New Year – Less Stress


Stressed? Overworked? Overwhelmed? Stress in the workplace is a serious issue. Stressful work experiences are sometimes unavoidable. We all experience good stress and bad stress on a daily basis.

The good stress is the stress we feel when we are challenged and feel that “adrenaline rush.” The bad stress is the stress we feel when we worry, have fear or anxiety, which creates a vicious cycle of harmful stress that can lead to health problems.

Bad stress can also be embedded into your life when it’s consistent; like the stress that comes from ongoing work-related issues, family struggles, or relentless financial problems. According to NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), stress negatively affects employee health, which causes a decrease in productivity and profits. Workplace stress can also lead to worksite injury.

Stress can affect both your mind and your body. People under large amounts of stress can become sick, tired, and unable to concentrate or think clearly. Sometimes, they even suffer from mental breakdowns. People who are used to living with stress don’t know how to identify it. Whether you are experiencing immediate or short-term stress or have been experiencing stress for a long time, your mind and body may be showing the effects. There are several warning signs that affect your mind and body:

  • Increased heart rate and breathing
  • Headaches
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry mouth
  • Tightening muscles, with increased tension
  • Poor judgment – making bad decisions
  • Easily distracted
  • Feelings of anxiousness and frustration
  • Unable to laugh, work and not willing to discuss problems with others
  • Changes in appetite (eating more or less)
  • Poor sleep habits
  • Feeling constantly tired
  • Poor immune system – catch colds, flu stomach problems, etc.
  • Decreased libido or sex drive
  • Neglecting important things – work, school, and even personal appearance
  • Confused and overwhelmed feelings
  • Increased dependence on alcohol, drugs, or food

How do we control these things? When we are sick, we seek medical attention. When we get cut, we throw a Band-Aid on it. If stress impacts us negatively, we need to do something about it. Don’t allow stress to build up and steal your joy. When you feel stress coming on, push it back and fight. Studies show that 10 to 20 minutes a day of quiet reflection or meditation can bring relief from stress and increase your tolerance of the situations around you. Many organizations have implemented wellness programs that address workplace stress. This can be beneficial for the employee and for the company.

According to an article on, nearly 70% of American workers reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has been the most stressful time of their careers. Similarly, 88% of employees reported moderate to extreme stress in the early months of the pandemic.

Many companies have already taken a proactive approach to implement wellness programs and identify the potentially harmful stressors in the workplace. Here are some tips that will help you achieve success over stress:


  1. STOP THE RACE – Everyday is a race against time and we will never win. We cannot change time; however, we can make changes by organizing our day, taking responsibility, and setting priorities. If we manage ourselves, we will have time to do the things we really want to do.
  2. PRIME TIME – Set aside 30 minutes each morning to jot down your “to do” list. Make sure you don’t add too much to your list. Only the things that are necessary for you to accomplish for the day should be placed on your list. Cross off the items you have completed, and you will feel a sense of accomplishment.
  3. ENJOY THE DRIVE – During your daily commute to work, listen to enjoyable or relaxing music or something motivating. Take time to look at your surroundings and appreciate mother-nature. Avoid talking on the phone or checking e-mails/texting (that is illegal anyway). Your “drive time” is your time.
  4. SIT DOWN – Do not “eat on the run” or in your car. Take time to sit down to eat. Focus on relaxing and fellowship with co-workers. If co-workers only insist on rehashing all the negative stuff at work, eat alone.
  5. FORGIVE and FORGET – Forgive the people who may have harmed you in any way and take deep breaths to push all the tension and surrounding thoughts out of your body. Although you may not forget, fill your heart with forgiveness and wish the same success and happiness for them that you wish for yourself.
  6. BE THANKFUL – Remember to thank God, in whatever form is consistent with your belief system, for your blessings, the air you breathe and your ability to be part of a workforce.
  7. LIVE – Be present! Live today as if it were your last day. Make your last day, your best day!

“Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday – was it worth it?” ~ Author UnknownActions to reduce job stress should give top priority to organizational change to improve working conditions. But even the most conscientious efforts to improve working conditions are unlikely to eliminate stress completely for all workers. Organizational change and stress management techniques are often the most useful approach for decreasing stress at work.

With the continued challenges of our economy, it is important to stay focused and take a proactive approach toward employee wellness. Healthy organizations that have implemented wellness programs while addressing stress on the job have seen benefits to their bottom line. Make 2023 a successful year for yourself and your employees.


  1. Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy. – Leo Buscaglia
  2. If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep. – Dale Carnegie
  3. If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today. – E. Joseph Cossman
  4. Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.
  5. A day of worry is more exhausting than a day of work. – John Lubbock
  6. Every evening I turn my worries over to God. He’s going to be up all night anyway. – Mary C. Crowley

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