That is the way it seems so much of the time in the 21st century. We have so much available to us, and we often have trouble deciding what deserves our attention. This is true in life and at work.
Are you working your life away? Stop for a moment and calculate the number of hours you spent working last month. This includes your drive time, e-mails you read at home, travel time and, of course, time spent at the office, which for many of us is as many as 12 hours per day. All of this non-stop activity at work leads to overwhelm. Overwhelm leads to stress. Stress leads to….well, a variety of things including anxiety, depression, illness and, at the very least, missed leisure and fun. Is it worth it? Is it even what is expected?
When I asked many business owners what they expect of their employees, the majority will say: “I expect them to give me the full extent of the time I pay for.”
Are you giving more than that? Why?
Here are a few tips for destressing at work:
Have clear boundaries:
My work philosophy is that you should love your work. That does not mean you shouldn’t love your life just as much. Protect your personal life with clear boundaries between work and personal time and attention.
Good nutrition and a balanced diet are more important than ever when you are managing through a high-stress change. Be careful to avoid fast foods and avoid skipping meals. Limit your alcohol intake, caffeine, nicotine, and sugar. Drink lots of water.
Get Plenty of Rest:
The best sleep is achieved during the evening hours, especially from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. Create a healthy sleep environment (dark, quiet, uninterrupted) and set a time to go to bed and get up each day.
Reduces stress and tension, increases endorphins and serotonin (needed to regulate sleep and mood), helps to manage weight. Try to make it fun and social.
Take time for fun:
Think of recreation as recharging your batteries.
Ask for Support:
Be sure family and friends know you have unique challenges and ask they allow you time to share your thoughts with them. Be willing to ask them for time alone and to adjust their expectations of you, if necessary. If you do not have a support system, find one in a qualified mental health counselor or professional such as a pastor or life coach.
Live in the present:
Often worry or loss of pleasure comes from thinking about the past or the future instead of being in the present. Realize that everything is temporary. To get a clear picture, you might consider journaling, meditation, and prayer, or affirmation phrases.
Positive Self-Talk and Optimism:
The messages you send to yourself are powerful. Learn to speak positively to yourself and others. Avoid “don’t, not, and no” statements.
Keep your Sense of Humor:
Laughter increases serotonin and gives you a sense of wellness.
Take Action to Reduce Anxiety:
Use progressive muscle relaxation, imagery, meditation, Emotional Freedom Techniques, biofeedback, hypnosis. There are plenty of resources available for these techniques both in person and recorded on the internet.
In a world where the busy bee makes the most honey, we know that more activity can lead to more rewards. Is that what success is all about for you? If not, then it is time to destress. If you need help learning to destress and enjoy work again, consider business coaching to regain balance in your life.