How can I cope with work related stress better?
I am in a high stress position for a tech company. I am being overworked and underpaid for my contributions and it is not only giving me anxiety, but also demoralizing.
What can I do to manage my stress?
I think it's important to tease more of this situation out to figure out what is at the root of the stress. It is emotionally dangerous to be at a job for a lengthy duration in which you feel overworked and underpaid. You will not perform well as you mention, and thus your self-esteem will continually take a hit without really any effort. So, I don't know that simply coping with your stress would be advisable as a first step.
You don't speak about a lot of what the office dynamics are like, which can be a big indicator for me of what can be done to help you feel better (because we exist as a part of a relationship with everything, including people at our job.) I would encourage you to speak up about your contributions to your boss. Often, "overworked and underpaid" also includes the "my boss never notices me," and that can demoralizing. If we feel appreciated, that can go a long way. I've found that it is quite common for bosses to require some instruction for how to show each of their employees "appreciation" (and it goes deeper than "thank you" or taking you out to lunch - it's almost something felt as opposed to made explicit.)
But sometimes appreciation isn't going to do the trick either. Because that overworked and underpaid actually has led you to feel "burnout." You have zero interest in doing the job in the way it is designed, so some real changes need to be implemented.
The bottom line? Try not to just "suck it up" and do all of the "self care" work on your own. If your company isn't helping you to take care of yourself (I'm talking to you, boss that handles employee pay and/or work conditions!) then you also have to question if this is a company worth working for. While I don't know exactly what you do, it sounds like you have confidence in your contributions! So take that confidence to a tech company that will support you (and there are tech companies out there!)
- 503 views
Being in this position is tough. If seeking another career opportunity isn't viable, there are a couple of things you can do to manage stress on the job.
1. Have a ritual to begin the day: Consider setting a one sentence intention and plan tasks for the day
2. Take the breaks you are offered. I know it can be difficult to step away from your desk to eat lunch or take 10-minute breaks during the day, but prioritize this if you can. Sometimes 30 minutes of downtime and fresh air can help you feel better.
3. Have a ritual to end the day: If you commute by car consider an end of the day playlist. Take a walk. Light a candle. Clear your desk and write tasks for the next day. Whatever it is, send a signal to your brain that it is time to end the day.
4. If you do work from home or are expected to be available after hours, set boundaries where you can. Set a timer for answering emails and stick to that. Have phone free meals. Try to engage in activities that are rejuvenating like spending time the friends and family.
5. Try to limit alcohol/ drugs. Move as much as you can. Get outside in natural sunlight.
These are just ideas/ suggestions. Even doing one of these things could be a step in the right direction. Best of luck!
- 772 views
Hello. Workplace stress is one of those areas of living that troubles many people who need an income to survive. The interactions between you and coworkers is a mixed bag, and sorting that out can be difficult. Also, if you are feeling under appreciated and not well paid, this can add bitterness to your lot of emotions. A few questions can be kept in mind as you work through your situation. Do you have the option of talking to your employer about your experiences and feelings with regard to your current work? Do you have local resources that you can use to find different jobs in your field? Do you have connections with employment counselors or agencies that can support you with strategies in dealing with workplace stress? These questions might cause others to bubble up, and could begin a new journey into a new field.
While still at your job, what can you do to take care of yourself? Are you taking breaks? Do you eat lunch at the office, or do you go somewhere away from the office to eat? What do you do when you have a few moments to breathe? Understanding that you can indeed find even the smallest strategies useful for self-care, can help bolster your energy and give you some support as you move through the day. Seeking the support of family and friends can be helpful as well. Knowing your personal limits and when to pull back and take a break will give you a chance to recharge your mental and physical energy, thus helping you face the demands of your job.
- 791 views
I am curious, what makes you stay? Sometimes "managing stress" is only a band aid to a bigger problem. When you ask yourself "what your life would look like without this stress," what do you see? We can easily talk about coping strategies for stress. Mindfulness, deep breathing, meditation, journaling, exercising etc. All of which may be things to help manage your stress. Hearing your sentiments above "I am being overworked and underpaid for my contributions" I wonder if the stress is more resentment and if "managing" is really the solution?
- 48 views
Ugh, overworked and underpaid is such a terrible combination. I applaud you for recognizing your value, both monetarily and otherwise. To manage your anxiety at work, consider putting together a small grounding box for yourself to have at work - fill it with fidgets, hard candy or gum, something that smells nice, kind words and reminders to yourself. Remind yourself that you are not stuck - you have lots of options for how to move forward and the freedom to decide what to do. A few options might be: look for another role in the same company, look for another job at another company, use some of your PTO time to give yourself a restful break, ask for a meeting with your supervisor or HR to discuss your concerns or advocate for yourself to get a pay increase. You are valuable, both inside and outside of the workplace! And it's okay to ask to be fairly compensated for the work you are doing, and set boundaries for yourself if that request is not accepted.
