Job stress is a normal response to the pressures and demands of work. Some people thrive in high-pressure environments and enjoy the ‘buzz’ when they’re facing a tight deadline or have an important presentation coming up. However, prolonged job stress over a significant period of time can be damaging to your mental health.

Finding the right work-life balance is often easier said than done particularly if you are a business owner or leader. However, it’s important to try and get enough rest, eat a balanced diet and find time for the things you enjoy. We all need to find activities to help us rest, recuperate and recover from the demands of a high-pressure role.

Job stressors

A range of factors can contribute to job stress, including:

  • Working long hours, demanding workloads or working weekends regularly
  • Time pressure, working too hard or too fast, or setting unrealistic targets
  • Work that is monotonous and dull
  • Roles where a person has low levels of control or inadequate support
  • Lack of role clarity
  • Bullying
  • Discrimination – whether based on gender, ethnicity, race or sexuality

Managing job stress

You can look after your mental health and help manage stress with some simple wellbeing tips – this includes:

  • Know your early warning signs such as difficulty sleeping, feeling overwhelmed and being easily irritated
  • Identify your stress triggers and actively try to reduce them
  • Establish predictable routines which are calming and reassuring
  • Spend time with people you care about, and who care about you
  • Look after your health by eating well and exercising regularly
  • Notice unhelpful ‘self-talk’ and focus on helpful self-talk like ‘I’m coping well’ or ‘breathe easy’
  • Practise relaxation and plan things each day that you enjoy