Workplace stress is commonplace, especially if you have a demanding job. Just because you get stressed out at work, doesn’t mean it has to take over your life. Workplace stress leads to a number of negative effects like health issues, lower engagement, less productivity and unhappier employees.

In order to combat the negative effects of workplace stress, it’s important to learn how to manage it. With these eight tips, managing your workplace stress is easy and if done right, can lead to a happier office life. 

1. Reach Out to Family and Friends

One of the first things you should do when you feel workplace stress coming on is to reach out to your support system. Talking to someone close to you who you trust about your problems is a great way to lift the weight off of your shoulders. Don’t expect anyone to be able to fix your problems for you, but know that just the act of talking through them can help you a lot.

2. Focus on Healthy Eating to Beat Workplace Stress

Making time for regular exercise and preparing healthy meals is one of the best things you can do to manage your workplace stress. While we may reach for comfort foods like candy and pizza when we’re stressed to try to make ourselves feel better, these unhealthy meals can actually make us feel worse and increase our stress. A healthy diet combined with regular exercise is important for keeping up both your physical and mental health.

3. Get Enough Sleep

When we’re stressed at work, we oftentimes don’t make sleep a priority. It can be tempting to try to catch up on work at home or stay out late at night in order to relieve workplace stress, but a lack of sleep can contribute to the stress. When employees operate on little sleep, they often perform worse at work, are more irritable, and less happy overall. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, you’ll be surprised at how much getting in those extra z’s can help.

4. Prioritize Your Tasks

An overloaded schedule is often the culprit of workplace stress. Take the time to schedule out your tasks for the week and prioritize the ones that are due the soonest or have the most importance. This way you can make extra time for these tasks and avoid stressing out about getting them done last minute. When working, make sure that you take regular breaks and never overcommit yourself to more than you can handle. Knowing your limits is an important step in managing workplace stress.

5. Get Organized

At the office, employees often get stressed when they can’t find something they need or misplace a file. When your work area is unorganized, it can be easy to miss a deadline or even a meeting with a client. Invest in a comprehensive calendar and scheduling system to make your life easier. You should also clean up your work area and file away things in a place where you can easily find them later. 

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Take Time Off

Many employees who have a lot on their plate are afraid of the repercussions taking time off can have. It’s easy to think that taking time off will only leave you with more work and missed deadlines when you return. While this can be true, making sure that you delegate your tasks and take care of everything makes it easier to relax while on vacation. Never let your vacation days go to waste. Use your sick days and leave to take a step back from work and focus on the things you enjoy in life. If you never take a day off, you run the risk of burnout.

7. Let Things Go

With more responsibilities in the workplace comes more tasks to complete. It’s important to remember that you are only one person and a little help can go a long way. The biggest mistake employees can make that leads to workplace stress is trying to take on more than they can handle. Being able to let go of some of your duties and place them in the hands of coworkers you trust is a great way to relieve some of your workplace stress.

For more tips on how to minimize stress in the workplace, check out our blog post “5 Simple Ways to Help Stressed Workers.”