Thursday 13 September 2018

Combat Work Stress with a Healthy Dose of Self-Care

Combat Work Stress with a Healthy Dose of Self-Care 

In today’s world, finding that elusive work-life balance can feel impossible. It’s all too easy to bring work home with you and let it take over. While that may feel like you are being more productive, it can cause you more stress. Instead, when you are off the clock, you should focus on practicing self-care.


Let Yourself Unwind

After a long day at work, the last thing you should do is check your email when you get home. Whatever it is can wait, now is the time to let yourself unwind. Find a relaxing hobby to take your mind off things. Reading, knitting, exercise, cooking and meditation are excellent forms of stress relief. According to A Very Well Mind, hobbies can prevent you from burnout and provide a source of gratification.

Be wary of unhealthy coping mechanisms. Grabbing a drink can sound like a great way to unwind, but can actually increase your stress levels. Those with chronic work stress are at risk of drinking to excess and developing a problem. Alcohol and substance abuse is not only unhealthy, but can also worsen anxiety and depression as well as cause other financial and social problems. This is why it is so vital you find a healthy way to unwind.

Create a Support System

Friends and family can be a great source of relief. Spending quality time with the people you care about is known to reduce stress. This is why it is so important to disconnect from work when you are at home. Your friends and family are also the perfect people to vent your work frustrations too without risking your job. Do not be afraid to use them as emotional support, as you’d do the same for them.

Another great way to seek out the support you need is to find groups of people with similar interests as you. You can even use this as a networking opportunity. Joining a peer group of people in your industry is a fantastic way to connect to people going through a similar experience as you. They will be able to offer advice and support in ways your family and friends might not think to.

Get Enough Sleep

We all know we should eat right and exercise, but too often do we sacrifice our sleep. According to Healthline, lack of sleep can lower your immune system, eschew your emotions, and increase stress and anxiety. Getting enough sleep is vital to keeping yourself physically and mentally healthy. Adults should aim to get seven to nine hours of sleep a night.

If you are having trouble falling asleep at night, try doing one of your hobbies to unwind. It is also a good idea to avoid any screens for an hour before you want to go to bed. Most screens produce a blue light that tricks your brain into thinking it is still daylight, therefore causing you to stay awake for longer.

Learn to Take Breaks

Even if you are good about leaving work at the door at the end of the day, that does not make it any less stressful when you are actually at work. For the times you feel overwhelmed at the office, sometimes the best thing to do is to walk away, literally.

Take a break and go for a walk around the block. This will give yourself a chance to relax and come back to the task at hand with a fresh mind. In fact, taking breaks actually makes you a better employee and keeps you from burning out.

Draw the Line

Self-care is a necessary part in relieving your stress, but you have to take an active role in it. No one is going to stop you from putting in those extra hours at the office or answering an email late at night. It is up to you to draw the line and take care of yourself, and it is worth it.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

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