High levels of stress can lead to burnouts, breakdowns and even mental and physical health problems. If your job is causing you too much stress, it could literally be making you sick. Here are some ways to tell if your job is making you sick, learn why you feel this way and how to cope.
How to tell
Are you feeling overworked, unappreciated or unhappy at work? Do you hate your job? You may be suffering from a poor work-life balance or extensive work-related stress. Here are some ways to tell:
- Exhaustion - You are tired all the time, even after getting a full night's’ sleep.
- Unmotivated - You lack motivation at work and possibly even at home.
- Negativity - You are acting more cynical than usual and experiencing an intake of negative emotions.
- Headaches - You have been experiencing constant migraines when dealing with problems at work.
- Lousy Job Performance - You’re performance at work has taken a drastic decline.
- Relationship Problems - You have been experiencing problems with your work and home relationships.
- Unsatisfied - You don’t feel satisfied with your job and life.
- Preoccupied - You are distracted and preoccupied with work during leisure time.
- Recently Diagnosed Health Problems - You go to the doctor because you are feeling ill all the time and learn that you have been diagnosed with a stress-related health issue.
Reasons for stress
Chronic stress causes intense and overwhelming physical and mental problems. There are some common causes for being overstressed at work.
- You feel overworked - feeling like you have too much on your shoulders at work. You feel weighed down and discouraged about completing all of your tasks.
- You feel underpaid - You may have been working at your job for awhile now and no sign of a raise or promotion. This can be a bit discouraging, knowing you have worked hard and are still trying to make things work on a low salary. Maybe you feel unappreciated too.
- Communication Overload - Nowadays, there are multiple forms of communication technology that we deal with every day at work. This could be a call, text, IM, Email, or a platform like Skype or Slack. Sometimes even all of these at the same time. This can be overwhelming and can make it more difficult to stop thinking about work and take a break.
- Your resources are limited - You feel like you don’t have enough time or the right resources to get your work completed on time.
- Unpleasant work environment - maybe you have a terrible boss or a rude coworker. Maybe you didn’t get a promotion that you were hoping for. Maybe your job lacks benefits and perks. Maybe you feel unappreciated. These things could make your work environment feel unpleasant.
What you can do about it
Sometimes a fresh start is all it takes but quitting your job isn’t always going to be an option. So, here are some ways you can deal with work stress.
- Get Help - Talk through challenges with your co-workers or even your boss. They may be able to help relieve some of your heavy workload.
- Get organized - Go through your desk, throw out any trash and anything that you no longer need. Use manilla folders or dividers to separate tasks and projects. Keeping your desk and work-related items neat and organized can help you feel more in control, not as lost and help you maintain better time management skills.
- No more multitasking - Try to do one task at a time, instead of trying to do multiple things at once. Giving your full attention to one task at a time helps to avoid mistakes and helps you to keep a clear head.
- Take breaks - Throughout the day take a couple of minutes to stand up, stretch your legs and take a deep breath. Don’t work through your lunch, Take the time to step away from your desk and recharge your brain.
- 6-8 hours of sleep - It may sound silly, but a good 6- 8 hours of sleep each night helps prevent burnouts.
- Exercise Daily - Research shows that exercising in the morning can actually help you to have a more productive and satisfying work day. Exercising gives you the natural energy that it takes to get through the day.
- Celebrate Milestones - Celebrating milestones and accomplishments is a sure fire way to make you feel happier in your job. When you are able to see the good, it’s harder to be brought down by the bad.
There is always going to be a little bit of stress at any job your work for. Constant stress and anxiety is what you have to worry about. Don’t let work bog you down. Do something about it. Take charge and try following some of these steps to help you remain, calm, healthy and happy while at work.