How to Survive a High Stress Job

I am sure many of us have been here. We love our jobs… or maybe we just need our jobs, but regardless here we are. There are deadlines, workplace conflicts, high demands, frustration, anxiety, and we are one more e-mail away from tearing out all of our hair!

First of all, let me say this. This is not the end. If you really and truly feel miserable at your job, you do not have to settle. You can start applying elsewhere. I know at the moment it feels like you are stuck, but we have choices. You can also choose to stay.

This post is to help those that are not quite ready to leave their current workplace, but feel as if they need a little bit of help to make it through another day.

Here are a few pointers that have helped me stay afloat in even the most demanding of environments.

#1 Know when to walk away.

Looking at the same computer screen for hours on end without a mental break is often detrimental to the thinking process. You have to take breaks. That means instead of cursing up a storm and slamming on your keyboard, get up. Go for a walk. Rest your mind for a little bit and look at the problem with a fresh set of eyes in a couple of minutes.

If you are in a meeting and you feel the tension rising, sometimes it is best to stay quiet. You can get your point across after you have cooled off. You definitely do not want to say something in the heat of the moment.

#2 Find an outlet (preferably a healthy one)

OK, you can go home and complain to your spouse, but that probably means you are going to take your work problems into your home. Even though you might feel better after complaining to someone, I personally do not recommend this, at least not all of the time.

Why? Because if you complain, more often than not you will continue to be in a bad mood. On top of that, unless the recipient has answers to your problem or is willing to be 100% honest with you instead of just agree with your point of view, you might actually perpetuate negative thoughts and feelings that will lead to an overall bad attitude. After some time, you might start to wonder why you cannot seem to get in a good mood at work even after three cups of coffee.

Instead, I recommend that you find a healthy outlet. For me this is a dance class with my favorite trainer. I dance, I get my cardio workout in, afterwards I do some HIIT workouts or stretching and breathing exercises and I am good as new.

Here are some ideas after a bad day at work:

  1. Pray. You can vent to God, but then you have to let it go.
  2. Go for an evening walk.
  3. Watch your favorite TV Show.
  4. Go for a run at the park.
  5. Try breathing exercises.
  6. Go on Youtube and look up a Yoga or Zumba instructor.
  7. Go to the gym.
  8. Join a kickboxing class.
  9. Journal your thoughts and feelings.
  10. Go to your favorite food truck and treat yourself.
  11. Plan a vacation (even if it is not for a couple of months, it will give you something to look forward to, can’t afford a vacation – do a staycation)
  12. If you have pets, give them some TLC.
  13. Grab a pillow and scream to the top of your lungs, then put on your favorite music and jam in your jammies.

#3 Tidy up.

This one is a hard one for me at the moment, but a clean desk will help your overall mood. Clutter will probably make your thoughts feel cluttered.

It will be worthwhile to actually take a few minutes at the end of each day and organize yourself.

Then, when you come back the next morning you won’t feel so stuffy.

I know, you barely have time to even breath sometimes, how could you possibly tidy up? Just do it. Five minutes a day is not going to get you any closer to that deadline in the grand scheme of things.

Just Breath, Take it Easy

My love, studies have shown that stress is the leading cause of many health issues (click here). It affects your mood, body, and behavior. I know that our jobs are very important, but at the end of day not a single one of is indispensable. If we drop dead right now because of a stressed induced heart attack and years of lack of self-care, someone will replace us within two weeks and it won’t take long before we are a distant memory.

I know, it sounds so morbid, but if we realize that we are more valuable than our place of employment, then we will slowly start to take the right steps towards taking care of our mind, body, spirit, and soul.

If you feel like your job is turning you into a bitter, angry, strung out person – take a close look at your daily routine and incorporate some TLC for yourself. You deserve it.

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