Workplace stress is defined as the negative emotional and physical consequences that arise when an employee’s job demands surpass their ability to cope. Workplace stress, if left ignored, can lead to burnout. Burnout is defined by feelings of energy depletion or tiredness, increased scepticism towards or mental estrangement from one’s job, and reduced professional efficacy (ICD-11). Through this article, you will gain tips on how to support people around you who are stressed with work. 

Firstly, observe them and share your observations respectfully. It is frequently a lot easier for a family member or friend to recognize their loved one’s work-related stress symptoms than it is for the person who is experiencing it. In doing so, choose an appropriate time to raise your concerns. Avoid bringing up your concerns about your loved one’s circumstances during a heated dispute. Choose a moment when your loved one is more available, calmer, and relaxed. Before bringing up the subject of work-related stress, you might want to ask your loved one if it’s appropriate to bring it up. Also, if it impacts you a lot, share how you feel respectfully. 

Secondly, enquire about the help they require. Do not think that your loved one must accept your help or advice. Telling your loved one how to deal with work-related stress or what they should do is disrespectful, and might undermine their problem-solving autonomy. Giving unsolicited advice might sometimes imply that you know more than they do. There could be a variety of underlying causes for your loved one’s work-related stress symptoms that you are unaware of. Also, your loved one is likely thinking about numerous things that they haven’t told you about. Instead of assuming the best way to help them, ask them for their needs. Do they just want a listening ear? Or do they want a hug? Resources? 

Thirdly, encourage them to spend time on non-work related stuff. Motivate them to pay attention to their physical well-being. This includes eating correctly, getting enough sleep, and exercising, all of which have an impact on their overall health. As your loved one gets increasingly consumed with work-related stress, it’s easy for these elements of life to be neglected. Also, get them to maintain social connections outside of work. This is rather beneficial to your loved one’s health. It is good for them to spend quality time with their families and friends so that work does not become the only significant component of their lives.

Fourth, be patient and understanding. Although you may have been aware of your loved one’s work-related stress symptoms for a period of time, your loved one may be unaware of or unable to recognize their own work-related stress at this time. It’s also conceivable that your loved one isn’t ready to admit that they’re stressed out at work. You shouldn’t expect your loved one to change just because you brought it up. Insisting on immediate improvements might lead to defensiveness, denial, and interpersonal conflict. Instead, be patient and tolerant, and understand that what they’re doing is unlikely to be personal. If you want to, you can tell them that you’ll be there for them if and when they need it.

Lastly, you can encourage your loved ones to seek help via the Employee Assistance Program. EAP providers are able to give the best advice for work-related stress and ways to mitigate it. 

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