The thing about workplace stress is that it can sneak up on you. Sometimes there are clues like a general depression, a dread of work, or maybe tension in your shoulders or jaw. In any event, it builds and builds until it explodes, more often than not over something silly. But whatever pushes you over the edge, it puts relationships and your job at risk. Better to deal with the beast before it takes over. Den of Geek has put together some suggestions.
Acknowledge the Problem
Stress is a reasonable response to a range of situations. It’s OK if you’re feeling angry, depressed, or frustrated, but you need deal with it.
You may benefit from some breathing room. Ask for a medical day off. You could even get a note from your doctor. Don’t do chores. Get away, at least mentally. Binge watch something, go see friends, and so on.
Get Support. Carefully.
Ask for some support from your manager, HR, your doctor, your partner, or family members. If someone you trust at work reaches out to you on their own, they probably have your interests at heart. Otherwise, be careful about sharing with fellow workers — you never know who might try and take advantage. This goes double for posting about it on social media.
Put Your Feelings On Hold Until You’re Somewhere Safe
Your stressed-out emotions are not necessarily the business of the people around you at the office. Remain professional even in the face of the most upsetting events, and get yourself somewhere else where you can let it out without negative consequences.
When performance review time comes around, professionally and diplomatically describe the issue you’re having. (Don’t be personally critical of anyone.) You’ll be able to point back at your review to show that you did what you could to resolve things.
Consult your employee handbook and see if there’s anything there you can use to get help with a problematic coworker.
Seek Professional Help
If you’re in a union workplace, you may be able to get help from the union in resolving the issue or at least help in mediating a way toward a solution. If you’re not, the Fair Work Commission has lots of good information on resolving workplace conflicts.
Stress is real, and it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. But given how damaging it can be, you’re better off dealing with it while you still can, before it swallows you whole.
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- 7 Reliable Ways to De-Stress After Work