Stress is a common workplace experience and can be caused by many different variables. Feeling stressed out at work can lead to other challenging emotions including: burnout, poor mental and physical well-being, disengagement and resentment towards your work. Stress may not only negatively affect your work but can also trickle down to your personal life.

Many different factors can cause stress in the workplace. Maybe your boss or coworkers are giving you a hard time. Or your work is piling up and feels unmanageable. Or you’re feeling unappreciated at work and your motivation is low. Or you’re afraid to lose your job. It is common for the cause of stress to be multifaceted—everything seems to be going wrong and you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Whatever the causes of workplace stress, an excessive workload, lack of control or support, job insecurity, the commute or bullying—stress can affect people differently, and it’s important to understand what those effects are and how to manage them.

Workplace stress can lead to low productivity, poor concentration, low job satisfaction, depression, anxiety and burnout. It can also lead to physical effects such as high blood pressure, a weakened immune system and disruption of eating habits.

Whatever is causing stress on a person at work it’s always important to understand how to manage this overwhelming feeling and prevent effects like burnout applying the following suggestions:

Organize your priorities
You can reduce stress by prioritizing your most important tasks and keeping them organized. Depending on your preferred learning style, this may look different from person to person. If you’re a visual learner, it may be helpful to write down your priorities from most important and urgent to least important. If you’re an auditory learner, it would be helpful to make a voice note for yourself when you have a long list of priorities. Organizing your thoughts and priorities will help take off some of the pressure around tight deadlines and daunting tasks.

Maintain a work-life balance
Most people spend at least eight hours a day at their jobs. This is more time spent with their families or elsewhere in their personal lives. If you’re feeling stressed at work, it’s very possible that the stress will follow you home. As hard as it is, remember not to let work affect your life at home too much. Maintaining a work-life balance may look like starting a new hobby, having after-work plans to look forward to, taking time off work when needed and prioritizing your physical and mental health.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself
When work is stressful, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself, work can become even more overwhelming. Self-care can include simple things such as spending time with family on weekends or setting goals for yourself. You can also practice self-care at work by taking regular breaks, taking your lunch break outside, socializing with your coworkers, or listening to your favourite music during the day.

Reach out and figure out your next steps
No one should experience workplace stress alone. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, reach out to someone you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts with—friends, a trusted coworker or family. It may be helpful to talk it out with someone and figure out your next steps around relieving stress.