It’s not abnormal to feel a little discouraged when the weekend is over and it’s time to head back to work, especially if you work in a stressful environment.
However, if instead of feeling a little discouraged, you feel a sinking dread on top of spending your time off worried about work, there may be deeper issues at hand.
Workplace stress, while common, is not a healthy, normal part of the workweek and if you find yourself worrying about your job constantly, you may need help coping with the stress you experience.
Let’s examine what makes work so stressful, why we stress about our jobs, and what you can do to reduce your stress levels and manage healthier off-time.
What Makes Work So Stressful?
No matter what industry you work in or how long you’ve been working at your position, workplace stress can affect anybody.
Even if you feel that you have a relatively low-stakes career, it’s not uncommon to feel stressed about work for a number of reasons.
Demanding environments and tight schedules can bring about workplace stress and cause you to feel anxious even when you’re not at work.
You may be constantly worried about missing a deadline or making a mistake, and because our careers are how we pay our bills, the fear of failure can easily become overwhelming.
Additionally, some people experience what is known as imposter syndrome even when they’re seasoned professionals.
Imposter syndrome is an issue that commonly impacts overachievers or individuals who work successful careers.
The syndrome is characterized by a pervasive sense of self-doubt, inability to accept one’s accomplishments, and like the name suggests, feeling like an imposter at work.
Why Can’t I Let It Go?
Workplace stress isn’t an easy thing to ignore.
After all, our jobs play a major role in our lives and it’s connected to so many other aspects of how we function in society.
We can’t simply say, “I just won’t worry about it,” or “I don’t care what happens,” in order to make ourselves feel better.
The truth is that we do care what happens and we tend to worry due to caring so much that work becomes a nonstop distraction.
While job performance is important, it’s not healthy to continuously let your fear of making a mistake or becoming overwhelmed consume you.
If you have found that you’re struggling to stop worrying about work, changes need to be made to better support your mental health.
Methods To Reduce Workplace Stress
There are several effective approaches you can take in order to reduce the stress you experience when you think about work.
For one, it’s a good idea to plan each day so that you have a preview regarding what tasks you’re going to need to complete.
Having an idea about the size of your workload ahead of time may help you better prepare for the day you’re facing and prevent you from stressing about it.
Remember to take time for yourself, take breaks, leave the office for your lunch breaks, and practice grounding techniques.
To limit the amount of stress that rises up during your time off, you may want to practice one or more of the following strategies.
- Think about your worries objectively and ask yourself whether you have any power to fix the issue, or whether the worry is really an issue at all.
- Adopt positive distractions and keep yourself busy in pleasant ways so that you do not have spare time to worry.
- Though thinking positive will not solve all of your problems, a positive outlook can help set the mood for the rest of the day.
- Remind yourself that worrying is not going to improve the issues you’re facing.
- Focus on your physical and mental health by getting exercise, practicing yoga, eating a healthy diet, meditating, and/or being mindful about your life.
- Talk to someone that you trust about the feelings you’re experiencing.
Often, when we experience workplace stress, we keep it to ourselves which then causes it to overwhelm us in silence.
If dealing with your workplace stress has become difficult and you’re dreading your place of employment, feeling depressed, or experiencing panic attacks, it’s time to speak with a licensed mental health professional.
Sometimes talking about the issues you’re having at work can help put them into perspective and encourage you to look at them from outside of the situation.
At Evergreen Counseling, our clinicians are experienced in working with professionals who operate in high-stress environments (tech, finance, medicine, law, etc.).
As such, they understand the pressure placed on individuals who have high-pressure careers.
If you’d like to seek support for your stress management needs, you’re welcome to contact our offices as soon as you’re ready. We’ve helped many people struggling with workplace stress, and we would be honored to help you, too.
Please feel free to book a complimentary 20-minute matching consultation with our clinical intake coordinator to find the best therapeutic match for you.