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Managing stress can be difficult but when you have a mental illness, it can also trigger an episode. Having a job can build your confidence, reduce debt, give you the opportunity to travel and even make you feel fulfilled and make a difference in the lives of others. But what happens when stress becomes difficult to manage at work? Here are four tips to help you manage stress at work.

Communicate With Your Manager and Job Coach

Whether you are dealing with rude customers or coworkers, having difficulty learning a new task or your hours no longer work for you, it is imperative to let your job coach and manager know so they can help with making the necessary changes at your job. If you have something going on in your personal life that interferes with your job, ask your job coach the best way to handle the situation. Your job coach and manager are there to make sure your work environment is safe and want to see you succeed.

Practice Self-Care

In order to be a great employee, you must take care of yourself. Self care is personalized so it varies from person to person. It includes anything that feeds your mind, body and spirit and should make you feel balanced. It can be as simple as eating a healthy meal during your lunch break, going for a quick stroll or journaling. If you take medication, please take it as prescribed. When you feel overwhelmed, practice deep breathing techniques to ease your mind. Take time to relax and recharge as there is no need to overwork yourself.

Consider A Job That Is A Better Fit

Sometimes our jobs aren’t the best fit for us and that’s okay. It does not mean there is anything wrong with you. We all have strengths and areas of improvement, and you should have a job that allows us to succeed. Before resigning from your job, speak with your manager and job coach to see what suggestions or alternatives they can offer you. If you decide to leave your job, use it as a learning experience, evaluate what worked and what didn’t work, and see if there are areas of improvement. Lastly, work with your job coach and find a job that better meets your needs.

Establish Boundaries

Boundaries are personal rules and guidelines that you set to ensure your safety and well-being. For instance, you may explain to your job coach that you can’t work past a certain time because public transportation ends at a specific time. Or maybe you can only stand for two hours before needing a break, let your manager know. Boundaries can be difficult to make in the workplace but they help to minimize your stress. If you struggle with setting boundaries, work with your therapist and you will find that it becomes easier over time.