Work and your well-being
Managing work-related stress and practising self-care.
Many of us will experience a stressful day at work. Whether we’re on a tight deadline, aren’t getting on with co-workers or, simply, woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Often we can move past this and feel better after a weekend of rest, but if you can’t seem to shake the feeling it can affect both your mind and body.
There are many reasons why a person may feel stressed at work and being unhappy in a place you spend most of your day, is undoubtedly going to affect you. Sometimes, you may not even know why you feel this way, which may make things worse.
Common causes of work-related stress
- You have an unmanageable workload.
- You feel pressured to meet unreachable targets.
- You feel undervalued or unappreciated.
- Your working day is too long.
- You don’t get along with your co-workers.
- You’re being bullied.
If you’re being bullied at work, remember that you’re not alone and you don’t deserve this. Visit our fact-sheet for advice and know that support is available.
You may not realise you are suffering from work-related stress or you may push some of the symptoms away, blaming it on an ‘off-day’. It’s important to know the signs of work-related stress and what you can do to ease the pressure. Listen to your body and acknowledge when you may need to ask for help. You’re allowed to take a couple of days off and you shouldn’t feel guilty – your health is your priority.
Symptoms of work-related stress
- Loss of sleep
- Change in eating habits, comfort eating or loss of appetite
- Smoking and drinking for relief
- Change in mood and behaviour
The easiest ways to know if you’re suffering from work-related stress is to listen to your body and mind. Though, we understand this can be difficult.
Work-related stress can often lead to feelings of self-doubt and loneliness. You may dread going to work and often feel tearful or aggressive. You shouldn’t feel this way, if you leave work feeling down and wake up fearing the day, consider talking to somebody. Take time to reflect on how you feel and try to pinpoint what may be causing the stress. If you need help, speak up.
What can you do?
Stress affects everyone but it is important to seek help if you think you’re suffering. Your working life should generally make you feel good and if you’re feeling emotional and stressed every day, something needs to change. Practising self-care can help you relax at the end of the day and be more aware of your mind and body. While talking to somebody can allow you to ease some of the pressure and not keep it to yourself.
Work-related stress really can affect you more than you may think, so it’s important to be aware of how you feel. If untreated, it can lead to a number of mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and even suicidal thoughts.
If you’re suffering from work-related stress, counselling can help you. Working with a counsellor gives you a safe, confidential space to talk about how you feel and work towards a solution.
Looking after ourselves should be our priority, though it’s easily forgotten. Stress can take over and instead of taking a moment to stop and address the situation, we focus on the stress and allow it to control us. Being mindful of your feelings and practising self-care daily can help raise awareness of your body and give you a chance to refocus.
Schedule fun trips with friends and family, remind yourself that you are loved. This may be a whole weekend away, or just a brunch date with your best friend. When at home, put on your favourite film or listen to some music and dance like nobody’s watching.
Eat good foods, take long, warm baths and look after your body. Taking time to be alone is just as important as socialising, so schedule these moments like an appointment.
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