Stress is a normal response to the pressures and demands of work. Some people thrive in high-pressure environments and enjoy the ‘buzz’ they get when they’re facing a tight deadline or have an important presentation coming up. However, prolonged or excessive job stress over a significant period of time can be damaging to your mental health.
Finding the right work-life balance is often easier said than done, particularly if you are a business owner or leader. But it’s important to try and get enough rest, eat a balanced diet and find time for the things you enjoy. We all need to find activities to help us rest, recuperate and recover from the demands of a high-pressure role.
A range of factors can contribute to job stress, including:
- working excessively long hours, demanding workloads or working weekends on an ongoing basis
- time pressure, working too hard or too fast, or unrealistic targets
- work that is monotonous and dull or does not use a person’s range of skills or previous training
- roles where a person has low levels of control or inadequate support
- lack of role clarity
- discrimination – whether based on gender, ethnicity, race or sexuality
You can look after your mental health and help manage stress with some simple wellbeing tips – this includes:
- know your early warning signs and take action to decrease stress – these can include difficulty sleeping, feeling overwhelmed and getting easily irritated
- identify the triggers that raise your stress levels and actively try to reduce them
- establish predictable routines, these can be calming and reassuring and ensure you take ‘time out’ for yourself
- spend time with people you care about, and who care about you
- look after your health by eating well and exercising regularly
- notice unhelpful ‘self-talk’ and focus on helpful self-talk like ‘I’m coping well’ or’breathe easy’
practise relaxation and plan things each day that you enjoy
If you are experiencing a mental health condition, it can be difficult to decide whether to tell others at work. Our three-step tool is designed to help you weigh up all the issues.