For many busy professionals, work is simply a way of life. It can be easy to forget that there’s more to fulfillment than your career, especially if that’s all you’ve been working toward for the last few years, and while it’s a great thing to be focused, it’s also important to remember that overworking yourself usually means bumping up your stress level at the same time.
Stress and anxiety can be problematic for those who work long hours; your mental and physical health both suffer, and it can be difficult to find a way out of it. You might have worked your way into a cycle of bad habits such as relying on fast food on busy nights when you’re too tired to cook, which can leave you feeling tired and unproductive. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to reduce the amount of stress you feel on a given day and focus on achieving your goals in a healthy way.
Keep reading for some great tips on how to get started.
Prevent work-related stress
Workplace stress is inevitable. However, if you are on the road to recovery, the day-to-day pressure can feel insurmountable. It’s crucial that you find a healthy routine to ward off any triggers that could steer you toward a relapse. There is a strong link between the stress of work and substance abuse, so you’ll need coping methods such as rest, well-balanced meals, exercise, and hobbies (playing an instrument, arts and crafts, writing, etc.) to help you to manage any potential triggers with ease.
You may feel you don’t have an abundance of time in which to get active, but it’s important to make time. Even if it’s only for 15-minute intervals, getting in a workout everyday will boost your energy level and your mood and will help your body stay healthy even when your workweek seems unending. Try setting your alarm for 15 minutes earlier and go for a brisk walk in the morning, or look for a game or sport you can play outdoors with friends. Getting outside is a great way to relieve stress, especially when combined with an activity, and it can be especially helpful for addiction survivors who are in recovery.
Find a hobby
Especially for those workaholics, it’s important to find an outlet in something you enjoy doing. Whether it’s painting, working on cars, playing a sport, or just hanging out with a few friends on Friday night for a role-playing game, having a hobby is a great way to relax and de-stress. Spending your time on something you genuinely enjoy doing can help boost your overall wellness as you learn to slow down and appreciate the small things.
Learn how to say no
Busy professionals are at a greater risk than most for taking on too much, which leaves them feeling exhausted both mentally and physically. If you’re guilty of this, it’s time to realize that you don’t have to say “yes” every time someone asks for your help or time. All you can do is your very best, and sometimes you have to recognize when to take a break and focus on your own needs rather than helping everyone else with theirs. Learning to say no can help keep your stress levels at a minimum, especially at work.
Get some good sleep
When you have a lot of stress on your shoulders, it can be extremely difficult to get good sleep. When you don’t sleep well, you end up feeling overwhelmed very easily and there’s just no way you can be at your best when it comes to running your career. Create a relaxing environment in your bedroom by adding light-blocking curtains and soft bedding, and make a deal with yourself to put away the computer and smartphone after a certain time each night. Those emails can wait; your health can’t.
Reducing stress in order to focus on your professional goals can help boost your productivity, your self-esteem and your overall wellness. Look for ways you can feel better each day and incorporate healthy habits into your routine as much as possible.