When the Monday morning alarm goes off, the panic sets in. There’s no easy way to put it—it’s just not easy to find a job that doesn’t drive us absolutely insane. While you may love your job most of the time, you’re lying if the stress hasn’t been crippling. Whether you twirl signs in front of a carwash or perform open heart surgery, you have responsibilities. Someone is relying on you. And while it’s great to feel needed, this isn’t exactly what we had in mind.
If you’re someone who succumbs to the stress of work all too often, then it might be time to step back and assess the problem. The first step is to figure out where the stress is coming from. Here are some of the most common ways you’re letting your job control your mental health and how you can work past these stressors.
Even the most enjoyable jobs can take a devastating turn when you spend too much time focused on them. Spending too much time on any project can leave us frazzled and out of touch with the outside world. If overworking persists, the stress and panic is bound to set in. So, how to do we avoid overworking? First, make sure not to give too much of your time to any one project. Don’t feed obsessions. Workaholics are prone to overworking because they find it easy to get obsessed with a project and stay obsessed with it. While you might want to knock out an entire report in one sitting or burn the midnight oil editing some documents, you probably shouldn’t. Pace yourself and you won’t fall a victim to the stress of overworking. If overworking becomes problem for you, take some time to breathe, relax with people that make you happy, and most importantly, have fun!
Deadlines are something that teens and adults alike struggle with. Once we leave the safe cocoon of grade school, deadlines are a looming threat with real-life consequences. Remember to pace yourself so that you aren’t rushing to complete your work at the very last minute. Rushing can lead to lackluster work and the dreaded burnout.
To combat the stress of deadlines, be sure to keep track of your weekly and monthly responsibilities. On Monday morning, take a few minutes to assess your weekly tasks and how long it will take you to complete each one of them. Make sure to block some time out of your schedule. Setting weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly goals is another excellent way to keep yourself on track. Crossing out completed tasks on a list is oddly cathartic. In addition to making lists, keep your workspace clean. You’ll happier and more productive if your environment doesn’t promote stress.
One deadline can be stressful enough and then, just when you’re feeling the heat, you’re swooped up and thrown into the pressure cooker of adulthood. You’ve got a report due for the boss on Wednesday, your taxes are due, you still have to read that novel if you want to stay in your book club, and you’ve just learned that your daughter has a science project due in two days. An avalanche of deadlines like this not only takes its own toll on your mental health, but it can also lead to overworking which, as we know, does the same thing. The avalanche is the worst of the double whammies. If you want to make it through without an emotional scratch, keep pacing yourself. Use all your deadline tactics. Start with the most pressing projects and the ones that will take you the longest amount of time. As time frees up, you can start working on everything else. Most of all, remember to stay calm and methodical. Don’t get frustrated and don’t procrastinate.
At the beginning of a new job, position, or even a new project, you might be unsure of your expectations or requirements. It can feel like you and your supervisor are communicating through two red solo cups attached together with a string. This lack of communication can make anyone feel like they’ve been left to their own devices in a world that they don’t understand. The stress of confusion in a new environment can make anyone nervous and frustrated.
Remember that working is a give and take. Your supervisor relies on you doing your job correctly and you rely on them for your employment. While it might be nerve-wracking to bother them with questions, especially if they seem aggravated, it’s beneficial to both of you in the long run. Most of all, you deserve the proper training.
Sharing the Sandbox isn’t Easy
Coworkers break up the monotony of the workweek. They give you someone to relate to, to confide in, to chat with. They also give you someone to get completely and utterly annoyed with. Sharing the same space with someone day after day isn’t always easy. That’s why families fight about little things so much. After a while, we start to realize the little quirks that drive us up a wall. Brian chews with his mouth open and Cynthia can’t seem to put the stapler back where she found it. In the beginning, they’re things you joke about, but after a while, a stupid misplaced stapler can run you into a rampage.
But try not to go that far. Communicate with your coworkers. After all, you all have to share your space together. Ask them nicely for things and make sure that you’re not unintentionally annoying them either.
The stress that any job creates can be unbearable at some points, but stress is transient and most importantly, it’s something that can be worked through. Coping mechanisms and even light exercise like yoga are great ways to relieve stress. Keep an eye out for the things that stress you out. In addition, pace yourself and always give yourself permission to relax. So, light that beach blossom candle, binge watch your favorite television drama, and just chill out.