Work Stress — What’s Driving You to Eat That KFC Sadness Bowl?

bowls_potatoThe holidays are over, and everyone’s easing back into their normal work routines — things are quickly kicking back into gear at TSC HQ. Hopefully, you had some time to decompress and not stress about the eleventy-billion things waiting to be done at the office.

A little bit of stress at work can give you a competitive edge, but too much has been linked to lots of not-so-fun things — high blood pressure, insomnia and heart attacks. And according to a CDC report, 40 percent of workers report that their job is “very or extremely stressful.” Yikes.

So what at work is giving you heartburn? Here are just a few things that could be responsible for your alarmingly high blood pressure — and there are dozens more.

  • Too much damn work. You’re working around the clock, chipping away at a workload that never seems to dwindle. It sucks. You don’t even have time to chat at the water cooler about last night’s episode of The Walking Dead, let alone have a life outside work. And when you’re not working, you’re drinking, smoking, eating the world’s saddest fast food and not exercising. No wonder you’re going to have a heart attack.
  • Rampant ambiguity. There’s nothing worse than not knowing what you’re supposed to be doing, who you’re supposed to report to or what’s going on behind closed doors. Constantly floundering in a sea of ambiguity breeds angst and anxiety.
  • Crappy company culture. It’s hard to feel engaged and productive when going to work feels like living in the Crawford household in Mommie Dearest. Maybe the company culture you once loved is crumbling beneath you thanks to a merger, acquisition or change in leadership — or maybe it has always sucked. Either way, you leave the office feeling like you’ve been beaten with a wire hanger.
  • Work-life balance gone to hell. This one circles back to the first one. You work too much and you miss out on the rest of your life. You miss your kid’s band recital, you forget your anniversary or you’re just never home. Being eaten alive by your job is going to impact your personal life — in the worst ways ever.

There are a ton of things you could add to the list — crappy co-workers, layoffs, downsizing, lack of social support, unrealistic deadlines — whatever’s making you miserable, there are ways to deal with stressful work situations. First of all, get some exercise every day and avoid drowning your sorrows in a bottle of Boone’s Farm and a 720-calorie bowl of despair. If it looks like your stressful work situation isn’t going to change, maybe it’s time to update your LinkedIn profile and find a job that isn’t quite so soul-sucking.

And if you’re looking to work at a company with sweet benefits, a killer company culture and a flexible work environment — we’re hiring.

Image source: KFC

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