Your professional image and your business etiquette skills are two elements that help you shine and set you apart in the workplace. But too much stress on the job can offset these attributes, as well as be detrimental to your performance, morale and well-being at the office. Managing workplace stress is an integral aspect to your overall professional success, as well as to maintaining a healthy work-life balance and preserving your mental health.
How is stress specifically related to business etiquette and professional image? First, stress influences how you interact with others. When you are engulfed in a cloud of negativity and stress, you can unintentionally project this on to your colleagues, or worse: you might inappropriately lash out at someone in the office. Also, elements that contribute to a successful image: composure, self-possession, control – these can all be hindered by the chaos of stress.
Below are several suggestions on how to manage work-related stress through both “big picture” strategies and small, day-to-day activities. When your stress is under control, you are better able to keep on top of your game and not let the ups and downs of the office affect your performance and image.
“Big Picture” Strategies
Engaging in reflection and planning can help you maintain your focus during tough times:
– List your strengths, both professionally and personally. For inspiration, think about how you have succeeded or overcome previous challenges in the workplace. When a stressful situation next arises, take a step back and revisit these qualities, drawing on them to overcome the present challenge. Reminding yourself of your strengths will not only reassure you of your assets, but it will also help you keep practical resources handy in the midst of a hectic moment, where you otherwise might lose track of them.
– List your professional goals and objectives for both the short-term and long-term. Keeping goals at the front of your mind will help you to maintain sight of the future and drive your focus. When you lose focus on what you aspire to achieve, it can make stressful moments even harder to cope with since your eventual outcome is out of sight.
Daily Stress Relievers
Even the smallest actions can help to relieve stress and make you feel more balanced and in control.
– Take short breaks throughout the day. Stand up, leave your computer and take a five-minute walk around the office. Literally taking a step away from your work for a moment will help you to regain your focus. It is also healthy for your eyes to divert attention away from the computer and for your body to stand up and stretch.
– Organize your to-do list in order of priority: this will help you to tackle the most important tasks first, and will allow you to manage your time – alleviating the overwhelming feeling that everything must get done all at once.
– Follow an exercise routine after hours. Literally working out your stress does wonders for both physical and mental health, and you will feel more balanced and energized during the day. It will also allow you to shift your focus so you don’t continue to think about the stresses of work outside of the office.
– Pursuing hobbies outside of work also help you to shift your attention and face other intellectual challenges and endeavours, the results of which might even give you new skills to bring back to the office. Hobbies and side projects also lend the opportunity to pursue new goals and accomplishments.
– For Managers: Forbes, “The Importance of Proactively Managing Workplace Stress”
– For Everyone: Mayo Clinic, “Tips for Coping with Stress at Work”
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