How to support a colleague’s stress levels

Work related stress is becoming a growing problem around the world, which can affect not only the health and wellbeing of the employees, but also productivity within the workplace.

Each and everyone one of us deals with our stress levels in different ways. Stress can arise where by our work demands of various types and combinations such as a person may feel under pressure if the demands of their job are greater than they can comfortably manage or it could be there may be a conflict between co-workers or bosses, can overwhelm a person’s capacity and capability to cope in their current situation.

What one person may perceive as a stressful situation/event, another person may view as challenging. Whether a person experiences work-related stress can depend on the job, the person’s psychological make up, and other factors (which can include their personal life and general health).

Some common symptoms of stress include:

  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed and unable to cope
  • An increase in sick days or absenteeism
  • Disinterest
  • Isolation
  • Long hours
  • Heavy workload
  • Tight deadlines
  • Job insecurity

So, you may be asking what are some positive ways to help your colleague who is going through a stressful time/situation at present?

Here are some suggestions/tips that may be able to help:

  • Making sure that you take care of yourself by eating and maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly
  • Think about the changes you need to make at work in order to reduce your stress levels and then take action. Some changes you can manage for yourself, others will need assistance from others.
  • Talk over your concerns with your employer
  • Make sure you are well organised. Keep a list of your tasks in order of priority, and look at scheduling the difficult tasks for when you are fresh in the morning.
  • Don’t take out your stress on your loved ones. Instead, tell them about your work problems and ask for their support and suggestions.
  • Seek profession counselling. Sometimes talking to someone who does not work in your industry may be able to give you some positive/constructive ways in which to deal with the situation both now and if it happens in the future.
  • Consider the befits of regular relaxation, such as Meditation, Yoga, Pilates, or Tai Chi
  • Make sure you have enough free time to yourself every week. During that time look at ways to do something good for yourself such as going for a walk, going out for a pedicure, catching up with friends for dinner or even catching a movie.


AmandaAmanda Ogden is from Sydney Australia, and has spent the past 13 years working within the welfare industry in both administration and case management assisting people with mental health issues, mild intellectual disabilities, acquired brain injuries, drug & alcohol, homelessness gain employment. She also loves travelling, creating jewellery, music, friends and family.

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