12 Habits of Employees Who Handle Stress Like a Boss

Posted by Robyn Whalen on Mon, Mar, 26, 2018

Stress is inevitable. It’s a part of life and, unfortunately, a part of office culture. Most employees deal with stressful situations or obligations on a regular basis. According to a 2017 survey by Paychex, over 60% of employees said that they felt stressed three or more workdays per week. This stress can lead to chronic stress or eventual burnout, which can both negatively impact physical and mental health.


Since stress can’t necessarily be avoided, it’s important to learn how to handle and cope with stress in a healthy way. Some employees might turn to alcohol, smoking cigarettes, gambling, or other risky behaviors to cope with stress, but these unhealthy habits only make things worse. To truly manage work-related stress, employees need to prioritize their physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing.

If you are starting to feel the signs of chronic stress, it’s urgent to learn coping skills before it’s too late. Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart problems, digestive issues, chronic aches and pains, and much more. There are many healthy habits that employees can practice to better deal with stress. Below are 12 habits of employees who handle stress like a boss that you can try out for yourself!

They prioritize sleep.

Getting enough quality sleep is one of the best ways to help manage and reduce stress. Employees with strong stress management skills practice healthy sleeping habits. This includes going to bed early, getting at least seven hours of sleep, waking up around the same time every day, and avoiding the use of gadgets before bedtime.

They practice a healthy morning routine.

A healthy morning sets you up for a healthy day! Employees who practice a healthy morning routine are much less stressed by the time they arrive at the office. A healthy morning routine can consist of a nutritious breakfast, some light exercise, socializing with the family, and practicing mindfulness. These types of morning activities can help employees manage their stress by promoting a healthy lifestyle.

They stay active.

Exercise is amazing for stress management and relief. When you engage in physical activity, your body produces all sorts of feel-good chemicals that help combat feelings of stress. Employees who handle stress well prioritize daily physical activity to let off some steam.

They practice positive thinking.

Some studies have linked positivity with a reduction of stress. This is because practicing positive thinking helps you become more resilient, which helps you cope better with stress. Employees who handle stress well eliminate negative self-talk and maintain a positive mindset. A positive mindset will also help you enjoy your job and your life more, too!

They eat a balanced diet.

What you eat can have an impact on your stress levels. A diet filled with sugary, processed foods can slow you down and make it difficult to stay productive at work – which can ultimately lead to a stressful day at the office. However, employees who eat a diet based on real foods feel more energized and productive. Check out this blog post for eight of the best healthy foods to eat when you’re stressed out!

They meditate.

Plenty of research has shown how powerful meditating is. Mindfulness meditation practice helps enable your mind to better handle stressful situations. Employees who handle stress well practice mediating or breathing techniques when they feel overwhelmed. Meditating for even 10 minutes a day can lead to some serious stress reduction benefits.

They talk to someone.

Holding in stress makes things worse. Too much built-up stress can lead to burnout or mental exhaustion. Successfully dealing with stress means talking to someone when you feel overwhelmed. While it’s great to talk with close friends or family members you can trust, it’s even better for stressed out employees to speak with a counselor or therapist – especially when dealing with chronic stress.

They say “no”. 

Employees who handle stress well aren’t taking on more than they can handle. They know their limitations and understand that it’s okay to say “no” to an extra project or commitment they can’t handle. Taking on too much is a huge source of stress in the workplace. It’s important to work with your team to make sure that everyone is comfortable with his or her workloads.

They make time for themselves.

Practicing self-care is necessary for your wellbeing. Handling stress well includes making time to relax and do things that make you happy. Self-care activities – like getting a massage, reading, or going to a spa with friends – help manage and reduce stress. Even as little as 15 minutes of self-care each day can do wonders. 

They make time for their families. 

According to the Paychex survey previously mentioned, 81% of employees wished they could spend more time with their children. Spending more time on your work than with your family causes a lot of stress in both your home and work life. Employees with strong stress management skills make an effort to spend enough time with their families. This means leaving work at work and utilizing time off to spend quality time with your loved ones. 

They use their PTO. 

Vacation time is essential for stress management. Employees who never take time off are more likely to experience burnout. Those that handle stress well will utilize their PTO and take some time off when they need a break from the office or are feeling mentally overwhelmed. Employees shouldn’t ever feel discouraged or guilty for using their PTO or taking a mental health day. 

They participate in wellness programs.

Employers use wellness programs for a reason. Participating in employee wellness programs help employees develop healthy lifestyle habits and learn more about their health. Employees with strong stress management skills take advantage of the opportunities, educational events, health screenings, and other resources that their wellness program has to offer. Many of these offerings help reduce stress around the workplace and create a healthier, happier work environment. 

Just because stress is common in the workplace doesn’t mean you should just accept it. Developing stress management skills is one of the most powerful things you can do to protect your physical and mental wellbeing. Practice some of the above strategies to start handling stress like a boss!

How do you cope with work-related stress? Feel free to comment in the comment section below!

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Topics: Healthy Workplaces


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