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Stress at Work? How Much is Too Much and How to Reduce It

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

We all experience stress at work. It’s a normal and even sometimes beneficial part of employment. There is a certain stress to perform that keeps us working hard and efficiently. But how much stress is too much? Sometimes we can become overwhelmed, and the stress can affect our every day lives. Symptoms include:

  1. Feeling anxious, irritable or depressed

  2. Apathy and loss of interest in work

  3. Difficulty sleeping and fatigue

  4. Trouble concentrating

  5. Muscle tension and headaches

  6. Social withdrawal

  7. Stomach problems

So how do you reduce this stress? It would be nice if we could all just take a vacation every time we needed one, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. In fact, it seems like it never is, doesn’t it? But there are certain things you can do while on the job to help get things under control.

  1. Break it up – Take your eyes off the computer screen and the phone off your ear. Scheduled breaks are important and they give everyone a chance to recoup. Even 5 minutes can get you feeling calmer and less tense. By taking frequent short breaks instead of longer, spread-out ones, you’ll start feeling a little more energized.

  2. Exercise – I know, you didn’t want to hear this one, did you? But exercise is so important. Forget about the weight loss and the beach body, exercise is important for your mind and soul. Even when you take those 5-minute breaks at work, do a little stretching or walking to get your body moving and your mind clear. But don’t be afraid to bring some running shoes and get a move on at your lunch hour, either! It helps especially if you’ve had a rough morning at the office.

  3. Eat your breakfast! – And make sure it’s something nutritious. Protein is important in the morning. Breakfast is so often skipped by so many people, yet it’s the most important meal of the day. It’s quick to make some eggs and toast, oatmeal or a fruit and vegetable smoothie. Getting the right nutrition in first thing in the morning is going to keep you energized and focused longer throughout the entire day. I know you’ve heard it before – when you eat better, you feel better. So get on it!

Use these tips to get a jump-start on de-stressing at work. Remember, we all go through periods like this and you aren’t alone. Chances are if you’ve got a big project going on or are short-staffed, your coworkers are feeling the same way. But it’s important not to let this stress take over our lives because it can become a habit that we can’t break. So take care of yourself and enjoy the challenges thrown at you!

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