Are you feeling overwhelmed at work?
It's easy to brush off feelings of stress and overwhelm as an issue, but it's not just mental health that suffers when your mental state declines. Work performance, productivity, and overall well-being are all affected when mental health suffers too. This blog is intended to provide you with suggestions for getting the additional help you require to manage your mental health at work.
"There is no health without mental health." ―World Health Organisation
Why We May Feel Overwhelmed at Work
Feelings of stress and overwhelm at work can be caused by many different things. For example, you may feel overwhelmed if you have a lot of work to do and not enough time to do it, or if you're working on a stressful project, or perhaps if you're dealing with difficult or challenging people at work.
The causes of feeling stressed out at work can vary from person to person. Stress can cause mental health problems and make existing problems worse. For example, if you often struggle to manage feelings of stress and overwhelm, it is possible to develop a mental health problem like anxiety or depression. In turn, mental health problems can cause stress. You might find coping with the day-to-day symptoms of mental health problems, as well as potentially needing to manage medication, healthcare appointments or treatments can become extra sources of stress.
If you're feeling overwhelmed at work, it's important to take steps to cope with your stress and manage your mental health. Tips for coping with feeling overwhelmed at work:
Prioritise and plan: When you have a lot on your plate, it can be helpful to take a step back and assess what's most important. Make a list of everything you need to do and then prioritise the items on your list. Once you know what's most important, you can start to create a plan for how to tackle each task. This can help focus on what's important and avoid feeling overwhelmed by the number of tasks you have to do. You can also try breaking down larger tasks into smaller steps, which will make them seem less daunting. Cal Newport's Deep Work theory teaches how it is more important to work on fewer things and do them well, than to try and juggle a lot of tasks at once without giving any of them our full attention.
Have realistic expectations and goals: One of the best ways to help manage feelings of stress and overwhelm at work is to have realistic expectations and goals. This means not taking on too many tasks at once, setting smaller goals rather than one large goal, and avoiding perfectionism. When you're able to accomplish smaller goals, it can help boost your self-esteem and make you feel more productive overall.
Take a break: When you're feeling overwhelmed, take a few minutes to yourself to relax and rejuvenate. Go for a walk, get some fresh air, or take a break from work to do something you enjoy.
Delegate and ask for help: If you're feeling overwhelmed, try to delegate some of your tasks to others. This could mean asking for help from colleagues or family members.
“When you find yourself stressed, ask yourself one question: Will this matter in 5 years from now? If yes, then do something about the situation. If no, then let it go.” ― Catherine Pulsifer
Talk to someone about how you're feeling: It can be helpful to talk to someone about your feelings of overwhelm. This could be a colleague, your boss, friend, family member, therapist, or counsellor. Talking openly about how you're feeling can help you to manage your feelings and find ways to cope. Talking to your boss will allow them to understand the situation and may even give them some ideas on how to help. It's important, to be honest, and upfront with your boss, as they may not be aware of how you're feeling.
Identify your triggers: Once you know what's causing you to feel overwhelmed or stressed, you can start to address the issue. If you're not sure what's causing your stress, try keeping a journal to track when you're feeling overwhelmed and what might be triggering those feelings.
Set boundaries: It's important to set boundaries at work in order to protect your mental health. This may mean setting limits on how much work you're willing to take on, saying no to additional projects, or taking breaks when you need them.
Take care of yourself: It's important that we take care of ourselves first before anything else. In order to manage your mental health, it's important to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. Make sure to eat healthy meals, drink plenty of water and get moving. This could also mean taking a break from work, taking some time for yourself, and focusing on your mental health.
Manage your energy: When you're feeling overwhelmed, it can be helpful to manage your energy. This means taking breaks when you need them, getting enough sleep, and avoiding burnout. Taking a break can help refresh your mind and give you a new perspective on the task at hand. You can also try stretching or taking a quick walk to help clear your head.
“It’s not stress that kills us, it’s our reaction to it.” ―Hans Selye
These are just a few tips for how to cope with feeling overwhelmed at work. The stress and overwhelm we feel at work can have a negative impact on our mental health, productivity, and overall well-being. It's important to be aware of this in order to avoid feeling overwhelmed or stressed out when you're working. Remember, it's important to reach out for help if you're struggling to manage your stress. Stress can lead to either or both of the two most common mental health problems: anxiety and depression. Talk to someone if you're finding it difficult to cope.
Master Stress Management: Reduce Stress, Worry Less, and Improve Your Mood. Discover How to Stay Calm Under Pressure Through Emotional Resilience, Mental Toughness, and Mindfulness Techniques
Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace: A Practical Guide for Employers and Employees
Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: Revised and Expanded Edition: The breakthrough programme for conquering anxiety, depression, anger and obsessiveness
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