With all of life’s pressures, it can be challenging to constantly maintain a healthy work-life balance without experiencing symptoms of stress, or even anxiety and depression. Symptoms like these are not uncommon, which is why it is important to know that you are not alone. However, feeling stressed and overworked long-term is when serious health problems may occur. Avoiding stressful situations is not always an option. Luckily, preparing for them is. We have put together a list of seven tips to help you successfully prepare for the stresses that everyday life may bring.
1. Act, Don’t React
For many people, spending the day at work also means spending the day with others. Communication is an integral part of the workday, and if done ineffectively, stress can occur. If you find yourself working with coworkers that have the potential to challenge your communication skills, remember to always act and not react. When you base your specific actions on the actions of others, your self-control may lessen. This could lead to a reaction out of you that could cause a conflict or other stressful situation. Before responding to a difficult comment or situation, take time to process and reflect on the situation at hand. By handling conflicts in this manner, it is likely that they will be resolved more easily and more importantly, cause you less stress.
2. Curb Interruptions
The workday may be a day filled with many obligations, and at times, you may feel overwhelmed by the many “to-do” tasks running through your mind. In order to minimize stress, prioritize what needs to be finished that day and keep interruptions to a minimum. This may entail working with a closed door to your office, keeping socializing to a minimum, delegating or cutting tasks that decrease your productivity, and/or remaining focused on what work needs to be done. If you find yourself being interrupted by others, remember that it is completely fine to let them know that you have several high-priority tasks on your to-do list that demand your full attention and focus.
3. Be Mindful of your Muscles
There may be times in the day when you are focusing on an assignment for long periods of time. Pay attention to your facial muscles and be mindful in keeping them relaxed. Tensing up your face, shoulders, and neck can lead to unnecessary feelings of stress and anxiety which can likely cause aches and pains in different areas of your body. Taking a few minutes to simply close your eyes, breathe deeply, and relax the muscles in your body will help you feel more relaxed, more focused, and less stressed.
4. Think Positive
Adopting a positive mindset at the start of your day and maintaining it throughout the rest of your day can greatly reduce stress. Even in times of pressure at work, thinking positively will allow your mind to quickly move past negative thoughts and remain relaxed and focused. Everyone’s way of creating and adopting a positive mindset is different, so it is important to find a process that works uniquely for you. A few common practices involve reading positive affirmations, meditating each morning or evening, taking time for yourself to breathe in the fresh air, and focusing on your life’s blessings. Be open to trying different things and guide yourself towards the processes that seem to work better for you. The mind is very powerful, and when it is full of positivity, you will find that the stress will naturally stay away.
Read more in our related blog about five ways meditation can help reduce stress.
5. Be Proactive
Very few people enjoy attempting to get things done at the last minute. Procrastinating may cause all sorts of stress, which makes it even more difficult when trying to get a task done in a limited amount of time. Being proactive in all facets of your daily actions and tasks can give you a jumpstart on your to-do list and help you get ahead, providing you with a sense of ease and a stress-free day.
Plan ahead. Use organizational tools to help you prepare for future duties, regardless if it is at home or in the office. Cooking healthy meals ahead of time, keeping your office organized and tidy, setting advanced reminders on your calendar, and thinking ahead about any major projects that are due will all give you more time to get things done and certainly less time to be stressed about them.
6. Take Breaks
Taking time for yourself during the workday, even if it is only for a few minutes, will have a remarkable positive effect on your emotional well-being. Take a short, brisk walk on your lunch break, take the scenic route home from work, pamper yourself with some alone time in the evenings, and make time for friends and family. It’s important to spend a little time each week doing something you love. Once you implement this into your weekly routine, you will find your level of stress diminishing over time. Never put time for yourself on the backburner; make it a top priority. Taking breaks to simply focus on you can do wonders for your emotions, and overall health.
7. Sleep Well
If you are a night owl, you may find it difficult to adopt the self-discipline needed to go to bed at a decent hour. On work nights, try your very best to get at least six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep so that your day is not interrupted with fatigue. A tired body leads to a tired mind, and a tired mind leads to the inability to remain focused and positive. With no ability to focus or stay positive, high levels of stress can creep their way in, which in turn can affect your overall health.
Fortunately, stress can be significantly managed if you adopt the above habits. The important thing is to practice them regularly in order to keep stress from entering your mind. There are going to be days when stress cannot be avoided, but with these seven techniques, you will be able to effectively handle any stress life throws your way. These tips will lead you to happy days ahead in the realization that you can overcome any obstacle that comes your way.