Staying Calm under Pressure: How to Deal with Stress at Work

When it comes to meeting deadlines, some of us run on coffee, some on adrenaline, and some on a heady combination of the two. Too much stress can have seriously negative mental, physical, and emotional effects, but it isn’t all bad. It may motivate you to finish a project, meet a deadline or perform at a level you didn’t even know was possible. For small business owners, stress is often par for the course. Here are a few tips to keep a clear head and avoid burnout.

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The best ways to deal with stress in the workplace:
Take stock.

You have many strengths – you’re running a business! – but sometimes it’s good to take stock of your mental health to see if there are areas where you might need R&R. Use the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mental Health Meter to check in on how you’re doing.

Take a break.

When you have a full (or overflowing) plate at work, it can be difficult to justify taking a coffee break, much less a vacation. But you might need just that. The experts at the Mayo Clinic recommend taking a pause to regain perspective. Stepping away, even for a few minutes, allows you to take a breath and relax. If you are able to manage it, a few days off can be incredibly restorative.

Ask for help.

While seeking assistance can feel like a sign of weakness, when it comes to the workplace, asking for help is a form of collaboration, which is a positive thing. When you work as a team, you’ll share the responsibility — and perhaps offload a bit of the stress as well. Plus, seeking input and partnering with others often yields better ideas and a stronger product.

Other tips for dealing with stress at work:

If you already know what causes your own work-related stress, try to identify those triggers before they escalate, and devise a plan changing or avoiding them. If you find you need additional help, the Canadian HR Council identifies sources of work-related stress and provides tips for managing it in the workplace. Even if you feel your own personal stress level is manageable, these suggestions may be beneficial for your company. For instance, introducing a work wellness program could make life easier for your employees.