The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health recently published a study estimating that work stress is costing employers billions of dollars a year in lost productivity, health care expenses and stress-related lawsuits, not to mention what it does to the individual. Here are three clues that could indicate your stress level is getting out of control and what to do about it:
Overwhelmed. Is there too much on your plate? Are you worried that you can’t get everything done? Do you constantly look at your to-do list and wonder where to start? These signs of overwhelm could be strong indicators that your stress level is too high. Commit to delegating everything YOU don’t need to do personally. Negotiate deadlines and be willing to say NO to things that are not in alignment with your goals and objectives.
Illness. It may start with a sniffle, a cough that won’t go away or simply feeling a bit “under the weather.” If you find yourself taking more sick days than usual or feeling tired and run down, it’s time to engage in some extreme self-care. Take the cue from your body and allow it to rest and rejuvenate (even if you don’t feel like you have the time!). Practice the three tenants of self-care: eat well, move your body and get enough rest.
Emotional. When we’re stressed, we’re even more quick to anger or be more emotional. If you find yourself experiencing these types of mood swings, it’s time to add a little zen back in your life. Try taking a walk during the middle of the day or a short meditation break.
Learn to recognize the signs you are under stress and commit to making the changes necessary to reduce your stress levels.