.

If your job is truly stressing you the point where your health and wellbeing are beginning to suffer, consider looking for a new job. The extra pressures of a pandemic can easily highlight issues that were already present within a company, so consider if this ordeal is a blessing in disguise. Spend your spare time browsing the postings on job sites (they are still there!) and finetuning your resume. You never know what the future may hold.

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