Treat Your Work-Stress

An unfortunate side-effect of the recession is that more and more people are feeling “trapped” in jobs. Why is this so –

December 3 2007 day 53 - When stress does a nu...
Image by DeathByBokeh via Flickr

shouldn’t a person just be grateful they still have a paying job? Well, fewer jobs are available (none in some fields) and even if another position is possible, many people are rightly afraid to change jobs  – who wants to be the newest hire if a company has a sudden down-turn? Add to this the fact that the workers left behind after massive lay-offs are often given tons more work to do with no raise or compensation. All of which can translate into rising levels of stress, even for those still consistently employed. So how can you cope with increasing work stress? Here’s a good article with some very pragmatic tips. Although the title is How To Find A Low-Stress Job, the article quickly points out that one person’s low-stress job is another person’s high-stress job (depending on what stresses you out!). Then the article really picks up speed halfway down the page in the section titled De-Stress Your Current Job – where the author provides some great tips for how to cope if you’re in a position that is not a good fit.  Doc Gurley’s favorites? 1) Get moving – even a brisk walk around the block after a stressful meeting can counter-act rising cortisol levels. Feeling both emotionally trapped and physically trapped in a cube is a double-whammy we all should avoid; and 2) Track your accomplishments – the article points out that jobs where progress is obvious and visible (like construction) tend to register as relatively low-stress for most people – so track your own progress and accomplishments as a tool to both reduce your stress and give you a visible sense of purpose – with an added bonus is that doing so puts you in a great position at performance appraisal-time and when looking for a better position!

Have a friend who’s feeling stuck and overworked in the recession? Forward this article along… it can give them some practical tips and also let them know you’re in their corner!

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