All of us know that work can be stressful, even hardly bearable at times. For most of us, our jobs are our livelihoods. Not only that, a lot of us are there for at least 40 hours a week. We spend a ton of time completing tasks, talking with coworkers, and dealing with our bosses throughout the week. Work is a large part of our lives, and once you add stress to your work, it can become difficult to manage and carry over into our personal lives. If you feel like your stress leaves work with you, then this is for you.
One reason you may be experiencing stress at work is that there are a lack of boundaries between yourself and work. You want to be the best employee you can and sometimes you will do more than you have the capacity to. When your boss asks you to stay late several times a week or asks you to do 5 extra tasks that you don’t have the time for things can get stressful real fast. You don’t have to be the office superhero. All of us have limitations.
I’m not saying that you should say no to going the extra mile. Instead I’m saying to say no to going an extra 10 miles every day. If you notice your stress levels getting out of control and affecting your relationships, then it might be time to say no and practice self-care. If you are too bogged down, you aren’t just affecting your relationships, but your work performance will suffer too. The best thing for you and your company can be to cut back on what you can and invest time on other things that are important to you.
That leads us to the next part, practice self-care. I’ve written on this topic before, but it is very important when discussing workplace stress. This is where the saying “You shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one basket” comes into play. If you don’t have any hobbies, friendships, or time with your family set aside, then your mental health can suffer. There is more to you than your ability to accomplish things at work. Engaging in hobbies and spending time with friends and family is crucial to abating stress and finding fulfillment.
Lastly, take your vacation! Over half of US employees did not use all of their vacation days last year. Whatever vacation time you have, use it. There is a reason that you have vacation days. It is exhausting to go for a whole year without taking time off regardless of whether or not you love your job. You don’t have to take an extravagant vacation; you can just relax at home or with family. Regardless, you deserve time off. You put in a lot of time to make your company or business better, the least you can do is give yourself a couple of weeks a year.
Working hard is great. Working yourself too much isn’t. In order to take a breath of air from work, set some boundaries, say no, and practice self-care. If you continue to feel stuck and unable to break free from your anxiety at work, and possibly outside of work, then seek professional help. Professionals are trained to help people through things like anxiety and workplace stress. Take some time to re-calibrate so that you can re-focus and work through workplace stress and anxiety.