- 35 views
It is so hard to feel undervalued on the job! To be given so much work and not to get paid for it is unfortunately a headache many experience. Make sure that you are surrounding yourself with loved ones and ways of relaxing when you are not on the job, and taking care of yourself (aka eating well, getting enough sleep, etc). When one ensures that their physical needs are met, they give themselves the best chance for also functioning best mentally and emotionally. Think to yourself how you best take care of yourself and make sure when you are off from work you do those things. For example, do you enjoy reading, exercising, or maybe having a milkshake? If you do, make sure you make time to do those things! Whatever it is you enjoy please utilize self-care and do them. As long as it is not an activity that will harm you or anyone else, make time for taking care of yourself when you are not on the job. There are also skills you can learn to manage any symptoms of anxiety, and that a competent therapist can go over with you, should you decide to try counseling. And while you are doing all of that, you could also search for other jobs. Best of luck !
- 43 views
Hola. I understand. I worked 27 years in a sales & management environment in corporate before transitioning towards my area of purpose. I hear a couple different things here. One, I hear that your job is stressful (I know, thanks Capt Obvious). Secondly, that you are not compensated based on your appraisal of your contributions, Third, and maybe the core or at least closest to it - not being recognized or seen for your contributions. Did I get that right? if so, then I see the link between being demoralized and being stressed/having anxiety.
Be curious and ask yourself, "What irks me the very most?", "What is the one thing that could be done that would help me feel better" Typically money is not the root of many workplace issues. Often its direct supervisor, not being valued (ding?!), harassment, misaligned values, favoritism, and then money does come up.
As a mental health professional, we believe in empowering the individual to have increased agency over their situations/lives. You can practice and then bring up the issue to your supervisor(s) but first chat through it with a good friend or counselor or coach. They can give some specific things to do based on more detail of your situation.
- 100 views
First, look at your own history. At times, past trauma can make the current situation worse. If you have ever experienced trauma, you may want to try addressing the traumatic experience directly so that you can see clearly to deal with the current situation.
In addition, consider how your current boss, co-workers and/or company may be similar to your home life as a child. Is your boss or the company like one or both of your parents? Is a co-worker similar to a family member? Could you be perceiving a work-related situation or a person at work the same as a family member because their words, actions or looks remind you of that person?
Ultimately, after asking yourself these questions and providing honest answers, it will help you to determine whether you are dealing with issues of the past or whether you are in a current toxic work enviornment. From there, you can decide what you want for your future.
- 44 views
Is this what you have always seen yourself as? I understand. Do you have a cushion to fall back on? Your health is not worth this if it is making your life a complete mess. Not sure of your situation and responsibilities but you might consider a different path if you can. You might want to talk to a counselor or try some energy work to help with this.
- 27 views
Ugh! We spend so many hours at work, so if it's a tough environment it can really drag you down.
Is this your "dream job" gone sour or a "just pay the bills" deal that has gotten stale? It makes a big difference in terms of next steps.
For example, if this job is a step on the way to a bigger goal, it might be time to assess whether you need to be moving along to then next phase. Have you learned what you needed to learn to make this a helpful experience? Or do you sense there is more to learn, but you feel stuck in some way?
If this current job is part of a bigger plan, then you need to practice some good self care, set up ways to remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing, and make sure you are including some "carrots" along the way. That might mean spending some time each week networking (preferably live but online works well too) with peers in similar situations (entrepreneur groups, skill building trainings, etc). Big dreams require small steps, but we all need support along the way.
If , however, this is "just a job", then you really have to reassess your situation. If you are burned out and not getting paid your worth then look around for other opportunities. You are employed, not owned.
You mentioned anxiety, and while I don't want to minimize the very real issues anxiety presents, is it possible that some of your anxiety can be seen as "revving your engine" and readying you to move on? Or is it that pervasive feeling of never being able to finish your work, feeling like you will be "in trouble", or dreading every single moment of your workday? The first is a potentially positive motivator, the second is just bad for you. See the difference?
In order to feel any satisfaction with your job, it needs to be financially rewarding (to a level that makes sense), be a good atmosphere to learn, be supportive and/or be a step on the way to a bigger plan you have. If your job isn't fulfilling any of those criteria, you need to move on.
And finally, if the only reason you have this job is to pay the bills, and you truly see no way around keeping your current position for now, remember why you are there - this is a job, not a family. You rent your brain and body to your employer, not your heart and soul. Those belong to you and you are responsible for feeding them. That means good self-care, making sure you have social engagement (face-to-face, not just online), move your body, feel the sun on your face daily, creating ways to refresh your body and mind and generally taking care of your whole being.
Discomfort exists for a reason - it primes us for change, gives us the necessary motivation to take reasonable risks, and pesters us until we do so. The first step is to figure out what change is realistic, and take action.
- 208 views
- 612 views
Recognize your reason for continuing to work for this place.
Sometimes "overworked and underpaid" is tolerable bc of the valuable learning which the person will take with them when they've decided the time has come for these lessons to end.
Or, are you in this place bc it is an easy commute to your home or fits well with other parts of your life such as education or some health related program?
As long as you have a good reason to be there, you will feel there is good purpose.
If there is no good purpose and every day you wake up to work for a place you can't stand, then its time to look for a new position.
- 719 views
Submit your own question
- Relationship Dissolution
- Workplace Relationships
- Domestic Violence
- Anger Management
- Sleep Improvement
- Grief and Loss
- Substance Abuse
- Family Conflict
- Eating Disorders
- Behavioral Change
- Legal & Regulatory
- Professional Ethics
- Career Counseling
- Human Sexuality
- Social Relationships
- Children & Adolescents
- Military Issues
- Counseling Fundamentals