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We’ve all been there—work has us seriously down and we’re contemplating whether keeping the position is worth the stress.
Work can feel like it’s taking over your entire life. You take the negative emotions with you feel from work to home and you’re trapped in this cycle of go to sleep, wake up, go to work, come home, and feel empty.
This is a terrible cycle to be in and one that has to be resolved if you’re going to regain your sanity. Let’s talk about some ways to handle the pressure:
Do An Outside Thing
When you’re feeling the pressure at work it can cause a downward spiral.
Your stress causes you to stop doing things you enjoy so your entire life becomes worrying about work. Not doing things you enjoy and not seeing people you love can make you feel even more isolated and depressed.
Even if you feel tired or overwhelmed, make time for hobbies and other activities that you enjoy. Read a book, go to the park, go out with friends, go to the gym, or play a sport.
At first you may not want to do any of these things, but try it anyway. And if you truly feel a lack of interest in anything that used to inspire you, it may be time to seek professional help.
Figure Out the Actual Problem
To find resolutions to the pressure you’re feeling, you have to think about where exactly the pressure is coming from. It may be deeper than what’s on the surface.
Look at the projects you’re doing and the people you’re interacting with at work:
- Does the pressure come from the type of work you’re doing or the people you’re doing it with?
- What about each work day makes you feel pressure?
- Is the pressure external or coming from within? Do you put pressure on yourself to be perfect?
- Do you put pressure on yourself to be “on” all the time meaning you’re checking emails before and after work?
Drill down deeper to understand the reasoning. Perfectionism can be a very tricky thing. It’s good to take pride in what you do and to try to perform to the best of your ability. But you can burn yourself out if you take it too far.
It could be time to come to terms with the fact that you’re setting unrealistic expectations for yourself and that’s causing you to take on more physical and mentally than you can bear.
Resolve to Resolve the Problem
Coming up with a solution to pressure can cause you an even bigger amount of stress so prepare for things to get harder before they get better.
You may have to have some tough conversations with your boss or coworkers. But the alternative is doing nothing and running yourself ragged month after month and year after year.
How to resolve the pressure really depends on your situation. If it’s bad enough, the only feasible way to resolve the situation may be to find another job. If that’s the case, it’s time to start devoting your energy to revising your resume and seeking jobs. Reach out to old contacts and put some feelers out to get referrals.
If your job is decent and you’re the one putting pressure on yourself, it’s time to figure out how you can set boundaries for yourself and others. Maybe you only check email and phone calls during certain times per day. Maybe you resolve not to work during the weekends. Make your new boundaries clear.
If you’re coworkers or boss are giving you a hard time, it could benefit you to move departments or office locations. A lateral switch could get you around a new set of people and new tasks that can make you excited again about the job.
Put Things Into Perspective
Lastly, we can get so caught up in our stress that we forgot to smell the roses. Life is short. On our deathbeds, are we going to think about the annoying call that we got from our boss or the time our coworker backstabbed us in a passive aggressive email?
Probably not. We’re going to think about the fun times we had with family and friends, the places we’ve traveled, and the experiences we’ve had.
Thinking about work can cause us to lose sight of what’s really important. What’s important to you? How can you spend more time doing what’s important to you?
When work has you feeling pressure, remember it’s temporary. The current project you’re working on will be completed. Your boss will eventually no longer be your boss. You’ll at some point move on to a new position or venture.
This situation is a small chapter in the story of your life.
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