10 Practical Strategies for Managing Stress at Work: Advice from Shelly Qualtieri, a Calgary-based Counsellor

advice balance calgary counselling depression therapy calgary mental health work work advice work tips Mar 08, 2023
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In our frenzied chaotic world, work pressure has become an ever-pervasive issue. We often hear from our clients they are experiencing some type of job-related tension, and overtime in our counselling and coaching sessions, we’ve seen the considerable ramifications for both physical and psychological health. That's why it is important to talk about it today and address the issue head on! This article will investigate the subject of work stress and its repercussions on your life. We'll delve into the causes of occupational anxiety, its telltale signs and symptoms, as well as effective strategies to combat it. So let's jump in and explore this crucial issue together!

Understanding Work Related Stress


According to an article published by the American Psychological Association (APA)

"A stressful work environment can contribute to problems such as headache, stomachache, sleep disturbances, short temper, and difficulty concentrating. Chronic stress can result in anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. It can also contribute to health conditions such as depression, obesity, and heart disease. Adding to the complexity, individuals dealing with extreme stress often cope in an unbeneficial manner, such as overeating, eating unhealthy foods, smoking cigarettes, or abusing drugs and alcohol."

Let's be honest…the biggest issue is that work stress doesn't necessarily stay in the office. Work-related stress has the potential to seep into other areas of our lives, creating a detrimental effect on our overall well-being. When the pressure at work gets too intense, it can be hard to find respite and decompress beyond the office walls. This can lead to a range of negative consequences, including:


What are the negative consequences of work related stress, and how does it spill over into your personal life?


  1. Strained relationships: Work stress can cause individuals to become irritable and short-tempered with their loved ones at home, leading to arguments and strained relationships.
  2. Physical health problems: Excessive and long-term work stress has been connected to various physical health issues like headaches, muscle tension, digestive discomforts, and even high blood pressure.
  3. Mental health issues: Stress in the workplace can magnify existing mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, or even create new ones.
  4. Poor work performance: when somebody is in a high-pressure setting, they may be unable to focus or execute their job responsibilities well, which can result in subpar performance and it may eventually lead to getting laid off or fired.
  5. Diminished overall health and happiness: Constant job-related distress can create lasting damage to an individual's physical, mental and emotional health, inevitably reducing their overall quality of life.


With that in mind, it's time to delve into the significance of managing your workload and discovering a harmonious balance.


What is the Importance of Managing Work Stress


Managing work stress is crucial for our health and well-being and experiencing high levels of stress on a regular basis can lead to a condition called burnout, which is characterised by emotional exhaustion, detachment from work or personal life, and decreased performance.


By prioritising our own well-being and taking steps to manage work-related stress in healthy ways, we are not only protecting ourselves physically and mentally but also increasing our overall quality of life. With that in mind, here are 10 actionable strategies for managing stress at work:

10 Practical Tips for Managing Stress at Work:

  1. Practice mindfulness: Regularly take time to rest and focus on calming your breath in order to reduce levels of stress. This simple activity can have a long-lasting, positive effect on one's mental health.
  2. Exercise regularly: I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again, physical activity releases endorphins, which can improve mood and reduce stress levels.
  3. Find humour in everyday life: Finding humour in everyday situations can help shift your perspective on stressful events and promote greater resilience when faced with adversity. Try going to a comedy show after work to let off steam and get your mind off of your daily tasks.
  4. Find supportive co-workers: Create meaningful connections with other professionals who are empathetic and willing to lend an ear when you need it. Set up a safe space where you can talk about your day, build relationships of trust, and experience a more positive outlook on life.
  5. Practice time management: Prioritise tasks and break them down into smaller, manageable steps to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
  6. Listen to music: Listening to music has been shown to have numerous benefits for mental health, including reducing stress levels and promoting relaxation. Try creating a playlist of calming songs or listening to instrumental music during times of high stress.
  7. Try aromatherapy: Essential oils like lavender, chamomile or peppermint can promote relaxation when used in diffusers or applied topically.
  8. Keep a gratitude journal: Each day, write down three things you're grateful for. This practice can help shift your focus from negative thoughts to positive ones.
  9. Take breaks during the workday: Taking regular breaks to move your body and stretch, this can help your muscles stay loose so that you don't get too tense while working. Set reminders on your electronic devices as a way of keeping yourself accountable for taking these pauses throughout the day. A walk outside is especially beneficial, but even small stretching exercises from where you are sitting will improve blood circulation and provide some much-needed respite from work. If you’re reading this while working, try doing it now! 
  10. Seek professional help: If feelings of stress persist despite efforts to manage them, consider speaking with a mental health professional for additional support. OurCalgarybased team of mental health professionals are here to help! 


By incorporating these strategies into your daily life, you can better manage stress levels and promote overall well-being both at work and in your personal lives.




In summary, our team at Shelly Qualtieri & Associates Counselling & Coaching understands the far-reaching consequences of work-related stress on both people and businesses. If you're dealing with mental health issues, we encourage you to prioritise your wellbeing - no matter where you are in your career. Ensuring your physical and emotional well-being is sustained is important for a bright future.


If the thought of taking these steps feels overwhelming, remember you don't have to do this alone! Allow us to assist you in crafting a plan fit for your needs so  you or your business can focus on boosting and preserving your health and the health of your team. If you’re in the Calgary area, or you're looking for support virtually, in person, or by phone, please do not hesitate to reach out for counselling today! Let's work together to make sure that self-care is always at the forefront.






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