5 Creative Ideas for Handling Work Stress

By December 20, 2018 October 23rd, 2023 Self Management Tips

Last Updated on October 23, 2023 by Dave Schoenbeck

I don’t know anyone saying they’ve never felt stress at work. Even the best of us have to deal with demanding customers, impending deadlines, or other setbacks that try our patience daily. Healthily handling work stress is crucial, as stress can negatively affect your physical health, mental health, and performance in the long term. Stress can cause us to lash out or make mistakes we otherwise wouldn’t. If you are dealing with a lot of stress or anxiety at work, here are a few key strategies for managing stress in the workplace.

Three workers hold up a sign that reads "deadline" depicting 5 creative ideas for handling work stress.

1. Take care of your physical health.

This isn’t necessarily a quick fix, but in the long term, getting enough sleep and eating right will go a long way toward helping with handling work stress. If your body is healthy, your mind will be better able to cope with stressful situations.

Another health villain is caffeine. Caffeine, while a standard part of most people’s workday, can increase your stress levels, so you might consider cutting back on the coffee. If you find your heart and mind racing even without caffeine, try to start a meditation practice to help you calm down in the moment.

2. Get moving.

Along with #1, exercise has been proven to reduce stress levels and improve mental health. Adults need to exercise regularly for health reasons anyway. Still, something as simple as taking a short walk during the workday can help reset your mind and put you in a better position to handle work stress.

3. Vent constructively.

Talking about your problems with someone you trust is healthy, but if you’re not careful, it can quickly turn into a cycle of negativity. Beware of falling into the “complaint trap” with your friends or coworkers. Complaining might feel good, but it does nothing to solve your problems and only prolongs the time you dwell on them.

Instead, think before you vent: do you think I can do anything to change this problem myself? Am I looking for advice, or do I want to complain? If it’s the latter, try to frame the conversation more positively so you feel empowered, not bitter. Talk to a mentor or positive person about solutions instead of looking for collusion buddies.

4. Control your reaction.

Handling work stress can sometimes be as simple as holding your tongue. You might not be able to control how you feel in the moment, but you can control how you react to workplace stressors.

First, take a deep breath before responding to messages or conversations that stress you out. It’s important not to make rash decisions while in a stressed state of mind. Give yourself some space to process what happened before you act.

5. Use your time off.

Many of us feel guilty for using our paid time off, but a periodic vacation or personal days can help you recharge and lessen the long-term effects of workplace stress. You don’t even have to go on a real vacation: just spending time at home or with family can help handle workplace stress.

This goes for the workday, too. Could you resist the temptation to take lunch at your desk and take frequent breaks to use the restroom, get water, or stretch your legs? A few minutes away from the computer can help you manage stressful situations.

Handling work stress is an unavoidable obstacle for any business owner. If you’re having trouble dealing with pressure, schedule a free call with me to discuss some helpful strategies.

Coach Dave

Dave Schoenbeck
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