• Doug Tesnow, LCPC

Help for Conquering Job Stress

Updated: Aug 6



Work stress: You probably don't need me to quote any CDC statistics about how common it is (29-40% of Americans identify as "extremely stressed at work"). A lot of people feel overwhelmed with work, even when they feel well-matched for their jobs, and certainly when they don't. There are definitely times to switch jobs, and it's always good to be honest with oneself about frustration and stress. Still, I've found that trying some of the tips below can help reshape our relationship with work and the stress that so often accompanies it.

Tip #1: Keep the Larger Picture in Focus I came across a quote a decade ago, while working in a challenging case manager role, that both intimidated and inspired me. "Work is Love Made Visible." What? That seemed like an impossible standard to achieve, and yet I very quickly loved the idea that work can be something beautiful, not just something we "get through." I've since become convinced that a lot of burn-out results from a lack of feeling invested, even in extremely taxing occupations.

When we're stressed or burnt at our jobs it can be easy to lose sight of the positives of why we're doing it in the first place. This can vary from person to person and job to job, but such positives can include:

  • Supporting oneself and one's family

  • Taking a step toward a further career or economic goal

  • Supporting a cause or group that we believe in

Take a look at these positives more often. Even if you are convinced it is the time to switch jobs, it is often the case that there are positives to be reminded of, and this can be strengthening for you as you move forward. Tip #2: Find ways to Continue the Important Things Few people would come home from a stressful day at work and conclude "I need to do more stuff!" but sometimes that's exactly what's needed. Finding time to engage in hobbies, create art, or connect with people that you've been missing can all be great ways to switch gears, and make weekends feel like they're fuller. If work stress feels like it's taking over your life, this can be a good opportunity to bolster and value life outside of work. If you can find ways to infuse your personality and creativity where you already work, this is a double win!

Tip #3: Feed Yourself Through Rest. Sometimes, we really do need to just set aside more time for rest. Find an activity that's relaxing and replenishing to you and try to make it part of your weekly if not daily routine. Initially, rest can actually take some amount of self-discipline. It may involve setting aside 15 minutes a day for meditation, or encouraging yourself to get more sleep instead of late night YouTubing (my personal favorite). The positive effects of these tactics often build and help make such routines feel easier and more natural with practice.

If you're needing more assistance managing work-life balance, contact us at intake@racheldubrowlcsw.com. We can help!