Contributed by Casey R.

Stress-Free ZoneWork can be a major stressor.  Our co-workers, boss, workload, the company and customers…all of these aspects of the job can stress us out.  So, how can you deal with the stress.  Quitting your job and telling your boss to ‘take this job and shove it’ is a fantasy to hold on to, but it isn’t practical.  How can you deal with the various factors that do stress you out at work?

Co-workers/Boss. Maybe you have a coworker that is unresponsive when you are talking to them, they complain about everything or they don’t finish their work on time.  I know I have dealt with all of these types; but while I was sitting their stressed out of my mind, I realized I never said a word to them.  In my particular case, I had a problem with a colleague who was always complaining; it was a habit I found to be quite distracting but I didn’t say anything about it for a long time.  Finally I decided to confront him.  I pulled him aside, privately, and said, “I understand you might be upset at work, but I am finding it difficult to work while listening to your negative comments.” Simply dealing with this issue head on worked and he stopped this behavior. He had been completely unaware of how his attitude was affecting me.  For more tips, check out the book “Dealing with People You Can’t Stand” by Brinkman & Kirschner.  I have given it to many of my friends who have encountered co-worker stress and they love it.

Workload. You have so much to do in a very short time and are stressing about how to get it all done.  You are so stressed that you go over your to-do list in your head before bed and can’t get to sleep, leaving you tired and cranky the next day.  I find that breaking big tasks into smaller steps helps brings clarity.  If I have to get a presentation ready, I break it down into: writing the outline, researching a topic, creating the handouts, etc.  Then I break these down into smaller steps. Seeing the small steps, helps me see it is all doable.  Crossing off all these little steps, one by one, gives me the momentum to keep going.  Then I wind up excited at how great I am doing.

Company. Maybe you have come to realize that the company you work for doesn’t suit your ideals.  This is a hard one.  Vent to a friend, write about it in a journal, speak with a life coach or a therapist.  Go for a walk around the block, do some deep breathing exercises or do something you enjoy for yourself during your breaks.  All these steps will help relax you and remind you that you work to live not live to work.

How do you cope with work issues that stress you out?