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How do you deal with workplace stress?


A recent blog post over at Life of an Architect got me thinking about how I deal with workplace stress.  The blog post was about burnout and touched on methods keep it from happening.  

I was wondering if we could start a discussion about how we all attempt to deal with workplace stress.  

So how do you attempt to deal with workplace stress?  Other than posting here.  ;)

 
Apr 27, 22 11:01 am
sameolddoctor

Seeing that the "workplace" is my home these days (and hence working a lot more than usual), I try to bike as much as I an (shorter rides 2-3 times a week) and a long tour on the weekend. Just finished 300-mile April as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

This has helped thus far, but I feel the burnout is catching up with me these days, unexplained aches, sleeplessness etc are coming back...

Apr 27, 22 11:23 am  · 
4  · 
Lonephone

I'm in the same boat. Even a quick ride around the neighborhood does a lot to alleviate any stress.

May 7, 22 11:00 am  · 
 · 
tduds

In short: Drinking less, exercising more, sleeping better, and learning to say 'no'

Apr 27, 22 12:04 pm  · 
9  · 
Wood Guy

That's been my approach as well. It's helping a lot. Especially learning to say "No, I can't do that."

May 1, 22 10:25 am  · 
 · 

I (sort of) wrote about this a while ago (can't believe it's been almost 9 years) while interning, but I think some of the same concepts apply. https://archinect.com/arch-ell...

I've learned sleep is a big thing for my stress relief. 

I still get out on the bike as often as I can, but I've learned I need to be more consistent with it ... 3-4 shorter rides a week is better for me than one big one on the weekend that takes the same amount of time.

Setting boundaries has become much bigger while WFH. It's easy to let work stress take over home life so I've had to set better schedules and realize that I can put off things overnight and get to them in the morning rather than staying logged on later to get ahead of something or catch up on something (whatever the case may be).

One thing I'm missing right now is a good break from it all. I haven't taken a decent vacation in way too long. I've got the time accrued, I just need to take it.

Apr 27, 22 12:40 pm  · 
3  · 
OneLostArchitect

usually when I’m under stress i go take a 30 minute dump 

Apr 27, 22 5:18 pm  · 
 · 

I got in trouble for doing that. Caused more stress.

Apr 27, 22 6:28 pm  · 
 · 
RJ87

Boss makes a dollar, I make a dime. That's why I poop on company time.

Apr 29, 22 11:34 am  · 
3  · 
Wood Guy

Watch out for hemorrhoids. They cause stress too.

May 1, 22 10:26 am  · 
 · 
Stasis

As for me, I do few things.  

  1. Start a gratitude journal - Start writing about how you feel on that day, but write subsequent paragraphs with something that you are grateful for.. it could be small things.. Like, at least i have a job.. I can support for my family, my kids suck most of time but also great to have them, or I am not in Ukraine and going through what their people go through etc..  Being thankful and appreciating little wins distract me from zoning in on negatives...  
  2. Going off of number 1, I tried to watch inspirational books, audio books, or movies that conjure up gratitude in me.  This is subjective and everyone reacts differently to movies, but I tend to watch people in extreme poverty and or those who find happiness in little things.. 
  3. Taking a walk outside - Sometimes walking and running reset your mood for the day.  
  4. Starting a new diet - I cut away sugar and carbs (because I am a diabetic).. It really helps my mood swings..
  5. Just try a new routine - any of the above, or anything.. I think introducing a new routine can break off tendency to dwell in your dark place.. 


Apr 27, 22 9:49 pm  · 
2  · 
sameolddoctor

I tried to cut off sugar and carbs, but then I have no energy to bike ... so that did not work. Eating healthy is a great stress reliever for sure though...

Apr 28, 22 12:10 pm  · 
2  · 
Wood Guy

Sameold, if you reduce carbs enough to go into ketosis, you'll have more energy than ever, and no hunger pangs.

May 1, 22 10:28 am  · 
 · 
sameolddoctor

High cholesterol (from genetics) is not great for Keto...

