Have you ever been in a workplace where it feels like the walls are closing in on you, and your stress level is at an all-time high? You may have the best skills, but if your work environment is challenging, it cannot be easy to remain positive. But there are ways to combat those feelings and make things easier for yourself, according to successful entrepreneur Shaun Stenning. In this blog post, I’ll discuss some of these strategies that work for everyone.
So, let’s start with what leads to this type of workplace stress:
1. Unrealistic expectations.
These are different for everyone, but you know them when you see them. The boss expects employees to be available 24/7 and be on-call even when on vacation (or, in this case, blogging!). The same is true for meetings. Some meetings are short and sweet, where the agenda is clear, and goals are defined upfront.
2. Unclear roles and responsibilities.
If you are a manager or someone in the know, you might see it that way, but if things get fuzzy between you and your employees, it can lead to issues. It’s great when you have an idea of what’s expected of you and what needs to be done every day so that you know where to focus your energy and what needs improvement.
3. Lack of communication and feedback tools.
A lot of employees don’t feel comfortable communicating with their bosses (or colleagues) about issues relating to performance or workplace conflict.
4. Lack of a formal mentoring program.
If you’re looking to become a mentor at your workplace, you need to know that it’s not something you can do alone. Passive mentoring is where you spend time with the junior talent, but it’s not proactive mentoring—where you’re offering support and guidance. Just like in any relationship, it takes two to have a mentor-mentee relationship.
Ways to overcome workplace challenges
1. Look at the big picture.
It would help if you looked at what’s causing stress and took a step back. Are you really worried about a project due next week, or is something else going on in your life? When I’m stressed, I speak with my therapist, who gives me the best advice: “The first thing you do is create a list of all your priorities.”
2. Stay positive
I always keep a gratitude list that I update daily. It helps me get out of my head and reminds me of why I love what I do.
3. Take time for yourself
Go for a walk, spend time with friends, enjoy a hobby outside the workplace—anything that can help you keep your stress in check.
4. Ask for help and guidance.
I’m always asking my supervisor for advice on this blog, and I’ve been lucky that she’s given me a ton of feedback for improving it. But I always want to ask her how the blog is going and what might be good ideas to back up my points or get more traffic in the future.
Workplace challenges come in a variety of ways, but the fact is, we all struggle with something. Try these strategies to get back on track and focus on the positive things in your life.