Work Related Stress
We've all experienced it at some point
Most jobs will come with some form of pressure. Whether it comes from the role itself or the people you work with. So a little pressure is normal in some jobs. But pressure and stress are very different. Pressure is when you have the resources to cope, but you know something is at stake. Stress is when you don’t have the resources to cope.
The psychological and physical effects of stress should never be underestimated. They can cause major problems within a persons’ life.
The way you deal with workplace stress will depend on what element of your job is causing you stress. Handling the stress of workplace harassment will require a different approach to an unreasonable workload.
Workplace Bullying Or Harassment
This is a serious matter, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. And don’t let anyone tell you to “just deal with it.” Bullying is wrong, plain and simple. It causes stress and it can have lasting psychological implications. And as much as I would love to tell you that if you tell someone in authority, they will deal with it, they might not. Office politics are a minefield of complications. You can and you should try to discuss it with someone, but just know that it might not go the way you want. So you need a backup plan.
If you think that telling someone about what’s happening will help then do it. Talk to them and be totally honest about what’s happening. They can’t properly help you if you’re not totally honest.
Most decent companies have a zero tolerance policy for bullying. It’s normally set out by the managers. But what if your bully is the manager? That complicates things even further. If there is someone with more authority, talk to them. But if there isn’t and they’re making your life a misery, then finding a new job might be your only option.
If you have evidence of their bullying, you could consider taking them to court for harassment. But if you don’t have evidence, then there is very little point. It’s an expensive and long process. You need to weigh up whether it’s worth your time or you should move forward.
It sounds harsh and an odd thing for a counsellor to say. I feel like I should be telling you to talk to people and reason with your awful manager. But this is the real world. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses and accept that some people are jerks who are never going to change.
It seems like the better you are at your job, the more people will expect of you. And the harder you work, the harder people will expect you to work. But those people who are terrible at their job and openly lazy seem to coast through doing the bare minimum.
As a society, we value business quite highly. We act like if you’re not rushed off your feet then you’re doing something wrong. But mental overload isn’t trendy or glamorous, it’s dangerous.
Workplace stress can lead to anxiety, depression, memory problems, an increase in heart rate and trouble sleeping. There’s nothing cool about any of those things. There are a few ways to combat workload stress and hopefully make your working life a little easier.
Talk to your manager or whoever is in charge. Tell them that you could use some help and you’re struggling to keep up. Make it sound noble, tell them that you don’t want the company’s reputation to suffer as a result of your workload. You might get the help you want, but you might not. But you won’t know unless you ask. If you do get the help, you need then great. If you don’t, then you may need to reconsider your future with the company. If they don’t value you enough to support you when you’re busy then you’re clearly not that important to them.
Again, if you can delegate, you should. Don’t try to do everything yourself if there are other people around to help you. Make use of them. Even if you only assign them the simple tasks, it gives you more time to focus.
If you’ve never practised mindfulness before I would recommend it. It’s easy, it’s relaxing and most mindfulness apps are free. It might not sound like much, but it can make a massive difference to your anxiety and stress levels.
You need to put food on the table and pay the rent. But you also need to be a healthy and happy human being. This should always be a priority. Your workplace doesn’t have to care if you’re happy. But if they don’t care about your health then you need to find a new workplace.