Tips for Managing Stress in High-Pressure Industries

Tips for Managing Stress in High-Pressure Industries

July 31, 2023
Tips for Managing Stress in High-Pressure Industries

Stress is a given in life — especially if you’re constantly entrenched in a stressful environment. Nearly 65% of adults in the workforce report their work as their top stressor in life — a position that has remained the same from 2019 to 2021. Those in high-pressure industries, from interns to managers, must deal with stress daily and are often losing an impossible battle. At some point, stress can affect more than just your mental health — it can manifest in your physical health too.

However, it’s never too late to reverse these impacts, even if you work in a high-pressure industry. Certain technology can even be harnessed to reduce the stress you experience daily. No matter the tactic, any action is better for your mental health than no action if you work in a stressful environment.

Understanding Stress in High-Pressure Industries

As mentioned, stress is not an unusual concept for the average working person in the United States. However, certain industries are more prone to high-pressure environments, which may have higher rates of employee burnout, workplace stress, and other mental health conditions.

Take construction, for example — 80% of employees in the industry report experiencing stress. Healthcare workers may experience similar stress, which has been reflected in a mass exodus in the profession — particularly because of pandemic-induced burnout. Those working in banking or finance may also experience daily stress since they often have to face unhappy clients who are also stressed.

Tight deadlines, relentless workloads, and other constant demands lead employees to find solutions that can do work quicker and even automate processes for a more balanced work life. Healthcare, one of the most high-pressure industries, is advancing rapidly through the use of emerging technologies. For construction professionals, many are leveraging AI technology used with their construction takeoff software to estimate materials, map floor plans, and more.

No matter if you work in construction or the medical field, there are shared common factors that make these workplaces stressful without intervention.

Common Sources of Stress

Every job comes with its own stressors, but there are shared experiences among high-pressure industries that affect employees’ well-being. This includes:

These stressors are more than just a minor inconvenience. If they become too much for employees to handle, these stressors can mean the difference between employee safety and may even affect the well-being of clients or patients.

Effects of Unmanaged Stress

Stress doesn’t occur in an echo chamber. It affects all facets of your well-being. Here are just a couple of areas of your life that stress may affect:

Stress is a cumulative health risk as well. The longer you leave stress unmanaged, the worse your health will be over time.

Strategies for Managing Work-Related Stress

Despite the varied effects of stress, it’s never too late to treat it and any related symptoms.

Strive for Work-life Balance

Since one of the main stressors of high-pressure industries is long hours, employees must find ways to minimize this factor whenever possible. This may also involve setting strict boundaries of when to work and when to clock out. It also may involve setting a strict schedule and routine that involves sleep, exercise, and time to eat a balanced diet.

A routine with these elements will help your overall health, which may help you stay resilient against any stressors involved in work. You’ll also be able to sleep better at night, which will give you more energy to minimize any stressors that may cause someone to feel overwhelmed.

Delegate and Seek Support

Rarely do employees work alone. Instead, most workforces operate through teams. Inevitably, the workload can sometimes spread unevenly, or some employees will bite more than they can chew when it comes to their bandwidth. If you find yourself in either position, you may inevitably commit poor time management habits, which can add to your stress and even lead to burnout.

Delegating your tasks, and seeking help from others is all a part of time and workflow management. If you still find that you and the rest of your team are overwhelmed, you can utilize time management software that can help you estimate the time-spend of your tasks, and allocate specific roles from there.

Beyond your work life, you should also seek support from your personal life as well. Those around you can lend thoughtful feedback or even space to vent that can help alleviate some stress that may have built up during the day.

Automate Repetitive Tasks

As mentioned earlier, many employers are finding ways to automate tasks for workplace safety. However, some of this technology can also take over more repetitive tasks that may deteriorate the mental health of employees. Here are just a few examples of tasks AI can now undertake:

With the help of AI, employees may have more mental bandwidth for bigger-picture projects that require human insight.

Prioritize Self-Care

Above all else, self-care should be a priority if you’re trying to manage your stress. Self-care looks different for everyone, but it may be helpful to start your routine with the following tips:

At the end of the day, self-care is simply finding ways to set your future self up for success, so you’ll have more mental capacity to handle stressors in your work environment.

Industry-Specific Stress Management Tips

However, these aforementioned tips may not be enough in certain industries, and employees in the following sectors may need to look into additional stress-relieving actions. Here are a couple of suggestions, based on just a couple of high-pressure industries.

Financial Services

Those that work in financial services are often familiar with stressors such as unhappy or frustrated clients about their own financial situation and long working hours.

Unfortunately, most don’t have the time to compartmentalize these stressors — for example, over 71% of those working in financial services in the U.K. report that they often have little time to decompress from their daily obstacles. Employees in this sector can find time to destress in the following ways:

If you find that your mental health is still suffering despite using these tactics, reach out to your doctor and your immediate supervisor for advice on how to cope.


The CDC published a guide in 2023 for mental health and burnout support among healthcare workers that included some of the following tips:

It’s also important for you to reach out to mental health services — in person or telehealth — if it’s available to you.


Similar to other professions listed above, those that work in construction can cope with their stress in the following ways:

No matter your profession, your stress is a valid concern. Addressing it in any shape will help you cope with your daily work and propel your professional life even further.

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