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10 Strategies for Relieving Stress at Work

written by: Anne Vize•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 7/14/2010

Are you feeling stressed out and overwhelmed at work? There are many strategies you can try to help with relieving stress at work - often the first step is simply to identify that stress is the problem for you. After that it is simple, with a few changes often all it takes to relieve your stress.

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    Identifying the Problem

    The first strategy for relieving stress at work is quite simple and it is really a fundamental work skill; you need to identify that stress is what is causing the problem and then plan what you can do to manage it. It is not always possible to completely remove stress from your life. After all, a small, manageable amount of stress is what makes us get up and get motivated each day.

    Without any stress, we would lack the necessary amount of motivation to make things happen in life. But too much stress can tip us over the edge and cause problems such as sleep disturbances, headaches, gastro-intestinal upsets, difficulties getting along with others and a whole host of other issues. So it pays to identify the cause of your stress and then take some practical steps towards relieving stress at work - permanently.

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    Practical Steps for Relieving Stress at Work

    Here are some easy steps you can try to help with relieving stress at work:

    1. Team Approach - By talking about the issue of stress in a workplace as a team, you are able to identify any whole workplace issues that could be causing stress for everyone, not just yourself.
    2. Professional Development - Ask your boss about incorporating a stress management training session into your professional development schedule. You can make this one a winner with most bosses by explaining that stress is a major cause of employee absences, so by relieving stress at work your employees are less likely to need time off!
    3. Explaining the Problem - Talk to your boss about the issue of stress and look for solutions that can work for everyone.
    4. Short term staff - Sometimes overwork can be a cause of stress, so by asking for a temporary staff member to come in when there is a big project on, you can plan ahead and cut everyone's workload to a manageable level.
    5. Work schedules - A diary, scheduler, daily planner; call it what you will there is no substititute for some simple planning of times and tasks done on a daily basis to help you get organised and reduce stress.
    6. Hobby or sport - Give yourself some time off for a regular, scheduled activity such as playing a sport or doing a hobby.
    7. Mentoring - If you have a mentor, talk to them about how they manage their stress.
    8. Short breaks - Often we can feel so busy at work that we never take time off, and this is a big no-no when it comes to relieving stress at work. Take a short holiday and come back feeling refreshed.
    9. Suggest a change - Take some positive steps such as organizing a regular morning tea or lunch out of the office so everyone can relax and have a conversation about something other than work.
    10. Know when to walk away - Like the words of that famous song, you should know when to walk away and when to run. Be ready to take the hard decisions if you are simply not able to use simple strategies for relieving stress at work. The cost to your health is just not worth it.
    By taking some practical steps towards relieving stress at work, hopefully you will find your work is more enjoyable and you are able to achieve a far greater work-life balance in the future.