Curb Post-Holiday Blues by Confronting Stress Symptoms
Did you know today, January 18, is considered the most depressing day of the year?
Dubbed #BlueMonday, researchers point to day as the single day where you’re most likely to feel down in the dumps. Bills from Christmas shopping are trickling in, the holiday spirit is gone and Monday is typically the hardest day in the office for employees.
Add workplace stress into this mix, and #BlueMonday can be particularly rough.
As experts in identifying stress symptoms, it’s important to make your workday as stress free as possible, finding a way to breeze through this day instead of letting it set off an internal blizzard of anxiety. To do this, familiarize yourself with the seven stress contributors and be proactive in implementing short- and long-term fixes:
Stress Factor #1: Demand
What it looks like: An unmanageable workload or a never-ending to-do list.
Short-term fix: Prioritize your tasks and delegate whenever possible.
Long-term fix: Talk to your supervisor about your excessive workload, and the possibility of hiring an additional worker.
Stress Factor #2: Efforts/Reward Balance
What it looks like: You work hard but are regularly passed for a promotion or even credit for a job well done.
Short-term fix: Tell one colleague about how proud you were to finish a big project, and they will most likely recognize your hard work, giving you a quick boost.
Long-term fix: Research compensation for similar jobs, or document your wins so you can start negotiating a promotion.
Stress Factor #3: Control
What it looks like: Your job is high responsibility with low authority, you aren’t being heard and others don’t understand your work.
Short-term fix: Communicate one key aspect of your job to a colleague who could benefit from the knowledge.
Long-term fix: Determine ways to better carve a niche for yourself, such as volunteering for a cross-team project to reinforce your expertise. Better yet, head up a new project to showcase your leadership skills.
Stress Factor #4 Organization Change
What it looks like: Your company’s leadership is changing direction and you’re not in the loop.
Short-term fix: Resist the urge to gossip or speculate what’s going on with your peers.
Long-term fix: List out your questions for your supervisor and use them to guide a discussion about what you need clarity on.
Stress Factor #5: Manager/Supervisor
What it looks like: Miscommunication or enormous pressure from your supervisor.
Short-term fix: Focus on making headway on one challenge from your boss.
Long-term fix: Sit down with your manager, determine a middle ground and set a plan of action for better communication.
Stress Factor #6: Social Support
What it looks like: Your peers aren’t supportive of you and you don’t feel a strong team dynamic.
Short-term fix: Invite someone to lunch this week that you’ve never had one-on-one time with.
Long-term fix: Focus on being a productive member of the team yourself and finding opportunities to work collaboratively.
Stress Factor #7: Job Security
What it looks like: You fear you could lose your job any day.
Short-term fix: Focus on achieving a small win that will be good for your organization while boosting your confidence.
Long-term fix: Talk with your manager about your concerns and determine if your fears are accurate.
By addressing some of the common workplace stress factors, #BlueMonday should be a bit more manageable and conquerable
Have you measured your stress yet? Visit www.measureyourstress.com for resources and information on the data behind the dysfunction.
About the Author
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Jennifer is the Communication Manager at TTI Success Insights, working to spread the word about the company's power to change lives. With a dual background in journalism and marketing, Jennifer has a penchant for storytelling, especially about career growth, continuous learning and being a woman in business.