Take a moment and reflect on the different parts of your life. Depending on your current stage, you may have work, school, or children to balance and fit into the time you have. Now that you’ve thought about these different components, think about the satisfaction you are getting from each. Are you happy? Anxious? Stressed? If the latter two are a more accurate description of how you feel, there are things you can do to help.
Identify your triggers and know what causes you stress.
Stressors come in all shapes and sizes, and what affects you may have zero impact on someone else. It’s important to remember that this is normal, and you are not alone. We ALL experience stress and anxiety. Once you find the core issue of what’s causing you to feel that way, you can work on resolving it.
If you’re having a hard time identifying core issues, try keeping a notebook or journal with you and document the emotions you experience throughout the day — good and bad. Write down what you were doing when you felt that way. This will help you recognize the areas of your life that bring you joy, and the ones that add stress.
Don’t skip vacation.
It’s tempting to assume that your boss will respect and appreciate you more if you demonstrate your commitment by never taking time off. However, does that commitment really show if you are constantly stressed and less productive instead? Taking time to recharge will help you return to work rejuvenated and ready to get things done.
Ask for help when you need it.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Everyone gets overwhelmed, and when you truly need help it is much better to ask for it than to make excuses for not meeting a deadline or desired result.
Remember what you love about your job and your life.
Sometimes it helps to pause, take a deep breath, and think about the things you are grateful for. It’s hard to feel both grateful and angry at the same time, so it helps to remind yourself of the good when you are having a hard time.
Learn how to respond to stress positively.
The American Psychological Association has stated that, “Along with its emotional toll, prolonged job-related stress can drastically affect your physical health.” This applies to prolonged stress in any area of your life and is why learning to manage it is so important. You don’t have to just accept it as part of a crazy, busy ride.
Following are a few ideas for positively releasing stress:
- Stretch. Stretching helps release muscle tension so you feel more relaxed and is easy to do throughout the day.
- Exercise. This can include running, yoga, or a program that helps you challenge yourself. If exercise seems overwhelming, start slow and focus on being consistent. Whether it’s three times a week for 15 minutes or once a week for 45 minutes, find what works for you and go with it.
- Meditate. Meditating can also seem daunting, but the truth is there is no right way to meditate. Practice by setting a timer for two to three minutes, get comfortable, close your eyes, and picture something relaxing.
- Create a routine. Having a consistent routine can eliminate a great deal of stress and allow you to accomplish more each day. You can always change or modify your routine as needed. If there is something you’d like to start doing, make time for it around the things that are already part of your daily or weekly schedule, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Don’t forget to include “me” time in your routine.
Don’t wait to take care of yourself. Give these tips a try and start implementing the changes you need to experience a more balanced and less stressful life.
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