10 TIPS TO STOP STRESSING Submitted by Kathy O’Neill RN, Parish Nurse
What are the warning signs of excessive stress? The National institutes of Health (NIH) says job stress could contribute to:
Gregory D. Schramka, licensed psychologist and Director of Behavioral Health Therapy at Aurora Psychiatric Hospital in Wauwatosa, WI, shares 10 things you can do to help manage your stress and encourages you to take advantage of the ones that fit your situation and work for you.
- Track your stressors – for a week or two write down what stresses you and how you responded.
- Get organized – a to-do list can help you prioritize work and allows you to check off tasks as they’re completed.
- Set reasonable goals – don’t accept more work than you can reasonably do. Work with your boss and coworkers to set expectations that are realistic.
- Manage technology – set time limits on the smart phone and work email. Turn off devices during meals and at a set time each evening.
- Take a break – just a few minutes away from stressors helps. Take a quick walk or have a healthy snack.
- Take time off – take your vacation time. One survey found only 47 percent of workers take all the vacation time their entitled to.
- Make good use of your time off – don’t wait until the weekend to do the things you enjoy.
- Talk to your supervisor – employees who are healthy (physically and mentally) tend to be more productive, so your boss has good reasons to create a workplace that promotes good health.
- Dangerous or uncomfortable working conditions? Speak up – work with your boss or a group or other employees to address work health issues.
- Need more guidance? Talk with a counselor – find out if your company provides an employee assistance program (EAP). A Trained counselor can help you address work stress. If your company doesn’t offer an EAP, see if your health insurance provides coverage for counseling.
“Most everyone feels stress at one time or another. There are family demands, bills to pay, uncertainties about the future and countless other things. If you have a job, you may deal with stress in your workplace. You may face excessive demands, coworker conflicts, customer confrontations.”
“Workplace stress can negatively affect your mental health. Be proactive about caring for your mental health. It’s just as important as your physical health,” Schramka says.
Gregory Schramka’s special interests include the application of empirically validated treatment approaches to problems of depression, anxiety, and anger-related difficulties.