It’s no secret that working in a highly competitive career field can be draining. You’re constantly on the go, making sure your skills are honed, your colleagues are impressed and your work on point — as well as on time. Demanding deadlines and pressure from multiple sides can leave you feeling overwhelmed, and with the growing shift to contract work vs. permanent positions, your livelihood can often feel precarious.
How do you deal with the stress while still staying on the ball? Well, self care is not only important, it’s imperative.
Turn Off, Tune Out
It’s easy (and normal) to obsess over work projects and deadlines, but you really do need to appreciate
your free time for what it is, when you can. After you’re done working, flip the off switch and put work out of your mind. Engage in activities that aren’t simply watching TV or going out for cocktails with friends.
Pick up a paintbrush, start a fun home improvement project or get into a good book.
Dedicating even an hour a day to some sort of hobby or positive activity will help you tune out the stressful noise and also create a point of accomplishment outside of work. Above all, make sure you are getting enough sleep. Nothing dulls the mind more than lack of proper rest and rejuvenation.
Now, we’re not saying hit the gym five days a week if that’s not your thing, but engaging in physical activity IS proven to keep your wits sharp and your body healthy and happy. Pop on YouTube and do a Zumba or yoga video when you get home, or take a brisk walk around the neighborhood. You don’t have to exercise to the point of exhaustion, but getting your blood pumping and muscles working actually makes you feel amazing, pretty much immediately.
Even turning on your favorite music and dancing alone in your kitchen can be extremely therapeutic, stress-relieving and of course, fun. You can also do little things throughout the day, such as keeping a small hand weight at your desk for impromptu iron pumping, or simply taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Eat Your Vitamins
Yeah, yeah, we know you know this. But it’s very easy to spiral into poor health without even realizing it. A
few busy work days of grabbing lunch on the go followed by either late dinners or junk snacking can really put your body into a rut. Regardless of how busy your are, remember to work some healthy fruits, veggies and proteins into the mix. Try making a quick morning smoothie with spinach, banana, frozen berries, carrot juice and OJ (or any combo of fruit/veg/juice that you like) and slug it down — instant vitamin power boost! It’s also pretty much true that an apple a day keeps the doctor away — chomp one at lunch, not hard. There’s definitely a balance when it comes to healthy eating, and in a high-stress job field it’s not uncommon to work through lunch, drink too much coffee and forget to take care of yourself properly. A number of little good habits combined can equate an abundance of health and happiness. Also important and effortless: a daily multivitamin!
Create an Environment
Your surroundings affect your mood. A cluttered home and a cluttered mind can easily go hand-in-hand. Keeping your space clean and organized (though sometimes easier said than done) can keep your attitude bright and make tasks (especially for those working from home) much less daunting.
Read up on feng shui, add some original art to your walls or fill your space with green plants to bring a bit of zen into the mix. It’s also a good idea to clearly separate your living and work space. Designate a room or area that is specifically for work and work only, leaving the other parts of your home for relaxing, enjoying and interacting with family and friends — free and clear of work stress!
What's your favorite "go to" to de-stress yourself?