If you’re already overwhelmed with work-related stress, it can be challenging to take on the stressful task of seeking help. Many jobs are stressful, but where do you begin when seeking help for job stress? Some individuals want to ask their employer for help but are worried about retaliation. It can be difficult to understand what protections you have and what steps you should take to get help.
However, job-related stress shouldn’t be ignored. Stress can have serious consequences for your physical and mental health. Without the help of professionals, you may be left spiraling into a situation in which you lose control. This five-minute guide will help you understand how to seek treatment for work-related stress.
Work-Related Stress Is Common
If you feel overly stressed at work, know that you’re not alone. According to the American Institute of Stress, work is among the top three sources of stress for adults. It’s not surprising considering the immense amount of pressure today’s workforce feels to perform, earn and produce results. Understanding that you’re not the only one dealing with work stress is the first step. There is a comfort in knowing that, just like you, most people feel that too much is being asked from them at work.
The top 10 causes of stress at work are:
- Unrealistic expectations and deadlines
- Lack of advancement opportunities
- Too much or too little work
- Poor work/life balance
- Poor management
- Bad communication
- High turnover
- Poor benefits and compensation
- Physical work environment (open office, parking, etc.)
Many times, causes of workplace stress are out of your control or can’t be rectified swiftly. For example, if your work has inadequate benefits that stress you out, you may be able to bring it up to Human Resources. Unfortunately, even if HR takes it seriously and wants to implement change, this can take some time. So, while you wait for your situation to improve, it’s essential to get professional help.
Acknowledge Your Stress
Approximately 54% of workers report that their work stressors impact their home life. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. If you always feel overwhelmed and stressed at work, it’s nearly impossible not to bring that home. Unfortunately, this can have significant consequences in your personal life.
People who are overly stressed at work might start to:
- Pick fights with their partner, family members, friends or roommates
- Feel depressed
- Avoid social activities
- Have difficulty sleeping
- Experience health concerns
- Overeat as a coping mechanism
Acknowledging your stress is crucial. It’s important to tell those in your life that you’re dealing with an unprecedented amount of stress at work. As a result, if you ever lash out or act strangely, the people in your life may understand why.
Also, it’s essential to acknowledge your stress to yourself. Many adults tend to dismiss stress as an acceptable part of work. However, whenever workplace stressors get so bad they impact your emotional, mental and physical well-being, there’s a problem.
When you allow yourself to acknowledge that you’re stressed, you’re taking back some control. By admitting you’re stressed, you’ll be able to recognize the warning signs when you’re at a breaking point. If you’re in denial, you’ll be less likely to get the help you need.
Steps for Seeking Treatment for Job-Related Stress
1. Seek Professional Treatment
Your employer may have a human resource staff member whom you’re encouraged to speak to when you’re stressed, but this is no replacement for the real thing. There are mental health professionals who have been trained in addressing stress in individuals.
Seeking professional treatment can be one of the most effective coping mechanisms to handle your work-related stress. A professional program can help you identify:
- The root of your work stress
- Your role in allowing or adding to your stress
- How your stress has impacted your personal life
- How to recognize your triggers
- How you can cope with stress when you’re overwhelmed
- A long-term plan to handle workplace stress
2. Determine the Level of Treatment Needed
After understanding that you need professional help, it’s time to determine the level of support you need.
If you’re overwhelmed and at a breaking point, you likely need a break from work. You can enroll in an inpatient program that allows you to stay in residence while getting treatment. At FHE Health, residential treatment combines therapeutic and medical treatment at our state-of-the-art campus for a period up to 30 days. This choice is best for someone who feels they can’t go into their workplace one more day without a break.
Another option is outpatient care. An outpatient program offers part-time help to patients, allowing individuals to continue to go to work while they get help. FHE Health offers outpatient programs of 60 days or longer. You can dictate your treatment schedule to best fit your life.
3. Speak with HR About Coverage
Ultimately, the type of treatment you choose to move forward with might depend on your employer’s coverage. Set up an appointment with Human Resources and explain that you’re seeking treatment for work-related stress. Ask what your options are in terms of partial or full coverage.
If it’s financially viable, go with the choice that best fits your needs, not the one with the most coverage. If you have no work coverage, remember that you should still seek treatment if you can afford it. As we’ve mentioned before, stress can have a devastating impact on your health, so it’s essential to get help. View this as an investment in your health.
If you have any concerns about repercussions, now is the time to ask. Some of the questions you may want to cover are:
- Will I be in trouble for seeking treatment for workplace stress?
- Will my boss or management be told I’m feeling stressed?
- Will the fact that I sought treatment be recorded in my employee file?
4. Be Consistent
Once you decide to get help and seek treatment, you need to be consistent. Your job stressors might not go away for a while, so you can’t stop treatment. You will work with your mental health professional on a treatment plan, and they will advise when they believe you can slow down or stop sessions.
Be comfortable with the fact that this might take some time. The experiences and coping skills you’ll learn in treatment can be applied to many areas of your life. Take the time to get help the right way.
5. Make a Long-Term Plan
You need to have a realistic evaluation of your workplace stressors to understand if there’s a possibility for improvement. If you bring up your concerns with Human Resources or management, do you believe they’ll be taken seriously? And, do you think they’ll implement change quickly or slowly? If the changes happen gradually, can you wait?
Be prepared to have a thoughtful conversation with yourself about whether you need to seek a new employer or a new area of employment.
FHE Health Can Help
At FHE Health, we specialize in personalized treatment options that help each patient overcome their obstacles. Your job stress doesn’t have to ruin your life anymore. Our compassionate team of counselors can help you take back control