Mitigate Stress in the Workplace

Careers In Government was the first Job Board in the marketplace when it launched in 1996 and continues to be the nation’s leading State and Local Government Job Board and Career Resource Center.  We leverage state-of-the-art technology to promote talent acquisition that benefits both employers and recruiters in the public sector.

Stress impacts our health, productivity, and overall happiness.  If it is your goal to have happy, healthy employees you’ll want to consider worksite wellness programs that focus on decreasing stress and increasing wellness in the workplace.

When in a stressful situation, the nervous system responds by creating more cortisol and adrenaline to act in the emergency.  Stress impacts our cardiovascular system, musculoskeletal system, respiratory system, endocrine system and gastrointestinal system too.  Your heart rate increases, muscles tighten up, you breath faster, your adrenal glands try to manage it all and you may experience nausea and irregularity as a result.  If measures aren’t taken to mitigate stress in your life, symptoms will progress and disease will set in.

Three ways to reduce stress in the workplace are:

Prioritize

If tomorrow’s tasks are prioritized at the close of every business day, you’ll walk into your office the next morning and immediately start with what’s most important.  Often, our stress comes from lack of preparation or focus.

After prioritizing tasks, identify opportunities where you can delegate additional tasks that pull you from your focus and productivity.  Release the need to have to do it all and empower one of your team members to take on a new role or responsibility.  It will help everyone grow and succeed.

When in a stressful situation, the nervous system responds by creating more cortisol and adrenaline to act in the emergency.

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Create a Supportive Environment

To reduce stress in your life, you’ll need to create an environment that honors your time, priorities and healthy lifestyle.  Setting healthy boundaries will minimize interruption and support you to be most productive.  Silent your notifications, use free apps to help you track your time in 25-minute work increments, take necessary breaks throughout the day, and schedule specific times into your calendar for email and phone follow-up.  Multitasking is not a productivity tool; get focused and complete one task or project at a time without all the interruption.  Less interruption equals less stress.

Be sure to communicate your healthy boundaries to your team and direct manager.  Share how you’ve carved out time to decrease interruption and increase productivity.  You’ll be an excellent role model for others and allow space for your team to do the same.

A supportive environment includes taking regular breaks to refresh your thoughts, relax the mind, and decrease cortisol levels for a calm return to your workday.  Schedule regular breathing exercises, stretching, walking and fresh air into your day!

Release the Need to Please

There’s a big difference between doing your best job and depleting yourself so much you no longer have anything left to give.  Most of us are people pleasers; we say “yes” to everything and then worry about what others might think or say about our efforts.  This is called the “need to please” and if it is your goal to lead a healthy life, it must go.

You can work hard, stay focused and excel in your career and still say “no” when needed.  Before making any decision, ask yourself “What will this provide me?”.  Consider your investment of time, energy, money and the return you’ll receive because of your efforts.  Simply asking this question will allow you to step back for a moment, and make a conscious choice to feed your healthy lifestyle, or potentially cause stress in it.  You and only you will know what is right for you, at that specific time, with everything else you have going on in life.

Now that you’ve taken time to make a supportive choice, let’s address the response of others.  It can be challenging to accept how others respond to you, or your choices.  One way to alleviate stress in your life is to silently grant others permission to respond however they need to respond.  Giving permission doesn’t change how they’ll respond, or make them do what you wish they’d do.  It releases you from worrying about how they choose to respond to you or the situation.  Always do your best, make choices that serve you well, and give permission for others to respond as they wish.  By doing so, you’ll feel free from the worry and minimize the stress in your life.

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