May 1, 22 12:19 pm  · 
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Wood Guy

It can go either way. There is a lot of high cholesterol in my family but mine has held pretty steady on a keto diet. YMMV.

May 1, 22 3:05 pm  · 
 · 

Being in a state of ketoacidosis can be very, very bad for liver and kidneys. It would be best to speak to your doctor before doing such a dietary change.

May 3, 22 11:50 am  · 
 · 
square.

i refuse to believe in any diet that says beans are not ok to eat

May 3, 22 12:07 pm  · 
 · 
SneakyPete

Also your breath will likely get you the social distancing you need for covid safety.

May 9, 22 6:38 pm  · 
 · 

You should be wearing a mask anyways . . . :)

May 9, 22 6:56 pm  · 
 · 
square.

get organized...

Apr 28, 22 9:55 am  · 
 · 
axonapoplectic

I started scheduling in lunch every day so people won’t schedule me for meetings during my lunch time. If there’s an all office meeting during lunch time I will take my actual lunch break after the meeting. And I never eat lunch at my desk. I also schedule in blocks of time to answer email and get actual work done - especially if I am on a deadline.


I stop work no later than 6pm no matter what. I very rarely break this rule.


I make sure to get enough sleep, exercise 6-7 days a week (run and strength work), and eat relatively healthy. 



I also avoid driving as much as possible - I am lucky enough to live close enough to work to be able to bike or take transit. My bike route is mostly on separated paths and is pretty nice most of the time. I find driving in city traffic just makes me even more stressed and tired. Transit puts me in the best mood for work - I get in relaxed and mentally prepared.

Apr 28, 22 10:06 am  · 
5  · 
proto

1) define your work time as distinct & defined time...no letting it slide into personal time [this is really the biggest thing, imho]

2) for me personally, getting outside during personal time is essential for my brain health; when my heart rate goes up, my brain turns off & goes into primordial mode. Others may just want different brain engagement (social activity; non-arch brain activity: puzzling/taichi/learn portugese; cheer sports team; etc)


Apr 28, 22 12:00 pm  · 
3  · 
e_zam
Have a life outside of work!
Apr 28, 22 3:37 pm  · 
2  · 
square.

a lot of great suggestions here, but they rely on personal/individual decision making, which will help alleviate some of the stress, but is unlikely to change the source of it. if problems in the work place aren't addressed systemically, it will be left to you to mitigate what keeps getting thrown at you; burnout is a result of the widespread inability of individuals to do so.

hence, time to get organized.

Apr 28, 22 4:51 pm  · 
1  · 
flatroof

Stress in the profession is by and large systemic coming from the top down. Some firms may be less stressful than others but all work in a system of low fees and rush schedules. People say to "care less" about your job to reduce stress but it's hard to do the bare minimum in an arch firm without being noticed. Might get away with it for a couple weeks than all of a sudden you out of a job.

Apr 29, 22 9:26 am  · 
2  · 
atelier nobody

(I keed, I keed!) (Well, sort of...)

May 2, 22 6:57 pm  · 
1  · 
tintt

I play Pac-Man.

May 3, 22 11:31 am  · 
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G4tor

during work?

May 4, 22 2:20 pm  · 
 · 

I think tintt works for him / her self. ;)

May 4, 22 4:13 pm  · 
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tintt

Yes. My other stress-buster is dancing to disco. They don’t allow that in offices either.

May 10, 22 4:06 pm  · 
1  · 

tintt - Your boss sounds like a big meanie.  ;)

May 10, 22 4:33 pm  · 
 · 
tintt

So mean. I get to have my dog at my feet. Work hours are M-W 9:30 to 2:00 and Thursdays 10-2 with occasional longer days. Paid lunch. Unlimited espresso.

May 10, 22 5:43 pm  · 
1  · 
atelier nobody

"Yes. My other stress-buster is dancing to disco. They don’t allow that in offices either."

I live in my noise-cancelling headphones at the office, and I often catch coworkers snickering when they see me rocking out in my seat. I wonder if they'd still snicker if they understood how much violence they are being spared...

