Manage Workplace Stress in a Downturn
September 1, 2009
Work-related stress is a perpetual problem, but the added pressures of a recession can make it a serious obstacle to productivity, health and an overall sense of work-life balance. The economic downturn has decreased the sense of job security across a wide range of professions, and a reduced workforce due to layoffs has meant that many employees have had to take on added responsibilities and a larger share of the workload. These factors all contribute to workplace stress, which has become a major source of concern due to its effects on productivity, work quality and long-term employee retention. According to a recent survey of working-age adults from the American Psychological Association
- Develop a ritual. Practicing a quick, relaxing ritual, such as listening to a favorite song or going for a walk, can help overcome some day-to-day irritations.
- Plan for the unexpected. Be prepared for unexpected changes, such as having a delay in a business trip, by having something to occupy yourself with when you hit an interruption.
- Gain perspective. Try to put some distance between yourself and a problem by imagining what it will look like a year from now. It might seem minor in the long run.
- Stretch out. Sitting hunched over can cause tension to develop in the muscles and adds to stress. Try helping your posture and your health by standing up and stretching a few times a day.
- Tell a joke. Humor is a well-known curative for stress. Making a joke or taking a lighthearted approach to a work dilemma can be an excellent way to relieve anxiety.
- Get physical. Exercise has been proven to reduce stress to manageable levels. Engaging in just ten minutes of physical activity outside the office each day can make a noticeable difference in your outlook.