Starting a new job is very exciting, but it can also be very stressful. Changing your daily routine, meeting new people and learning how to work in a new environment all pose new stressors, but it can easily become manageable using the right techniques that fit your lifestyle.
Here are 6 tips you can implement into your daily routines to help minimize new job stress.
Healthy routines are often the first things to get pushed aside during big life changes. But this is the time when regular exercise, healthy eating and sleep are crucial for keeping your body and mind in balance. When you take care of yourself and prioritize your health, you are less likely to become overwhelmed and will be able to manage new tasks thrown your way.
One of the best ways to mitigate stress is to exercise regularly – whether it’s at a gym, going for a walk or anything else that gets your body moving. This could even be going for a walk during a work break outside or around your building. This helps stimulate blood flow and releases endorphins in the brain that help you feel more at peace.
Eating healthy foods that give you energy and make you feel good is another way you can manage stress. When your gut health is in order, your mindset will also improve and help you focus on the tasks at hand. One trick to help eat healthy is to pack your lunches instead of eating out. You can fill your lunch box with whatever foods you enjoy and include some snacks to keep you full and focused during the day. Avoiding over-caffeination, excess sugar and high carb foods also help normalize blood sugar and avoid mid-afternoon crashes.
Lastly, be sure you are getting enough sleep at night so your brain and body are ready to go each morning. Recognize how long it takes you to get ready each morning and how long your commute is to the office. Or, if you are working remote, give yourself enough time in the mornings to wake up, shower and get ready for your day. Everyone is different and will require different amounts of sleep, but it is generally recommended to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
Socialize with Colleagues
Being a new employee can feel awkward, especially for introverts, but it’s important to challenge yourself to build a social network at work. Even if the friendships don’t extend beyond office hours, having social support can make work more enjoyable and help you assimilate into office culture.
If you’re uncomfortable meeting new people, start small. For example, rather than eating lunch at your desk, see if there is a group that eats together that you can join. It might be less intimidating than approaching someone eating alone or with a friend.
If you have hobbies or interests outside of work like yoga or painting, you could ask your co-workers for recommendations on yoga studios in the area or the best craft store to shop at. This will help you find common ground with colleagues and become a great talking point in casual conversations.
Gain Understanding of Expectations Early On
When you’re just getting to know the people and culture of an organization, it can be tough to sort out expectations. If your boss isn’t straightforward about their working style or how performance is reviewed, set up a meeting to get on the same page.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions so you can better understand how to navigate your new position expectations. It can make you feel more overwhelmed if you play the guessing game and try to figure out what your boss expects you to do. Write down your questions and the answers to those questions when you meet with your boss so you don’t forget or can reference these later on in your job. The more information you have, the more comfortable you’ll be fulfilling your duties.
The difference between spending your first month at a new job completely stressed and enjoying the change is how much you feel in control of your situation. For example, a longer commute might be stressful, but you can gain some control of the situation by listening to an engaging podcast or carpooling with a friend instead of listening to the traffic report or fighting traffic alone.
You most likely won’t be able to control every aspect of your situation, but you have the power to decide which aspects you can control that will make you feel more secure and less stressed. Try to view changes as new opportunities or challenges to conquer to feel more positive about your situation, rather than viewing them as an uncontrollable event and creating more stress for yourself.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help
There’s a difference between new job stress and chronic stress. It’s completely normal for your sleep schedule to be interrupted the night before a big event, like your first day on the job, but it shouldn’t be so overwhelming it lasts for an extended period of time. This is why self-care and being proactive during a transition period is so important for stress management.
Whether your stressor is work or something else, if you notice that your difficulty with adjustment seems to be lingering, or if it spills over into your sleep, appetite, or general well-being, consider talking with your primary care provider about your reaction and possible avenues for support and treatment.
Manage Your Time Wisely
Recent graduates are likely used to scheduling their study time around their favorite activities and is something you should aim for as well. After starting a new job, you will surely be eager to invest as much time as possible into new work projects. However, it’s important to make time for your passions or you’ll burn out easily.
Making time for yourself, your family, and your hobbies and disconnecting mentally from your job will allow you to return to work refreshed. Schedule out your week in advance and make sure you have time blocked out to unwind with family and friends. If you have a hobby, schedule that too. Block out a certain number of hours weekly to read, run, play basketball, paint, or whatever it is that you enjoy doing. Setting this time aside will help ensure that you don’t get consumed by your new job.
Whenever you start a new job, try using these 6 tips to help you manage your stress. Staying on track with your regular routines, making time for hobbies, friends and family will help you feel more comfortable in your new role and will ultimately help your performance levels as you progress.