Work is stressful. There are deadlines to meet, bosses to please, customers to help, and it can feel like people are pulling you from every direction. Before you have a Meltdown and pull the emergency chute — whatever it may be at your workplace — take time to reflect and find ways to survive your worst days at work.
1. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver
Everyone wants to look like a superhero at work who can get everything done. But there are only 40 hours in a work week, so don’t take on too much or you’ll look worse for not getting it all done. Your boss will be disappointed when you can’t get the job done in time, so it’s best to think ahead on this recommendation and not promise something you can’t complete.
2. Don’t skip breakfast or lunch
Just like a child in school, regular meals are important to keep the mind and body working at work. If you’re having a bad day at work and feel stressed, think about whether you skipped a meal on that day. Chances are you did and were too rushed to eat. Mom was right: Breakfast is important.
3. Remind yourself of what’s really important
Photos of your family on your desk can help remind you, but if you’re away from your desk, stop and take a breath and remember what’s most important in your life. Your children, for example, are more important than the most stressful work task. Your purpose in life isn’t to get stressed at work. Repeat until your breathing is under control.
4. Get a hobby that make you happy
Just like reminding yourself what’s really important when you’re stressed out at work, having a hobby to get to when you get home can make the problems at work less of a headache. This step includes having a life outside of work, meaning you’re not working long hours and have something to talk about other than what’s going on at work. Find a sport, reading group or anything else that relaxes you to keep you occupied with anything other than work when you’re away from work.
5. Learn to manage your boss
This is a tough one, but if you can figure out how to manage your boss, your life will be a lot easier. It will take some trial and error, and learning from other employees, but it will keep him or her out of your hair and allow you to do your work to your best abilities. Find out if your boss is a micromanager and wants constant updates; if so, provide them. If your boss is more hands off, then enjoy it and find out how often they want to know what you’re up to. Empathize with your boss to help them become better at what they do.
6. Ask for help when you need it
You don’t have to deal by yourself with a problem. If you’re overwhelmed at work, ask for help. You’d be surprised at how many co-workers will come forward to help out. When asking someone to join your project, be sure to remind them that you “owe them one” when they need help.