Personal Tips to Help Manage Stress Levels at Work
Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. Ugh...It's 5 o'clock and it's time to get up, get the kids ready for school and then....wait for it....go to work!!! The feeling starts the moment you get up. You start thinking, "Another day of this crap" or "I have to go see my coworkers again". We've all felt this way at some point (well...that's if you don't like your job). If you feel this way, chances are you probably need to change your work environment. However, we all know this isn't an easy task for everyone. Putting things in order so that when you need job change immediately, the transition. It wasn't easy but it helped when I had to move on. But that is another story for another time.
When was working during my undergrad years, I was constantly around persons that I wasn't too excited about. Or rather, hated with a passion. I would have love to change jobs but I couldn't. First, I needed the money for school and second, it was on of the highest paying jobs on campus. therefore, I did what I had to do. I survived and so can you. Here is a few stress reliever that I've learned over my years of work.
Laugh at yourself.
No you're not crazy but it helps if people thought you were. Just kidding. I'm a shy person so I have difficulty speaking my mind out loud most of the times. To top it off, I talk to myself aloud which was a big no-no at the office. Greatest combination in the world, right? Unfortunately these qualities were the butt of many office jokes. Many times one coworker in particular, would pick on me with some hurtful remarks while pretending he was making a joke. He loved doing this especially when there was an audience. To make matters worse, he wasn't the kind of person who you could take on the side and talk your issues out with. What I'd do was laugh it off with him as if the nasty remark did not bother me. (I'm not ashamed to admit though, if it really struck a chord, I would go to the bathroom and vent it out.) Eventually, when he did try to pick on me, he wouldn't linger on me for long. Why? Because he believed he couldn't break my mood. He did most of the time, but I did not show it. That's the important part. I was shy but I was not weak. I also ignored him sometimes when he was waiting for the desired response from him. I never gave him that satisfaction. Yay me.
It doesn't hurt to pretend.
I was a computer lab technician and did maintenance work on some of the lecturers work issued machines. Many times my boss would assign to me a task which I believed was not in my job description. For instance, while I was duty she called me in her office saying, "I have something for you to do. You probably won't like it but you have to do it because I said so". She laughs afterwards and I got a bit nervous. You'd never guess what she told me to do. I, a computer technician on duty, got the awesome opportunity of doing her 4-year-old son's kindergarten homework. No joke. Also, as she had so adamantly stated, I had to do it. Boy, did I have some words to say to that woman (in my head, of course). Where does she get off using the company's time and mine to do her kid's homework. I was beyond mad. Therefore before I attempted this assignment, I did a mental evaluation. I remember telling myself "You're still getting billed for your hours. Like what you have to do. Think of it as editing an image or a document for one of the lecturers". Believe it or not, it was easier to get done and most of my anger went away. I have to note though, I used this method in the classes that I liked the least, therefore I had years experience with this technique. It takes time getting used to but anyone can do it.
Don't mix work life with...home life?
As if being at work isn't stressful enough, having complications at home was like icing on the cake. Subconsciously over the years, I've developed this thing where I'm able to separate home, school and work even though each of them are very stressing at times. When I'm at work, I focus on work only. I would normally avoid office conversation where they talked about their life at home. Reason being, my home life sucked at the time and makes me sad when I think of it. If I do get asked a question, I would either deflect the question, change the topic or just give a vague answer and find a way to leave the conversation (in less than 5 minutes too). The same approach was at home and with classes. It was like living three different lives where neither of them interfered with the other. I'm not saying it's the best way to go but it can help in some situations.
Take 5 - 10 minutes breaks every hour.
I've also learned over the years that no matter how hard I focused on a task, after an hour I had to take a break (except for my school work. I'm a bit of a nerd so I can go for hours). Colleagues of mine have told me that breaks every hour distracts them and accomplishes nothing. My truth, these short breaks helps me out a lot. It's possible I have a short attention span but it's torture if you go hours and hours with no rest. It's important that during the break you think of something else and not the task you just walked away from else you're not really taking a break.
Work is always going to get on your nerves, but it's important to let go and find ways in your daily routine that doesn't cause you much stress. Work should be a safe haven. You deserve that much.