Managing your stress and anxiety in the workplace - Occupational, emotional, social and physical well-being in the workplace.

We have all experienced feeling stressed and anxious at work from time to time. It is important to understand the root cause of our stress and to make the necessary adjustments to manage our stress. Here are some tips for understanding and managing stress in the workplace for your well-being.

Common causes of stress in the workplace
  • Long hours.
  • Job security, particularly in relation to terms of employment.
  • Poor work relationships due to lack of support, bullying and harassment, as well as poor relationships with colleagues.
  • Lack of resources, communications and time. Lack of information about what is going on in the organization and how you make a positive contribution.
  • Poor time management or lack of time.
  • Overload and unrealistic deadlines and expectations.
  • Control & micro management by manager and lack of involvement in the decision making process relating to the job.
  • Feeling that you are not good enough.
  • Work interfering with home/personal life, not knowing when and how to switch off.
  • Physical working conditions and lack of fulfillment and enjoyment of the job.
  • Fear of violence or harm while performing duties due to environment.
Signs and symptoms of stress in the workplace
  • Feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed
  • Apathy, loss of interest in work
  • Problems sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Muscle tension or headaches
  • Stomach problems
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Using alcohol or drugs to cope
Managing your stress and anxiety in the workplace through self-care methods of psycho-social well-being.
  • Plan your work day the evening before or before you get to work. Work within your scope and protocols. Occupational well-being
  • Take your breaks seriously, regular (tea–lunch-tea) healthy breaks are important to recharge your energy levels. Physical well-being
  • Good nutrition at work is vital, try and reduce foods and drinks full of sugar that will affect your mood making you spike and drop. Keep healthy snacks like fruit, popcorn, chopped veg, dried fruit at the office. Physical well-being
  • Take micro physical activity breaks over and above your lunch break to do some stretching, deep breathing for stress and anxiety relief. Emotional well-being
  • Communicate with your manager and team about deadlines, expectations, timelines and support. Communicate your feelings as well. Occupational well-being
  • Don’t take things too personally, learn how to receive constructive criticism positively and apply it to your work. Then ask for feedback on your progress. Psychological well-being
  • Create healthy boundaries at work, let colleagues know what is acceptable and what is not, remember the negativity that you allow will continue. Social well-being
  • Build positive relationships at work by using appreciation, mutual respect, being supportive, engaging in group activities, being appropriately open, non-judgmental, honest, understanding and kind, remember it works both ways. Social well-being
  • Ask for what you need in terms of support, very important! Don’t assume people know. Emotional well-being.
  • Clean up your act at work. If you are constantly late or complaining or negative or not completing tasks, please check yourself. We also need to take responsibly for the stress we create in the workplace. If you do this within about three days you will start to feel better and more confidant. Occupational well-being
  • Learn how to switch off when you get home. Create a healthier work and life balance. Create a ritual that can help you transition from work mode to home and relaxation mode.Spiritual well-being
  • Get a good night sleep. This means no watching series or movies till 2am then thinking you are going to be fresh and feeling good for work. Lack of sleep is a contributing factor to stress and anxiety. So try and go off the electronic grid about an hour before you go to sleep. Try reading. Physical well-being 
  • Stop the negative dialogue in your head! Don’t be too hard on yourself. Try formulating a positive affirmation for when you start feeling stressed and anxious. You can use this one…
    “I am worthy, I am valued, I am capable of great work, I can focus, I give purpose and meaning to all that I do” psychological well-being


Much care!

Marie Joshua 

Psycho-social & physical well-being practitioner 


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