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Support: Dealing with Stress in the Workplace

Working Smarter, Not Harder [2.10.2f 17]

National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA)

The following is an excerpt from Stress and Burnout: A Prevention Handbook for the Alcohol and Other Drugs Workforce, by Natalie Skinner and Anne Roach from National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA), Flinders University: Adelaide, Australia. The full Stress and Burnout handbook can be found Here or through a search request Here.
In many jobs within the health and human services professions, the individual has some degree of control over the scheduling of their everyday work activities. Strategies to help manage a demanding workload include:[1]
  • Setting realistic goals and recognizing the value of small achievements and steps towards a longer-term goal. For example, setting a goal of spending 2 hours with client X exploring a particular issue is more realistic and achievable than the goal of “helping client X improve their life.”
  • Scheduling regular rest breaks or a “time out.” Even small breaks can be valuable for stress reduction (e.g., scheduling 5-minute breaks between clients, leaving the office during lunch breaks).
  • Scheduling daily activities to include a mixture of high and low stress tasks. For example, schedule a session with a difficult client just before your lunch break or intersperse stressful activities with more mundane tasks, such as paperwork.

[1] Maslach, C. (1982). Burnout: The cost of caring. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

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