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June 2020

Swamped at Work? Beat Stress with These 5 Tips

Even the best work situation can sometimes be hard to handle. If you find yourself snacking a little too often or snapping at your coworkers, you might be experiencing a period of increased job stress.

Your response to work stress may differ from your coworker’s. But the good news is that if you feel you’re being asked to do more than you can and it’s become tough to get anything done at all, experts suggest effective actions that can help you breathe easier and be more productive at the same time:

  1. Track what stresses you. Record for a week or two the people or assignments that put you on edge. An objective assessment can help you find patterns and decide what to adjust.

  2. Set boundaries. In a world of 24/7 communications, it’s easier said than done. Setting aside regular times when you are not “on the job” can preserve your sanity.

  3. Prioritize. Sit down with your boss or teammates and divide “importants” from “nice-to-haves” and identify your next tasks. 

  4. Refresh your outlook. If your work is stationary, move 5 minutes every hour; if it’s active, sit and breathe. Make sure to take your scheduled breaks.

  5. Talk it out. Employee health is important to your company’s success. Talk with higher-ups about adjusting your workload to be more realistic or getting help with certain tasks.

If you try these tips and you’re still feeling stressed, your company’s employee assistance program or a professional counselor may be able to help with additional suggestions tailored to you.

Take a stress test

How “stress smart” are you? Take a Mental Health America quiz to find out. 



Online Medical Reviewer: Joseph Gonnella, MD
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2020
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