No matter what kind of work you might be doing, there are always stressful moments involved. It happens even to people who were satisfied with their jobs when they started out.
But after some time, the company changes, the coworkers change, and perspectives change as well, leading to various issues.
Sometimes, work-related issues hit you like a tone of bricks and, in other situations, they slowly start boiling until you start feeling the heat.
Our jobs are really important and we have to work to be able to support ourselves and our families. However, this doesn’t mean that we should let them affect our mental well-being. If you are in this kind of situation, here are some steps you can take towards preventing further escalation.
Don’t be stubborn
The first step you absolutely MUST take when getting mentally worn out by work is to admit you’re in trouble. Wanting to do well at work and advance forward in your career is completely normal, but this doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice your mental stability.
Playing the martyr won’t get you anywhere and this might even jeopardize your work performance. If you burn out completely, who knows how much time you will need to come back from it. Additionally, this will mark you as “that” person who suffered a breakdown. This could hinder your career.
To start working on the issues you are having, you have to actually admit they’re there. The longer you wait to do this, the more potentially stressed, anxious, and depressed you will get.
Pinpoint the issue(s)
Before you can start improving your mental health, you will have to understand what is causing you distress. Try to practice more self-awareness while at work and see what’s bothering you. Is it the job itself, the work environment, a coworker, or your boss?
Pinpointing the exact thing that’s bothering you can, on its own, offer great relief because you’ve identified the problem. It’s become a real thing and not some force of nature you can’t combat. Even if the root of all your issues can’t be changed, understanding it can help you work around it.
In the worst case scenario, it can help you learn how to deal with it on a daily basis. Knowing the problem is the only way you can start dealing with it. Getting to a certain destination is much more difficult if you don’t know which route to take.
Talk with your peers
One of the easiest ways to get relief at work is to talk things out with someone who works there. After all, your coworkers are there with you every day and are affected by the same issues as you.
They will be able to understand what you’re talking about and give you their thoughts. Their advice might help you look at things from a different perspective and help you deal with the issue. Maybe they were in a similar situation and they’ve managed to solve it; who knows?
The important thing is to talk and verbalize your thoughts. You have nothing to lose and, in the worst case scenario, you will feel that relief of sharing your problems with someone who knows what you’re talking about.
Learn to take a break
In this competitive work environment, many of us get caught up in our jobs and we try to do as much as we possibly can during every second. This can often be the root of various other issues such as stress or anxiety. Fight off that urge to work hard all the time.
Take a break at work and decompress. Don’t think about work and try to relax while on your break. If you have a habit of working during your free time, stop it. It’s important to make a clear distinction between work time and free time.
On the other hand, if things are really bad, try and get some time off. Use this opportunity to go on a trip and get your mind off work entirely. When you are mentally and physically exhausted, you will be less productive so even if you work for 12 hours a day, you won’t be that effective.
Change your job
If you tried dealing with your issues in every way possible and they still won’t go away, then maybe you should consider switching jobs. For example, if you have an annoying boss that gets under your skin, the only solution is to quit and find another position.
Luckily, the best time to search for employment is while you actually have a full-time job. Don’t be committed to a position just because you feel that’s what you’re supposed to do.
Remember, your mental health comes first. Having a full-time job doesn’t have to be stressful constantly. It shouldn’t put a strain on your mental well-being. Don’t forget that you and your loved ones are more important than any job.
Nigel Allsop is the CEO and Founder of Proguest Marketing Services. He is also a serial entrepreneur, motivational speaker, success coach, business development consultant and freelance writer.