Health and Safety

Coping with Workplace Stress

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Minimizing the impact of work stress involves both short term and long term strategies.

Short-term strategies

  • Recharge outside of work: If your work stress is temporary, it may be sufficient to try to focus on recharging outside of work. Getting support from friends or family, engaging in enjoyable recreation activities, or exercise will help with short term stress.
  • Avoid negative coping mechanisms: Try to avoid using things like smoking, increasing alcohol consumption, or overeating to cope with short term stress.
  • Increased involvement in work decisions: In some work settings, employers encourage employees to become involved in how work is done. If this is the case in your workplace, getting more involved can help reduce stress.

Long-term strategies

Research has helped identify characteristics of healthy workplaces; that is, those that emphasize employee well being. Healthy workplaces are also those that have the greatest capacity for improving overall organizational performance. Characteristics of healthy workplaces include:

  • High levels of employee involvement
  • Allowing a high degree of flexibility to achieve work-life balance
  • Opportunities for growth and development
  • Emphasis on health and safety
  • High levels of employee recognition.

For More Information, visit theĀ Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program on line.

Psychiatrist David Prescott is director of performance improvement at The Acadia Hospital in Bangor.

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