How to combat stress: Are you a worrier? Are the everyday burdens and challenges taking their toll on you? Do you always feel overwhelmed and exhausted of everything that you never have enough time to accomplish all that is required of you? Are your workmates giving you a hard time? Are you faring well in dealing with the intercultural workplace environment?
Well, you are not an exception.
All of us undergo stress and pressure in surviving everyday struggles and coping with the demands of 21st century living.
This is especially true for expatriate workers who have to deal with various cultures and nationalities in the workplace.
It’s really nerve-wrecking to be dealing with these daily stressors in the workplace.
For some, in the attempt of straightening things up, tend to push themselves too hard which usually makes things worse.
Those who can’t cope become depressed and anxious and were not able to get themselves up.
Succumbing to stress and anxiety will have a negative effect on your work performance. They cause a strain on your nerves thus, diminishing your thinking process. Being occupied by negative thoughts robs you of your joy making you feel more exhausted and irritable.
You will find it hard to get along with other people thus creating tensions in your relationship with your workmates.
In addition to clouding your sound mind and thinking, stress and anxiety can adversely affect your health and may even cause anxiety attacks and extreme depression. Some fell so low on depression that they were not able to get out of it and just let it rob them of their success and happiness.
Stress and anxiety are inevitable, but these should not compromise your happiness.
What is more important is how you react or respond to these stressors.
Stress as the culprit is manageable.
Don’t let your emotional and psychological burdens take over your life. You only need these 6 strategies to combat stress.
1. Organization and time management
Start organizing your schedule so as to avoid cramming and being late on your meetings and deadlines. Leave behind your concept of tardiness back in your country.
Remember that you are working with other nationalities and tardiness is not tolerated in your workplace. Managing your schedule will also give you a clear knowledge of the important and urgent matters that you must prioritize.
Time is one of your greatest treasures. It is something that cannot be taken back so use it wisely and make the most out of it.
2. Take a break and find time to recharge
Being busy is just normal but having many deliverables to pass may trigger so much pressure.
Psychologists say that certain amount of stress will not endanger your normal and healthy life. However, taking in too much pressure and not knowing how to deal with it may lead to burnout, insomnia or vices. Worse it may result in substance abuse, drug addiction, and dependence.
When it is already too much to handle, take a break, even just a little, and be recharged. That swift escape will relax your nerves and freshen you up.
Stand up and stretch your tired body. If you have time, exercise or take a fitness program. Allow yourself to rest and recuperate.
You may invite your colleagues for even just a quick coffee break, or maybe, take a vacation and indulge yourselves.
Treat and pamper yourself because you, above all else, deserve to reap the rewards of your hard work.
Do not be too hard on yourself. Acknowledge your flaws and know your limits.
Avoid excessive self-criticism. Most of the time stress is only self-inflicted.
Learn to accept that life is not perfect; it is full of inconveniences and challenges.
Recognize that you can’t please everyone in the workplace. Yes, dealing with people from different races will be a challenge and it is up to you put up a barrier. But if you are wise enough to accept and respect their ways, intercultural differences as stressors will be out of the picture.
4. Balancing work and family
There is always a difficulty in balancing these two important aspects of your life. Compromising one of them can cause a lot of stress.
Pressures you get from your family especially when you are working overseas will only add up to the stress caused by your work thus, it is important to find a win-win situation.
Avoid compromising any of the two, but if inevitable, make sure to make up for what is traded off.
5. Avoid tensions
It is just normal for people with different upbringings and cultures to have misunderstandings. As much as possible, settle dispute upon its onset.
Misunderstandings if left unresolved, may breed distrust and hate. Keep your cool while negotiating with your workmates and talk in a diplomatic manner. Don’t be too argumentative and aggressive.
Take into consideration the various practices and cultures of people you are dealing with.
6. Embrace diversity
Cultural differences should not hinder you from making good friends and enjoying your time with them. Find time to make friends.
Talking with friends is a tested and proven stress reliever. Spending time with friends helps you to relax and have fun.
Having a good laugh with them relieves you of your burdens and pressures at work. Laughter releases positive hormones that boost the immune system that is often weakened if the person is stressed.
Embrace your cultural differences, and immerse yourself into their different cultures. Share yours as well. This will not only result in deep understanding and appreciation of each other but also lessen the stress and pressures in the workplace.
Failure to manage stress can lead to physical and psychological problems that will adversely affect your work and your relationship with the people around you.
Don’t let work and intercultural differences stress you out and take control of your life. Stress is manageable if strategically handled.