Need help for stress in work


Hi. I would really like some advice here.

I work in a lawyer’s office and I have responsibility for over 200 cases.

My job has become very very stressful to the point that it causes me to have disturbed sleep, or I wake up early in the morning and can’t get back to sleep.

I also cannot enjoy the weekend as I constantly worry about issues which cannot be resolved until Monday morning. I just woke up there terrified about something that needs to be done, but i cant get into the office until Monday. It would only take 2 minutes to check it out, but because its the weekend…

I am constantly in stress and it dominates my life at the moment. Sometimes, work is enjoyable and I’m ok, but too often there are things to worry about, and so much to do. There is so much post every day to deal with, so many cases to deal with and already for Monday, I have too much to think about.

I’m really scared at how little I enjoy life at the moment and I find it difficult to focus on God (which I want to very much) because I am so worried about work.

I have devised a new schedule for dealing with the post - to put the day’s post in a folder and tick it with a pencil, when addressed - that way I know its done.

I also have a meeting with one of the Partners to discuss my progress so far, and I think I will have to talk about the amount of work.

Do you have any advice? I’m just scared I guess by what I have to do.


I suggest asking Christ for more help and maybe say what St. Augustine said,

“Pray not for a lighter load but for stronger shoulders”

Also, grow a devotion to St. Joseph…he is a wonderful model of how we to work and carry ourselves.

Reveltions 3:2:

Be watchful and strengthen what is left, which is going to die, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God.

Many people would, espeicaly protestants, hate this verse cuz who can claim their work PERFECT before God? Nobody…alone. Just ask Jesus to help you in all your works and He will perfect you.

I leave you with this prayer
Prayer to St. Joseph by Pope Pius X

O Glorius St. Joseph, model of all who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance in expiation of my many sins; to work conscientiously by placing love of duty above my inclinations; to gratefully and joyously deem it an honor to employ and to develop by labor the gifts I have received from God, to work methodically, peacefully, and in moderation and patience, wihtout ever shrinking from it through weariness or difficulty to work; above all, with purity of intention and unselfishness, having unceasingly before my eyes death and the account I have to render time lost, talents unused, good not done, and vain complacency in success, so baneful to the work of God. All for Jesus, all for Mary, all to imitate thee, O Patriarch St. Joseph! This shall be my motto for life and eternity.

God bless brother…pray for me too!


the reason why you are so stressed out is that you know you need to do certain things …
i had a similar situation when i was married… i was taking care of the home and was leading the project at work …
could not put in more than 8 hours at work becos of all the stuff that i had to do at home…
so i started keeping lists… whenever i thought of something that i had to get done at work which struck me when i was at home, i have a small notepad in my bag in which i would write it down and keep back in my purse. That way i know that i would get it done first thing once i reach the office…
the same thing applied for things taht needed to get done at home… wrote it down in my palmpilot…

do that and then let it go… helped me a lot…


Time Management for Catholics by Dave Durand, Sofia Inst. Press, the best spiritual book, your first spiritual book, and addresses the specific concerns raised in OP.


I’m sorry for your dilemma. I, too, used to get stressed over work…over the weekend, I couldn’t fully relax. I started reading books inspired by St Igatius…really helpful. One of the main things I learned, was that I was fearful of loss. Largely motivated by the loss of my parents, when I was a child. So, for most of my life, I’ve battled ‘losing’ something of importance. When I stop worrying, and leave my job and tasks to God…He will guide me to get things done–efficiently and succesfully. When I start going back into ‘fear of loss’ mode…I start panicking, and fearing that I might lose my job. I start thinking of everything that could go wrong–a subtle tactic of Satan, no doubt. Pray the Rosary daily, also…it has helped me greatly…and before you begin each decade, ask God to give you strength. Ask Mary to pray for you to relax, and put your trust for your job, in God’s hands. He will guide you to say the right words to your bosses, when the time comes too. I mean–you’re only one person–they can’t expect you to do the job of three people. I know that’s common in the corporate world…but, it’s not realistic…and employers are starting to lose very good people because they just abuse them with too much work.

Good luck…and keep us all posted!:slight_smile:


Get another job?


I second mariam on the lists…write it down, then go back to sleep and don’t worry about it till the right time. This is anxiety, probably caused by stress, as you say. I tend to do the same thing…I stay awake for hours fretting about the 5 things I have to do in the morning…it’s your brain trying to remember it for you and you can’t turn off. Keep a pad and pencil by the bed, get it out, and get your 40 winks. Lack of sleep makes you less productive and then, in turn, makes the stress worse.

Worrying is usally far worse than the actual DOING part.

Do you get any physical activity? That can reduce stress in a big way.

You might hear good things on your review with the employer and then you can stress a little less. Most law offices have piles of paperwork around, waiting to be handled. Don’t try to be the only one in the office that’s always caught up.


Thanks for your replies. :slight_smile: It means a lot that people have taken the time to reply.

I think I will pray more about it + follow the notepad idea. I think this will be helpful.

I hope that once Monday is over, I will be able to have things in their proper perspective and hopefully I will be able to sort a few things with my employer - I do think I have too much too do in one job unfortunately.

It worries me though all this stress, I havent been able to read today or pray concentrate on anything, I always read some of the Holy Father’s writings each day, but I have read almost nothing of B16 this week - I just cant forget work and concentrate on anything else. I feel so drained at worrying about work and my weekend has been wasted - instead of relaxing, I am worrying. I’m so used to worrying about work now that the feeling is always present and I’m used to it in a bad way of course, I think all these problems can be resolved in the 1st hour of work on Monday, we’ll see.

I am listening to sprituaal programmes on my iPod which helps, but I just feel scared and distracted.

Someone suggested get another job, unfortunately there are not many around in my area of law and the firm I am at is really good with very friendly and helpful people, its just the overwhelming workload at the moment.


also, i think you are right about not getting another… see if you can sort things out here … cant keep running away from things all the time…

and companies dont want to lose good employees… so once you have the talk with ur boss… i am sure you will be able to sort things out…

i will be praying for you this weekend… let go and have a nice weekend… enjoy ur family…


this story is for you:

*One day an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget.

As he stood in front of the group of high powered over-achievers he said, Okay, time for a quiz. Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide mouthed Mason jar and set it on the table in front of him.
Then he produced about a dozen fist sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, Is the jar full?

Everyone in the class said, Yes.

Then he said, Really? He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the space between the big rocks. Then he asked the group once more, Is the jar full? By this time the class was on to him. Probably not, one of them answered.

Good, he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, Is the jar full?

No the class shouted.

Once again he said, Good. Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked at the class and asked, What is the point of this illustration?

One eager student raised his hand and said, The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard you can always fit some more things in.

No, the speaker replied. That’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.

What are the ‘big rocks’ in your life?

Your children…

Your loved ones…

Your education…

Your dreams…

A worthy cause…

Teaching or mentoring others…

Doing things that you love…

Time for yourself…

Your health…

Your significant other.

Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you’ll never get them in at all. If you sweat the little stuff (the gravel, the sand) then you’ll fill your life with little things to worry about that don’t really matter, and you’ll never have the real quality time you need to spend on the big, important stuff (the big rocks). So, tonight or in the morning, when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question:

What are the ‘big rocks’ in my life?

Then, put those in your jar first! *


Thanks :slight_smile:


Another book suggestion? “The Rythm of Life” by Matthew Kelly.

As a busy, stessed, professional - after reading this book, I bought 5 copies for others in my company. :thumbsup:


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