May 18, 22 12:38 pm  · 
 · 
kenchiku

Lifting weights 3-4x per week


Meditating. Usually a 10min session in the evening. Sometimes I'll do one mid-day while just sitting at my desk at work. If you've never meditated before, it's pretty wild to see how hectic and distracting our minds are. 





May 9, 22 7:12 am  · 
 · 
archanonymous

I quit my job because work is bullshit and this industry is a cesspool. 


Highly recommend everyone here do the same.

May 9, 22 2:47 pm  · 
3  · 

What job did you move to?

May 9, 22 2:58 pm  · 
1  · 
JawkneeMusic

I like to m00ve it m00ve it!

May 9, 22 7:06 pm  · 
 · 
square.

the suspense is killing me

May 10, 22 10:13 am  · 
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Wait, is AA still allowed to post here is he / she isn't involved in architecture. ;)

May 10, 22 10:33 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

Chad, Jawknee is... so I don't think involvement in arch is a prereq.

May 10, 22 10:34 am  · 
 · 

I only pretend to be an architect while I'm at the firm. I'm not really an architect.

May 10, 22 10:40 am  · 
 · 
archanonymous

a new job? haha no. I already told you guys I'm living in my van down by the river. Work is for suckers.

May 11, 22 11:09 am  · 
 · 
square.

:')

May 11, 22 11:24 am  · 
1  · 

Ah - so AA is just a bum leeching off society.  ::I'm jealous::

May 11, 22 11:54 am  · 
1  · 
atelier nobody

I was most of the way to zeroing out the last of my debt so I could do something like that...then I went to the dentist...sigh.

May 18, 22 12:37 pm  · 
 · 

I'll never be able to do that. We only have $100K in mortgage debt but I'm a Type 1 Diabetic so I need good health insurance. :(

May 18, 22 12:59 pm  · 
 · 
RJ87

Even the guy who lived in the van down by the river had a job.. he was a motivational speaker. Can't disrespect Matt Foley like that.

May 18, 22 5:21 pm  · 
 · 

.


May 18, 22 5:42 pm  · 
 · 
whistler

just say no!  very liberating!

May 10, 22 4:52 pm  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

I got to do that today. One of the partners came over looking to me to bail another staff’s project because they overestimated their abilities. Nope. I don’t have time.

May 10, 22 5:14 pm  · 
2  · 
whistler

Had two this morning, one was to resolve some homeowners red tag issue because he had been caught doing something illegal or without a permit.  The other was for a renovation, to a renovation that was a phased build on a project that was halted due to construction problems...I had to say no three times before the project manager got that I wasn't interested in working on a dog's breakfast that had already come out the wrong end! haha.

Felt good to say no!

May 10, 22 6:13 pm  · 
1  · 
sameolddoctor

I feel I'm saying no to a lot of asinine requests from my superiors who have zero idea how shit gets done.

May 18, 22 5:45 pm  · 
 · 
MDH-ARCH

What has helped me is to meditate in the morning, 10 minutes is all you need to clear your head. Work out a few days a week, throw some weights around. I've literally broken personal records on days where clients were driving me insane. Eating healthy, proper sleep, SAY NO and turn down everyone who you know will be a problem. I've found most of my biggest issues are from dealing with the wrong people.

May 10, 22 7:07 pm  · 
 · 
Miyadaiku

A big part of dealing with stress is getting to the point where you really know your own personal stress threshold.

Whenever I feel that creeping up, I get up and walk; just walk. It's both meditative and gives me some nice mild exercise. Lather rinse repeat until I chill out enough to solve the problem giving me stress (yeah, sadly you generally have to eventually solve the problem....)

If I continually pass my personal stress threshold it's like getting injured trying to train my body; gains lost and time wasted.

Also, I try to increase competency. Usually the things that stress me out do so because.....I suck at them. Once I get better, I find those things aren't so stressful anymore.

Things outside of my control are well.....outside of my control. Someone else can stress over that.


May 16, 22 9:38 pm  · 
2  · 

Thanks for the insight!

May 17, 22 11:08 am  · 
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