The Scenario: It’s Monday morning, she’s exhausted and the stress has already begun. Today, like many other days, she had difficulty getting out of bed due to last night’s one glass of wine too many. Now she’s late for work. Time for lunch is out of the question…every day. She forgot her laptop at home, has slides she still has to prepare for a 2:00pm meeting, and is double-booked for a mandatory quarterly conference call at 4:00pm. She procrastinated and forgot to send an email to the company’ssecond largest client who’s traveling from out-of-town for the 4:00pm meeting. This fiasco could cause her to lose a promotion and that thought creates an ill feeling in the pit of her stomach. She’s frustrated with herself and hopeless about the prospect of changing her work habits.
How can she begin to cope with her work stress overload? What steps can she take to change her perspective?
She is exhibiting basic indicators for work overload and potential burnout. Her escalated anxiety levels affect her physical, mental, professional, and relationship well-being. The fatigue, unpreparedness, forgetfulness, procrastination, low self-image and work overload can be managed better if she takes out time to better prepare. It will save her time in the long run.
If she wants to be able to cope with stress and work overload, it starts with better management of her physical, environmental, mental and professional well-being.
- Physical well-being: Take deep breaths, clear the mind of negative thought and practice relaxation techniques like yoga, stretching, meditation or prayer. Drink water, get rest, limit alcohol consumption, exercise, take short walks, laugh a lot and hug your family members.
- Environmental well-being: Free your workspace of clutter and debris. Create a daily routine to include strategy review. Find a quiet space to strategize and create a realistic action plan for long-term and short-term goals. Keep the plan visually accessible and review it daily.
- Mental well-being: Stop thinking negatively about the day and repeat positive affirmations like, “I will accomplish my goals today” or “I will win that contract.” Think positively about all aspects of your work. Make a list of the goals or action items that are causing you stress.
- Professional well-being: Communicate. Review the list and ask for help, delegate, push back deadlines, create realistic time lines, include breaks, downtime, celebration, recuperation and rewards. The key to success is, “knowing when to ask for help.”
If she takes the time prepare, focus and implement her plans she will automatically change her perception of who she is at work. By increasing her-self worth she increases her self-value. Because she will be smiling more while at work she will then change the perception that others have of her.
The Insight: The factors associated with stress and work overload are universal and can be linked to depression, obesity and heart disease. The effects of stress also create difficulties in the emotional and mental well-being arenas. Maintaining our physical, environmental, mental and professional well-being can relieve some of the pressures of the overloaded work life. When prepared for work, we create the mental capacity for inspiration and forethought. Then, we are better equipped to handle the unexpected occurrences of the work place with a sense of ease, calm and confidence projected through our body language and physical gestures. Take the time to prepare and reduce stress from our overloaded work lives.
A Positive Perspective for Life, Love and Relationships