13 Ways to Manage Stress
From Workplace Harassment

13 Ways to Manage Workplace Stress

Everyday life is filled with stressors. Getting harassed at work creates a ripple effect, impacting career, financial stability, and health. And it’s not just a short-term disruption. It can have serious and long-term effects in multiple areas of our life.

Harassment can trigger a trauma response. The fight, freeze, or flight reactions can be provoked at inopportune times. And if you’ve dealt with harassment before, new events can intensify those reactions.

When harassed at work, you not only have your regular job duties, you are burdened with more work and stress. You have to guard against further harassment, take time to research your options, plan next steps, and deal with managing outcomes. Every step is overwhelming and exhausting. Stress can seriously affect your health. Being mindful of how harassment impacts your overall well-being can help you manage and reduce the impacts on your mental, physical and emotional health as you navigate this process.

“Some research has found that sexual harassment early in one’s career, in particular, can cause long-term depressive symptoms.”

The Impact of Sexual Harassment on Depressive Symptoms during the Early Occupational Career – 2011

The Impact of Harassment on Health

Harassment creates many unforeseen, immeasurable damages in our professional and personal life. And buckle up, because the stressors can vary throughout the process, becoming more intense and exhibiting in new ways, as time goes on. Here are just some of the ways harassment impacts our health

Emotional Health Impacts

low self-esteem
stressed personal relationships
guarded & loss of trust

Mental Health Impacts

panic attacks
more inclined to substance abuse
more inclined to suicide attempts

Physical Health Impacts

stomach aches
loss of sleep
neck pain
muscle aches
high blood pressure
abnormal blood sugar
chronic health issues

“I don’t think healing follows directions. The truth is I don’t know what we become when we heal. That is the wisdom of the process.”

– Prentis Hemphill

Reduce Your Stress

Taking care of your emotional, mental, and physical health should be a priority, especially when dealing with constant stressors. Below are 13 ways you can take care of yourself while dealing with workplace harassment, or retaliation.

1. Breathing Exercises

2. Move Your Body

3. Get Outside

4. Meditation

5. Feel Your Feelings

6. Keep a Journal

7. Talk Therapy

Talk to a friend that can hold space, listen and be supportive. Not all friends are able to do this all the time. If you don’t want to overtax your friendships with too much emotional work, find a therapist.

Research a therapy style that you feel comfortable with, and find a therapist you feel comfortable opening up to. Not all therapies and therapists will resonate with you, so it may take a bit of time to find the right person. Luckily therapists have become more accessible. You can work with someone, remotely, via apps or zoom calls.

8. Engage in Hobbies, Activities, or Art Therapy

9. Listen to Music

10. Laughter is Medicine

11. Look for Allies

12. Give Yourself a Time Limit

13. Share Your Story

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