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How to handle stress at work

Tips to help you manage mental health at work

Not all stress is bad, but chronic stress can lead to mental and physical health issues if it isn’t managed. With changes to where and how we work, new sources of stress have sprouted up that we might not be used to. To help manage stress and mental health at work, the American Psychological Association (APA) recommends these tips.

Be open

how to handle stress at workTalk with your coworkers and supervisors about the stress you’re dealing with at work. Work together to identify what triggers are causing stress and find solutions. Your supervisor can help you come up with a plan to manage your stressors, which could include professional development to improve your skills or changes to your workspace to lower physical strain. Your supervisor can also help you connect with mental health resources available in your workplace.

Set up priorities

Figure out what is high priority and what can be done later. If something isn’t urgent, work with your coworkers to come up with realistic deadlines. By figuring out what you need to focus on and what can wait, you can have a clearer path forward.

Establish boundaries

With hybrid and remote-working schedules more common, the lines between our personal lives and work lives are blurred. Set up work/life boundaries by having a set time when you stop working or by not checking email or taking calls after a certain time. Having clear boundaries can help you switch work on and off more easily.

Take care of yourself

Some things at work may be out of your control, making it hard to make changes. If that’s the case, focus on the things that you do have control of, such as your personal wellbeing and physical health. By taking care of your physical health outside work, you can come to work refreshed. Your physical health can have a major impact on your mental health.

Here are three areas you can focus on:

Eat healthy

Eat well-balanced meals as part of a healthy diet. Try to fill half your plate with fruits or vegetables, one-quarter with whole grains and the last quarter with lean protein. Make cooking fun by trying out different seasonings and cooking methods.

Exercise often

Exercising releases endorphins and is a great way to lower stress. Try to get 30-60 minutes of exercise each day. Keep your routine interesting by mixing strength-training exercises, such as weightlifting, with cardio exercises like running or swimming.

Get quality sleep

You will feel run-down if you don’t get enough sleep. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Stick to a regular sleep schedule and have an evening wind-down routine to help you get ready for bed.

Get help

If you find that your stress is affecting your mental health, don’t be afraid to seek help or treatment. Talk to your doctor to see if you should be screened for depression. Your doctor may also recommend a behavioral health specialist to you if you decide to seek treatment. We have some tips that may help you find a behavioral health specialist who is right for you.

Find mental health resources on Sharecare

You can track stress events using Sharecare. Open the app, select Track and scroll to find the Stress tracker. You can also find other mental health resources and articles on Sharecare, which are tailored to your specific needs based on your RealAge® Test results.

To download Sharecare, visit to create your Sharecare account, download the app and take the RealAge Test. Do not download the Sharecare app directly from the App Store or Google Play.


Disclaimer: This wellness program is administered by Sharecare, Inc., an independent company that provides health improvement management services to Blue Cross of Idaho members. Sharecare, Inc., does not provide Blue Cross of Idaho products or services and is solely responsible for the health improvement management services it provides.


Posted: May 4, 2022