Stress-less tips for working professionals

Excessive stress can interfere with your productivity and your ability to deal with it can mean the difference between success or failure. You can’t control everything in your work environment, but that doesn’t mean you’re powerless – even when you’re stuck in a difficult situation.

Follow these tips to manage workplace stress so that you can focus on the one thing that’s always within your control –  you.


1. Recognise warning signs of excessive stress at work

Excessive stress at work can make you feel overwhelmed, irritable and withdrawn. This can make you feel less productive and make work seem less rewarding. Ignoring these signs can spiral into bigger problems, such as physical and emotional health issues.


Signs and symptoms may include:(1)

  • Feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed
  • Apathy, loss of interest in work
  • Problems sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Muscle tension or headaches
  • Stomach problems
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Using alcohol or drugs to cope


2. Move your body

Take things one step at a time and get moving. Try to get at least 30 minutes of heart-pounding activity on most days.


3. Make food choices that keep you going

By eating small but frequent meals, you can help your body maintain an even level of blood sugar, keep your energy up, stay focused, and avoid mood swings.


4. Drink alcohol in moderation and avoid nicotine

Too much alcohol can cause anxiety and eventually may lead to alcohol abuse and dependence if a habit is formed. Smoking may seem to take the edge off, but nicotine is a powerful stimulant – leading to higher, not lower, levels of anxiety.


5. Get enough shut-eye

Lack of sleep can cause insomnia and leave you vulnerable to stressing even more. Try to improve the quality of your sleep by keeping a sleep schedule and aiming for 8 hours a night.


6. Reduce job stress by prioritising and organising

When your workplace becomes overwhelming, feel more in control over stressful situations in the work place by streamlining your responsibilities.


7. Reduce job stress by improving emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is about communicating with others in ways that draw people to you, overcome differences, repair wounded feelings, and defuse tension and stress.


8. Reduce job stress by breaking bad habits

  • Eliminate self-defeating behaviours
  • Resist perfectionism.
  • Stop your negative thinking.
  • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable.


9. Improve time management:

  • Create a balanced schedule.
  • Don’t over-commit yourself
  • Try to leave earlier in the morning.
  • Plan regular breaks.


10. Improve task management:

  • Prioritise tasks.
  • Break projects into small steps.
  • Delegate responsibility.
  • Be willing to compromise.


References: 1     Medicine Net. Stress at work [online] [ cited 2018 February] Available from




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