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Disability News Last Updated: Feb 4, 2015 - 12:35:55 PM

Stress Management in the Workplace
May 5, 2014 - 1:38:03 PM

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Well, we are just about there…almost at the end of another year. At least this year we have good news from the ACCJC, even though the budget continues to remain uncertain. We have all dealt with a great deal of workplace stress over the past year and while some of us will have a summer break, some won’t. There will always be some workplace stress but when this becomes excessive it can impact both emotional and physical health. For those who don’t get a summer break, finding ways to manage the stress will be essential as we transition into the 2014-2015 academic year.

Below is some information about workplace stress. The entire document can be seen at http://www.helpguide.org/mental/work_stress_management.htm .
For workers everywhere, the troubled economy may feel like an emotional roller coaster. "Layoffs" and "budget cuts" have become bywords in the workplace, and the result is increased fear, uncertainty, and higher levels of stress. Since job and workplace stress increase in times of economic crisis, it’s important to learn new and better ways of coping with the pressure.
Your emotions are contagious, and stress has an impact on the quality of your interactions with others. The better you are at managing your own stress, the more you'll positively affect those around you, and the less other people's stress will negatively affect you.
There are a variety of steps you can take to reduce both your overall stress levels and the stress you find on the job and in the workplace. These include:
• Taking responsibility for improving your physical and emotional well-being.
• Avoiding pitfalls by identifying knee jerk habits and negative attitudes that add to the stress you experience at work.
• Learning better communication skills to ease and improve your relationships with management and coworkers.
Signs and symptoms of excessive job and workplace stress

*Feeling anxious, irritable, or
*Apathy, loss of interest in work
*Problems sleeping
*Trouble concentrating
*Muscle tension or headaches
*Stomach problems
*Social withdrawal
*Loss of sex drive
*Using alcohol or drugs to cope

Common causes of excessive workplace stress:
*Fear of being laid off
*More overtime due to staff cutbacks
*Pressure to perform to meet rising
expectations but with no increase in
job satisfaction
*Pressure to work at optimum levels—
all the time!

Things to do:
* Get moving – exercise
*Make healthy food choices
* Drink alcohol in moderation
*Avoid nicotine
*Get enough sleep
*Have a support system
*Create a balanced schedule
*Don’t over-commit yourself
*Try to leave earlier in the morning to
avoid rushing
*Plan regular breaks
*Prioritize tasks
*Break projects into small steps
*Delegate duties
*Be willing to compromise
*Learn your triggers to stress and learn
to recognize when you are becoming
*Pay attention to your feelings so you
can factor them into your decision
*Pay attention to your nonverbal cues
and body language-how we say
something can be more important than
what we say. Be respectful and realize
that you are not the only one under
stress and how you manage your issues
can affect others in the workplace
*Meet challenges with humor
*Resolve conflict positively and
*Resist perfectionism
*Flip your negative thinking
*Don’t try to control the uncontrollable
*Work to improve communication
*Cultivate a friendly environment, not a hostile one.

Quotation of the Week
It is how people respond to stress that determines whether they will profit from misfortune or be miserable.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi,
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, 1990

Comments: Trish-Blair@Redwoods.edu

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