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Many people lost their jobs during the recent recession.  Those left often had to assume an additional workload.  This factor along with project deadlines, office politics and lack of control over your day can add up to a great deal of stress.

Stress can adversely impact your health with headaches, stomach problems, depression and more. Since most working adults spend half their waking hours at work, it’s important to deal with stress to avoid these consequences.

Get Enough Rest

Not getting enough sleep impacts mental performance.  It is even harder to meet the demands of your job when thinking and moving are slower than normal.  Memory is affected and  I am some people are more irritable.

Get yourself to bed in time to get a good night’s rest. Try sleeping without an alarm clock and let your body get as much rest as it needs.  Except for early morning trips, I haven’t used an alarm for years.

Exercise

There are several positive results of exercise that contribute to decreasing stress.  Exercise releases endorphins in your body which contributes to happiness and a sense of well being.  The increased blood flow to the brain aids enhances thinking.

Moving your body with exercise helps release muscle tenseness.  Ironically, exercise also helps you sleep better so you’re making the most of your rest time.

If exercise is not part of your current routine, check with your physician before starting a new program.

Diet

A lot of people respond to stress with changes in their diet.  Some can’t eat when they’re stressed out. Without fuel, our bodies (and mind) can’t perform as well.

Others, like me, overeat for comfort with salty or sugary foods.  Although this may provide temporary respite, the behavior can lead to weight gain and is often unhealthy.

It is important to follow good eating habits especially when under stress.  Don’t skip meals and do try to eat at the same time every day.  When tempted to grab that comfort snack, distract yourself with a quick walk or a piece of gum.

Environment

Sometimes the work environment itself is causing stress. Figure out what about your surroundings is causing distress.  Is it noise, seating, smells or some other factor?

If you can’t resolve these issues yourself, then work with your manager or human resources department to improve the situation.  If they can’t eliminate the distraction there may be other ways to tackle it.

One possibility is relocating your workstation.  Maybe you don’t like being near the lunchroom, but a sociable person might.  If noise is distracting then maybe your position can be performed with headphones.

Another option is telecommuting.  Not only would this resolve any office distractions but some people are less stressed by removing the commute and having more autonomy.

These steps can help with most job stresses.  If all else fails, you might consider finding new work.  Take steps to makes sure you don’t end up in the same situation at the new workplace.

How do you fight job stress?

Photo: Attribution Some rights reserved by alancleaver_2000

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13 comments comments closed

  1. My biggest way to minimize stress from my job is to walk home from work. It’s not a long walk, but in good weather it makes me cheerful and gives me time to decompress before getting home.

    • That’s a nice benefit of living close to work. Suburbs took away this option for many.

  2. My best solution for stress is exercise! The more rigorous the better. I ride my bicycle for 90 minutes and work out with weights for another 30 minutes seems to do it for a while. I find that I mentally resolve some of it during the ride. That exercise also helps with the diet, it covers any emotional eating I might do.

    • Krantcents, that’s a lot of exercise! Good point about being able to compensate for any extra eating by burning those calories.

  3. Oh Stress why do you follow us around endlessly? I battle stress constantly and have had it on my mind so much lately I have a post on it coming up on Monday myself. 🙂 You cover a lot of great points in your post – environment is a big one that gets overlooked a lot. I definitely need to be better about exercising more and getting back into a regular yoga routine. Exercise is usually the first thing I skip when I’m busy so I really should start to make it a priority. Sitting at a computer all day is definitely not good for my back and muscles! -Sydney

    • I have the same problem with sitting all day in front of a computer. I am working on getting exercise back into my routine. Now is a nice time of the year to get started.

      I’m looking forward to your article tomorrow.

  4. Thank God for the gift of endorphins! Also known as the happy hormones, I am full of them after an hour of exercise. Exercise doesn’t need to be in the morning. It can be anytime during the day except before bedtime. It calms me and boosts my mood and self-esteem. That’s my super stress buster of all time!

    • June, thanks for reminding us that it doesn’t matter what time of day you exercise; just do it!

  5. Exercise and getting a monthly job are two things that really help me keep my sanity. Very importante!

    Sam

  6. My dh used to take a walk every day during his lunch hour. It always helped him be refreshed for the afternoon’s work. He had a stressful job & that mid-day break really helped! Now that he’s retired he still takes a daily walk & keeps getting healthier and healthier! He has a big smile on his face most of the time, so I think his stress level is pretty low!