With all of the changes that are occurring in the workplace and in everyday life, many employees are experiencing record levels of work stress. If you, like other workers have started to sacrifice small comforts and necessities in an effort to make it to work on time, then you may be contributing to your own work stress. Here are five telltale signs of work stress and how you can avoid them.
1. Sacrifice Sleep
It is not uncommon for one to sleep less in order to meet the demands of their position at work. Whether you are losing precious hours of sleep because you need to be at work at a certain time or because you have trouble sleeping after spending a long day at work, depriving your body of the sleep it needs can be harmful to your health. Sleep deprivation can lead to an increased fight or flight response, decreased mental stability and ability to relax. It increases the need for you to eat because of increased hunger signals, leading to an inability to control your weight. Not getting enough sleep each night can also increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and other ailments. Solution: Stop sacrificing your sleep schedule for your job. Strive for eight to nine hours of sleep each night and you’ll equip your body to better cope with other telltale signs of work stress.
2. Skip Meals
You may have been able to get by with skipping meals from time to time, but when you take into consideration all of the harm you are doing to your body, you’ll find that it’s really not worth it. It is important for you to eat at regular intervals throughout the day to keep your blood glucose levels in check. Properly maintained blood glucose levels helps to provide you with a steady supply of energy. When you skip meals, your blood sugar levels drop, causing a spike in your stress levels. Once your cortisol levels increase, you are more likely to indulge in high-sugar and high-fat foods to help you feel good and maintain your energy. This cause you to experience trouble with your waistline as well. Solution: Keep your blood sugar levels regulated by going no longer than a few hours between meals. Eat a large breakfast and keep small lean protein, high fiber and healthy fat snacks with you to eat in between your meals.
3. Stop Working Out
In your efforts to squeeze everything in to your busy lifestyle, you stopped exercising. While this may not seem like a bad thing, exercising on a regular basis can help to lower your stress levels. Cortisol is a stress inducing hormone. Not exercising increases how long your body remains in a stress induced state. You’re likely to feel tense, on edge and anxious. When you exercise, you burn off this hormone and increase other hormones in your body that help to fight stress and improve your moods. Solution: Exercising for as little as five minutes at a time can help to keep stress at bay and restore balance to your body. Jump up and down for a few minutes, do a couple of windmills or jog up and down some stairs to squeeze exercise into your daily routine. Doing exercise in short increments can help to reset the physiological clock on stress and enable your body to recover faster and more efficiently from it.
4. Sit for Long Periods of Time
Sitting for long periods of time is like smoking cigarettes to your body. It increases your risk of high blood pressure, hypertension, fat and death significantly. It also slows down your metabolism and increases tension in the body, leading to other telltale signs of work stress. Even if you work out regularly, you still can’t avoid the dangers of sitting for too long. Solution: Get up out of your seat several times a day. Stretch, take a short walk or incorporate some other kind of activity that will get you up and moving.
5. Pace Yourself
In your effort to get things done at work, you may feel pressured to race through your job duties. Rushing to complete work can lead to an increase in errors and stress, both of which can make you less productive. This may also cause you to sleep poorly at night because you’re unable to relax. Solution: Pace yourself at work. Complete the tasks that are the easiest first. Ask for assistance or clarification on tasks that are more time-consuming and challenging. It is important for you to keep track of any telltale signs of work stress you experience so you can incorporate measures to counteract them. When you are not in great shape, you are unable to perform your job efficiently. To learn how to identify telltale signs of work stress and for information on how to counteract them, use the resources here at Mighty Recruiter.