Judging from a lot of the reader comments I get on some of my blog posts, there's a lot of stress out there. Fortunately, the Anxiety Disorders Association of America wants to help.
A survey that ADAA conducted back in 2006 showed that even then, workplace stress was a problem. Among the findings:
- 72 percent of people who have daily stress and anxiety say it interferes with their lives at least moderately.
- 40 percent experience persistent stress or excessive anxiety in their daily lives.
- 30 percent with daily stress have taken prescription medication to manage stress, nervousness, emotional problems or lack of sleep.
- 28 percent have had an anxiety or panic attack.
If things were that bad before the recession, imagine what they're like now. So ADAA has declared that next week, Nov. 6-12, is "National Stress ut Week," and it has provided some helpful tips for managing stress at work:
- Practice time management. Make to-do lists and prioritize your work. Schedule enough time to complete each task or project.
- Plan and prepare. Get started on major projects as early as possible. Set mini-deadlines for yourself. Anticipate problems and work to prevent them.
- Do it right the first time. Spend the extra time at the outset and save yourself a headache later when you have to redo your work.
- Be realistic. Don't overcommit or offer to take on projects if you don't realistically have enough time.
- Ask for help. If you're feeling overwhelmed, ask a coworker for help. Later you can return the favor.
- Communicate. Speak up calmly and diplomatically if you have too much to handle. Your supervisor may not realize you're overextended.
- Stay organized. Filing and clearing your desk and computer desktop may rank low on your priority list, but they can save you time in the long run and may prevent a crisis later.
- Avoid toxic coworkers. Try to ignore negativity and gossip in your workplace.
- Take breaks. A walk around the block or a few minutes of deep breathing can help clear your head.
- Set boundaries. Try not to bring work home with you. Don't check your work email or voice mail after hours.
- Savor success. Take a moment to celebrate your good work before moving on to the next project. Thank everyone who helped you.
- Plan a vacation. You'll be rejuvenated and ready to work when you come back.
- Take advantage of employer resources and benefits. Your workplace may offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), discounts to gyms, or skill-building courses. Learn what's available to you.
- Be healthy. Eat healthfully, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and limit caffeine and alcohol. Try to keep your body and mind in shape to handle challenging situations.