Stress Free, You Free! Simple Ways To Deal With Work Stress

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Written by BAC Apprentices: David Ranil Nyanapragasam, Teh I-Vern, Deborah Maria Adison Pillai, Tsen Jun Rong & Ng Woei Yan

The ever-changing landscape of the work environment comes with its own challenges. The past few years have seen unprecedented events that have brought about a tremendous switch in pace as to how work is carried out. Despite the change of pace and settings, one constant variable that has remained the same would be the stress associated with the work environment. 

A recent study conducted by University of Malaya found that out of 1,163 participants, a high percentage reported depression (59.2%), anxiety (55.1%) and stress (30.6%) symptoms. 

Unnaturally high stress levels can affect both our mental and physical health by causing issues such as anxiety and depression, as well as affect our bodily systems, weaken our immune systems and increase susceptibility to diseases. 

Besides that, stress has the capacity to create an unsatisfactory work environment and has been shown to lead to higher absenteeism and lower overall productivity rates. Conflicts between co-workers have also been reported to increase stress which automatically contributes to a hostile work environment.  

Do not fret, we got your back! Check out how you could deal with stress by applying these quick tips below to optimise your work life, bringing out the best in you!


Identify Trigger Points

A key point to battling stress is to first isolate the stress-inducing incident and try to understand the underlying circumstances around it. This can be done effectively by recording events that happen throughout the day in a journal. This in turn can help us understand the situation better. We would be able to know when, how, what and why we were feeling a little overwhelmed at that particular moment of the day. Then, we ask ourselves if we can remedy the situation better, should a similar circumstance come up in the future.  


Change Your Perspective

Another way we may be able to cope with stress would be to initiate a change of setting. It does not help to continue working under stressful conditions as this would certainly affect morale and productivity. We can look to a friend for support and comfort. Sometimes, all we need is just a person to listen to us rant. 

Besides that, we could also seek to change the setting of our workplace. With work from home (WFH) practised by many companies today, it could be a nice change of pace to request to WFH twice a week, as a change of setting could boost creativity. 


Get Into Your ‘Zen’

Make the most out of your weekends and off-days. Use that time to “detox” yourself from anything work-related. Switch off any devices that could drown us back into work and take the time to initiate activities with people at home. We recommend group meditation and yoga or if you’d like to get moving and burn those calories, a good run or a cycling session with the familly would certainly help to get your mind off work. 


Practise the ’80-20′ Rule

The 80-20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, is an aphorism which asserts that 80% of outcomes (outputs) result from 20% of all causes (inputs) for any given event. In business, a goal of the 80-20 rule is to identify inputs that are potentially the most productive and make them the priority. For instance, once managers identify factors that are critical to their company’s success, they should give those factors the most focus. 

In the same way, we can modify this rule to spend time identifying things and activities that would help boost productivity. Some people work better with soft music in the background. Others would work better with a little pep-talk in the morning. Get your manager or Team Leader to organise team talks that focuses on boosting spirits and morale. Get your team together and compose a team cheer! 


Organise Your Work

Keep a checklist of tasks that need to be completed the night before. Refer to that checklist first thing in the morning and decide the order that you would attack those tasks. Check them through as you complete them throughout the day, and take a breather after completing a task. Why not sneak in a chocolate break after every task? (Don’t overdo it! A pat on the back works too – way healthier!) 


Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle

We’ve saved the best the last. Many studies have been done around a healthy lifestyle which has been shown to be an effective stress reliever. Prepped meals have become a very common staple nowadays and keeping healthy habits like reading or listening to podcasts can indeed assist to create a more relaxing and tolerable environment. 


There you have it – six simple ways to deal with work stress!