Workplace Well-being: Decreasing Work Stress with Self-Advocacy

Workplace Well-being: Decreasing Work Stress with Self-Advocacy

Apr 26 2022

Addressing your struggles at work with your leader can help improve workplace well-being for you and you colleagues, but self-advocacy may be easier said than done.

We spend a significant portion of our lives at work; in fact, it’s estimated that the average person spends approximately 90,000 hours at work throughout their life. Our jobs significantly impact other aspect of our lives, including our mental wellbeing, so finding a job that is a good fit for you is important.

Of course, no job is perfect, and there are bound to be certain projects, policies and even coworkers who occasionally cause stress or negative feelings. But burnout, constant stress and other issues might be signs that it is time to talk to leadership about your feelings and identify steps that can be taken to help.

Though often easier said than done, speaking up about things you are struggling with in the workplace can go a long way. It raises awareness of the problems you face and helps decrease stress, while also giving your employer valuable information about how they can help their employees.

Check out these tips on mustering courage to speak up and effectively advocating for yourself to improve your workplace wellbeing.

Prepare for the conversation.

Starting a conversation about your struggles with your role or company can be nerve-wracking, but don’t let anxiety hold you back. Taking time to prepare can help. Try writing a script in your head before the meeting. Remind yourself of your strengths and contributions to the company and have a clear idea of what you are hoping to accomplish with the meeting. Remember, you have the skills, abilities and talents that helped you land the job in the first place.

Speaking up will not only benefit you, but your employer as well. Especially in the age of the Great Resignation, employers are looking to understand how to best retain employees; your feedback could help.

Putting off a difficult conversation might only increase stress levels or lead you to eventually leave the company. Before deciding to move on to a new job, communicate your needs to your manager.

Communicate clearly and offer solutions.

It is important to remember that your leader may not know how you’ve been feeling, so begin by explaining what issues you are facing and how it is impacting you. Be honest and keep the conversation professional, focusing on the issues at hand versus trying to assign blame.

If you have ideas for how things can be improved, be sure to share it with your leader. Propose solutions and ways to make your role more successful. Work together to identify ways to improve the situation and develop a plan to put those changes into effect. Create a timeline for when changes should be made.

If your employer hears your concerns and can’t make the changes you need or find a compromise, consider looking for other roles.

Hold everyone accountable.  

Once you’ve developed a game plan and set up a timeline for changes to be made, hold each party responsible and consult with one another if any changes need to be made.

If things don’t improve, hold yourself accountable to look for a role that can better meet your needs.

Resources for managing stress

It may take time for your job to become less stressful after the initial conversation. If you become overwhelmed, additional resources may be available through your community or health plans. Priority Health members have access to the following resources for mental wellness:

  • 24/7 Priority Health Support Line: Priority Health has an on-staff behavioral health team that is available 24/7 and can be reached from the telephone number on the back of members’ ID cards or by logging into their member center.
  • myStrength tool: Self-care and coping skills are critical to your mental health and wellbeing. Members can sign up for a free myStrength account that includes interactive activities, coping tools and other resources, including information on processing grief at

Behavioral health virtual care: Behavioral Health virtual care is available with the same copay as an office visit, allowing members to receive treatment from the comfort and safety of their own home.