Combat Stress to Maintain An Ideal Work-Life Balance

combatstress_oct2016October 19, 2016

Stress, unfortunately, is a sensation that occurs in everyone. In a world of uncertainty and constant change, stress is our body’s way of alerting us that something is causing us concern and affecting our thoughts and feelings. As bad as it is, it is necessary and inevitable. When we remain under constant distress, our body and mind takes a major hit. But if it is managed correctly, it can become an effective tool. In small doses, stress can help you perform under pressure, and is a great source of motivation.

When it comes to your work-life balance, reducing stress is a major player that can greatly improve or destroy your handle on day-to-day activities. Some of the benefits include a greater focus and concentration, higher levels of job satisfaction, and more opportunities to participate in family and social circles and pursue personal goals and hobbies. Check out some of these tips on stress management and maintaining a good work-life balance.

Identifying Sources of Stress

Internal or external forces can cause stress. External causes are things like major life changes, work, being too busy, or financial problems, while internal causes can mean anything from negative self-talk to perfectionism. Here are some signs that one of these stressors has been triggered:

  • Mental: Trouble thinking clearly, memory problems, can’t concentrate, poor judgment, racing thoughts
  • Emotional: Moodiness, short fuse, overly sensitive, inability to relax, feeling overwhelmed, depression
  • Physical: tight muscles, aches and pains, headaches, trembling, sweating, loss of appetite, lack of sleep
  • Behavioral: isolating yourself from others, increased and/or inappropriate drug and alcohol use, nervous habits
Once you have picked up on signs and symptoms, and identified the cause, it becomes easier to manage.

Know Your Body
  • Understand and identify your triggers
  • Intercept your early warning signs and symptoms and act
  • Practice relaxation techniques or meditation
  • Eat healthy and balanced
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day (consider adding equipment to your home)
  • Get around 8 hours of sleep every night

Change Your Frame of Mind
  • Worry less about the things outside of your control, and set aside time to deal with the things you can control
  • Set smaller goals that are manageable rather than overwhelming
  • Consciously choose a positive attitude
  • Visualize yourself in a calm and peaceful place, and think about yourself and your achievements in a positive light
  • Don’t compare your personal success to the success of others
  • Have a sense of humor

Start Walking the Walk
  • Plan ahead to give yourself enough time to complete your to-do list
  • Keep a list and prioritize duties
  • Be open and honest with people about how you feel; don’t harbor your feelings
  • Give yourself time for relaxation and your interests
  • Reward yourself when you reach your goal
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol (that includes caffeine you coffee lovers)

Work-Life Balance
  • Compartmentalize: Set a boundary line between work life and personal life. When you leave work, your tasks, office gossip, and worries stay at work
  • Find ways to make work more enjoyable: invest in your coworkers, spruce up your cubicle, or bring a little snack every now and then
  • Build up your support team: Everyone needs help, so accept it when it’s offered. It’s okay to delegate it too
  • Do your body a favor: Exercise regularly, eat healthy, and sleep!
  • Fake it ‘til you make it: train yourself to think in a positive mind frame

Julie Morris

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