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Coping with Personal Stress at Work

Everyone’s personal life gets a bit hectic at times. These stressful times can cause headaches, upset stomach, back pain, sleep disturbances and difficulty concentrating. Stress also makes it harder for your body to defend against illness and can make current health problems worse.

Not only is stress hard on your body, but it also affects your work life and responsibilities. When personal stressors—divorce, death of a family member or friend, money troubles, problems with children or taking care of an elderly relative—affect your personal life, they can have negative effects on your work life, too.

To ensure that your work does not suffer during a time of personal stress, consider the following recommendations:

  • Keep a stress journal and write down exactly what is making you stressed: “I can’t seem to pay off my credit card,” “My children keep acting up at school,” or “The death of my mother has made me feel like I can’t go on.” Then, record how you react to these stressors and analyze effective alternatives.
  • Eliminate activities in your life that are unnecessary, especially when going through personal stress. Focus your time on your health, your work and getting past the stressful situation.
  • Work on letting go of things that you cannot change.
  • Take care of yourself. That means getting plenty of sleep, eating well and getting regular exercise.
  • Ask for assistance from family members or friends. Chances are if it is affecting you, it is also affecting them.
  • Talk, laugh and cry about your stressors. This will help you feel some relief from these burdens by releasing your emotions.