Although our bodies can deal with pressure, prolonged stress severely impacts mental and physical health. It's increasingly common to feel this impact at work, with chronic stress affecting productivity, attendance, motivation and more. Keep reading to find out how you can learn to cope with work-related stress.
There are many reasons for stress at work and it's important to remember that no two situations are the same. Not only does a person's job and responsibilities differ, but so does their stress response. Someone just starting out may get stressed when they are asked to manage a handful of tasks, while the stress trigger for a manager could be dozens of large projects at once.
Other potential triggers for work-related stress include:
• Unrealistic deadlines
• Lack of career progression
• Inadequate work/ life balance
• Poor management
• Demanding work environment (mental or physical)
Spotting when you're stressed at work and taking steps to manage or resolve the situation are crucial for your mood and well-being.
We alluded to this earlier, but work-related stress affects the mind and body in dozens of ways. Again, there's no definitive rule for how stress will affect you at work. Instead, the impact is unique to the situation you're dealing with, your lifestyle, and how well you manage stress.
The influence of stress at work can manifest as the following:
• Limited creativity
• Persistent worry or distress
• Difficulty focussing
• Upset stomach
• Reduced appetite
Worse of all, if work-related stress is caused by poor management, this can affect company performance, increasing staff turnover, lateness, peer relationships and overall quality of work or products.
Perhaps one of the worst symptoms of work-related stress is burnout. While burnout isn't a medical diagnosis, it’s usually the result of persistent, unrelenting stress at work. Not only can it diminish your sense of self-worth, but it can also completely take away any satisfaction, causing you to lose all interest in your job.
There's no timescale for when burnout occurs; however, it's usually the result of severe stress over a long period of time or it's caused by a never-ending series of short-term deadlines. Occasional stress may help increase focus and heart rate, but when it persists day after day, it’s likely to cause burnout.
While exercise and diet can help manage the physical impact of stress, it's hard to know where to start when tackling the psychological symptoms. Below you'll find several simple actions and activities that can help.
1. Plan and prioritise
Even if you're usually a highly organised person, the chaos of end-of-year deadlines can create turmoil. Identifying what is and isn't essential is crucial to staying on top of your workload.
Once you've highlighted secondary projects that can wait, be sure to let the rest of your team or manager know, offering a reasonable timeline for task completion. Not only will your workload feel far more manageable, but you'll prevent any sudden surprises or unrealistic expectations from your boss.
2. Speak up
Speaking up, especially when you're feeling stressed, is vital. Unless you are the sole member of any office, you can bet that there are others on your team that are feeling the same. And, unless your boss turns out a tyrant, they'll recognise the importance of happy and motivated workforce.
Explain your concerns about workload and timescales. More often than not, there is room for compromise, which won't damage your standing in the workplace.
3. Make time for you
While it probably isn't realistic to book a two-week holiday in the Bahamas to help you unwind, a mere ten minutes of mindful meditation can work wonders. Alternatively, try going for a walk on your lunch break or give yourself enough time in the evening to catch up on your favourite Netflix series.
4. Give yourself something to look forward to
Treating yourself doesn't have to be a grand gesture. Something as simple as booking a meal with your partner can make a week at work that little bit more manageable. Rather than focusing on the impending deadline, there's an activity, object, or event to look forward to instead.
5. Focus on positives
It's all too easy to get caught up in everything that does or could go wrong. This becomes even more common when the pressure is on, and stress levels are at an all-time high. The reality is, successes at work aren't exclusive to massive projects; it's all about learning how to spot them.
At the end of every day during a busy period, try to think of one thing you're happy you've achieved. You'll quickly realise that even if your workload has doubled, you're still making progress.
Stress is a sophisticated bodily reaction that doesn't usually go away with a single action. Instead, one of the best approaches to stress management is trying various strategies, addressing any shortfalls in lifestyle. Increasing exercise, eating a balanced diet, and practising the techniques highlighted above can all help tackle work-related stress.
However, there is another method that works in synergy with the strategies above. That method is supplementing your body with compounds that can help achieve the all-important balance. Enter CBD, the all-natural cannabinoid derived from industrial hemp. It interacts with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system spread all over the body to help regulate functions such as mood, appetite, and sleep.
When you consider that work-related stress can negatively affect all of those areas (and more), it makes sense to consider a supplement like CBD and try supporting the body's drive for balance. After all, it's when our mind and body work together that we feel at our best. Should work deadlines or managers start to get you down, mental and physical well-being will make dealing with the impact of work-related stress much easier.
CBD can be found in a variety of products, including oils, capsules, gummies and more, which makes adding it to your daily wellness routine incredibly easy. Choose your preferred product and application method, and start by taking the lowest recommended dose. Listen to your body and work your way up if needed, until you find that sweet CBD spot.
To try high-quality CBD for yourself, why not browse the Cibdol store for a complete selection of oils, capsules, creams and more. Or, if you want to learn more about the physical and mental impact of stress, head over to our CBD Encyclopedia for everything you need to know.
 Carlson L., Garland S. (2005). Impact of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on sleep, mood, stress and fatigue symptoms in cancer outpatients. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 12(4):278-285. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16262547/. [Source]