We spend on average 38 to 42 hours a week working.And the reality is, our “actual hours” are a lot more than this. So, there’s no wonder that we can find ourselves feeling stressed or burnt out at work. Excessive worrying, feeling overwhelmed or frustrated and sleeping problems are clear signs of stress. If we wait until we physically feel these symptoms of burnout due to unresolved stress levels, it can be too late to intervene early.
Taking care of your wellbeing should always come first. Here are some actionable ways to help prevent stress.
It can be one of the hardest things to do when you feel like your workload is piling up, but it’s one of the most important actions to take.
If you’re nearing your limits, taking a step back will do wonders for your mental health. Your body will send you signs that you need a break. Listen to your body and act early to prevent mental health issues occurring.
If you ignore these signs, your body may force you to take the time out due to illness.
When work commitments take over you might say things like, “I’m too busy to exercise.” Even when our to-do list is piled high at work, we still need to make room in our schedules to exercise and eat well. Taking care of yourself should always be your number one priority so that you can keep mentally and physically well. Schedule out time in your calendar every day for self-care.
Reflect on the hours that you are spending at work or working. Are there hours that are not reported on your timesheet? Are there life commitments outside of work that keep you switched on and unable to wind down? Remember,you are in control of the way you spend your time. If you find you are taking work home, how can you reduce this?
Find joy in everyday life. Even if you love what you do, having a hobby outside of work can be a great way to spend your time. Write down activities that bring you joy and try to incorporate these in your life regularly.
You should never feel guilty for leaving work on time. Make it a habit to leave your place of work at a reasonable time and be mindful of how much you think about work when you leave. This is a hard one to stick to. Setting boundaries can feel like quite a big task. A great idea is to ask family, friends, and work colleges to see what they do when it comes to creating boundaries at work. Together, you can come up with a plan and keep each other accountable.
There’s no doubt it can be hard to get the balance right. When it comes to stress at work, we must look inwards at our personal choices to see what we can change to prevent mental health issues.
Click here for a resource to support individual workplace stress levels.