Office Space: ten steps to avoid work-related stress - The Mind Map
By Natalie Lorimer

Office Space: ten steps to avoid work-related stress

Some tips for avoiding work-related stress and frustration.

Published 02/07/2019
No matter how much we love our career, we can all experience feelings of stress at our busiest moments. Our Mental Health First Aid courses teach people how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health,.

Practising positive habits and stress management is now essential within the workplace to ensure we remain resilient and efficient.

Explore The Mind Map’s tips for avoiding work-related frustrations below.

Recognise signs of stress

When we feel busy or overwhelmed stress can creep up on us.

It is very important to spot the signs of stress early.

Then you can get a head start at finding preventative strategies that work best for you.

Symptoms of work-related stress can be physical, emotional, and behavioural.

You may feel unable to cope with tasks, become forgetful, experience a lack of confidence, or lose motivation.

Emotional symptoms can include feelings of anxiety, depression, irritability, or sensitivity.

Some of us may experience physical symptoms such as headaches, difficulty sleeping, or tightness in the chest.

Track your symptoms using a journal or diary.

You can then share these observations with a senior colleague or a doctor who can offer support.

Work-related stress can present itself in unique ways to different people.

Your colleagues or friends may have entirely different experiences with stress.

No matter what your individual symptoms are – it’s important to address them.

Be clear on your requirements

Do you ever feel like senior colleagues are asking more of you than you expected?

Communication is key when it comes to stress in the workplace.

When tasks seem to be piling up or our priorities are constantly changing, we can quickly become overwhelmed.

This can lead to a loss of motivation, through sheer exhaustion or low confidence.

Talk it through with your colleagues or boss.

Set realistic work goals

A constant pursuit of the best possible result can be unrealistic.

A fast-paced work environment can limit the time available.

Larger projects can require more detailed attention with less instantaneous results.

If we attempt to juggle multiple projects at once, the quality of our work is more likely to suffer.

We can alleviate high stress levels when we approach tasks from a more realistic perspective.

Set out to do your best and reward yourself whatever the outcome.

Stay organised and get ahead

Keep a frequently updated diary or planner.

Setting aside some time to write out a schedule on paper is a great idea.

Plus, better organisation provides a great excuse to treat yourself to new stationery!

Build supportive relationships with your work colleagues

Supportive colleagues are valuable allies when work-related stress hits.

A brave first step of initiating a conversation can lead you to permanent solutions.

Sometimes issues are best solved when approached from a different perspective.

Colleagues may offer new creative solutions to a problem.

Asking another colleague to share the workload can alleviate the pressure and boost the quality of the end result.

Embrace the power of ‘no’

Saying ‘no’ can feel like we are breaking the rules of the workplace.

This can be particularly difficult for individuals who are self-employed or working on a freelance basis.

In reality, saying ‘no’ can sometimes be the ultimate act of self care.

Often it’s more sensible to say ‘no’ when we feel overwhelmed.

Taking on too much at once can have a negative effect on the quality of the work that we produce.

This can then dent your confidence.

Why not propose sharing the workload to relieve any pressure you feel?

Start your day with positive habits

A morning routine that encourages calm is key.

Frantically running around the house, guzzling coffee, and arriving at the office with minutes to spare will cause burnout!

There are plenty of positive habits that you can practice to help get your workday off to a productive start.

Make sure to get enough sleep, and set an alarm to ensure you have time to spare.

A healthy breakfast will keep your mind alert and stomach full.

Find ten or fifteen minutes to practice mindfulness before tackling a busy schedule.

Eat a healthier lunch away from your work space

Many of us can be tempted to eat lunch while sitting at our desk and answering a few extra emails.

The popularity of pre-packaged sandwiches have been fuelled by our grab-and-go eating habits!

Taking our lunch away from our desk can provide a well earned break from the work space.

It allows our minds to unwind and refocus.

Switching to a homemade lunch could also save money and provide a healthier option too.

Keep your work space clean and practical

The little things can make a big difference.

Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to their ideal work environment.

Spend some time identifying your own.

It may be a minimalist desk space and absolute silence, or all that paperwork in colour coded folders.

Find some essential work-life balance

It’s just as important to nurture our life away from the workplace.

Setting aside time to relax with loved ones can help us detach.

Sports such as football, swimming, or running can boost positive chemical responses within the brain that elevate mood.

Creative interests can help you narrow your focus and briefly escape everyday pressures.

If you would like more information about free mental health services near you, visit our interactive map. The Mind Map also offers online and in-person counselling with accredited therapists, who are available to book via our website.

If you require emergency help, contact Samaritans via phone on 116 123.