It’s a very common occurrence. It’s past six and somehow you’re still in front of the computer crunching numbers or finishing some emails. Your Skype or Slack notification goes off, and you get anxiety during the brief moment of you hovering your mouse over it. It’s your boss, and he’s asking you, yet again, to do some overtime tomorrow and also to come work over the weekend.

You reply “yes,” sigh and continue working, shrugging away the exhaustion you’re feeling.

Now this may benefit your boss, but if left unchecked, can actually take a huge toll on your mental health. And before you know it, you’re already burned out and calling in sick for work.

To help you cope with work-related stress, here are some strategies you can use to keep yourself in check:

  1. Exercise. This should come as no surprise, since our physical health directly affects our mental health. But exercising does nothing but good to our physical and mental states, and while it may be hard to find the time, investing in it will definitely go a long way.
  2. Take mental health days when needed. If you’ve never taken one, then you probably should. Whether you decide to spend it out with your family, or to just be in bed all day with a good book and some coffee, taking mental health days is key to keeping yourself productive when you’re actually working. Always remember that we’re not machines, and taking a break for ourselves every now and then is never wrong.
  3. Don’t forget about your breaks or lunches. It may seem like a small thing, but taking your breaks and lunches when it’s time to can actually help declutter and free your mind. This generation tends to glamorize over-working, when looking after ourselves should be our top priority.
  4. Leave work at the office. Working even when we get home is becoming too common these days that we forget how unhealthy it is. We’re basically sacrificing time for ourselves in place of something we already did 8 hours before. So give yourself time, as well as the people around you. Good, quality work can always wait.
  5. Delegate work responsibilities. At the end of the day, this is still all work, and there’s really no reward to taking all of the responsibilities. So do what you can and do it well, but don’t be afraid to delegate some of the work when needed. You’re in a team, after all.

It may be hard at first and may take some time getting used to, but understanding that your mental health should come before anything else is key to being a better worker and better human being, as well.

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