For most Americans, achieving that much coveted work-life balance is getting harder and harder when you’re constantly struggling over overtime demands, coping with the pressure to work at peak levels, and the worrying about losing your job anytime. Fortunately, it is possible to break off from the punitive shackle of workplace stress, to get your productivity levels back up, and to create a happier working environment that inspires you to be better at what you do.
In reality, a healthy amount of pressure at work is a good thing. It prevents things from becoming routine and boring. Humans are naturally wired to find meaning in what they do, and if you’re given problem-solving tasks that are within your means to solve, the productivity obtained from overcoming the set task helps you feel accomplished.
However, when work stress starts to build up, it can be hard to cope with. Couple that with many other unhealthy and ill-structured corporate demands, and you have a perfect recipe for employee breakdown. But humans are creatures of endurance, and there have been proven effective ways to help alleviate plenty of your job-related stressors.
Here are some great tips.
Find a Mentor
Mentorship is an age-old practice that has a proven track record for developing empowered and relentless individuals. Built on mutual respect, the mentorship process encourages communication and free sharing of knowledge, with a goal that is beneficial to both the mentee and the mentor.
Your mentor will have to be someone you deem an expert in his or her field and who, through mutual consensus, has agreed to meet with you on a regular basis for a regular sharing of ideas, expertise, and experience.
It does not have to be someone older. In the lack of someone who is highly specialized, for example, you can simply partner with a trusted friend or professional acquaintance and agree to a regular meeting for a free-flowing discussion and exchange of ideas. In a company setting, it could be your coworker.
As you go through the mentoring process, you will discover that you learn a lot from what you discuss. You will also be forced to consistently learn something new to bring meaningful input into the discussion. Other benefits of mentorship include the following:
- exposure to new ideas and novel ways of thinking
- firsthand advice on how to personally develop your strong points and overcome your weak points
- professional guidance on career advancement
- continuous development of skills and knowledge
Prioritize Your Fitness
Just a thirty-minute exercise each day can have amazing results to your well-being. Research has demonstrated time and again the mood-boosting, body-energizing effect of regularly participating in fitness routines such as jogging, biking, and swimming and even other active forms of meditation such as yoga.
Exercise helps release endorphins, the body’s happy hormones, and has been documented to help alleviate depression for a lot of people. By keeping your body fit, you help regulate your body’s biochemical balance, which is key in keeping an optimal mindset.
By exercising, you are also forced to focus on the tasks at hand instead of overthinking about your problems, making it a very effective natural stress reliever. So perhaps it’s time to consider hitting the gym. Aside from being stress-free, you stand to gain the fruits of your labor in having a fit body. Even having scheduled walks around the block can help you clear your mind. Try it!
Good things start to happen when you set your life in order. This is the core concept of minimalism, a philosophy and way of life that advocates keeping only what you need so you can appreciate what you have and concentrate on things that matter.
You don’t need to throw away your stuff to incorporate minimalism into your work life. In many ways, you can integrate the minimalist philosophy by simply keeping your desk organized, getting rid of clutter in your desktop, or buying multipurpose accessories that will allow you to clean up your space while maximizing utility.
For instance, did you know that there are ten creative hacks you can do with a cable adapter? Something you probably have not even given second thoughts about previously is, in fact, a power tool that has almost as many uses as your smartphone. Who knows what possibilities you can do to transform your workspace into a hyperproductive environment customized to your own work style, goals, and needs!
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is an important part of your body’s repair mechanism. That is why skimping on sleep can have drastic effects on your body’s biorhythm. Not only that—lack of sleep can contribute to your stress, so if you’re already overstretched at work, working overtime can only add to your chronic tiredness and maybe even lower your productivity.
So to ensure that your body gets properly tuned up for work, prioritize your bed. That might sound counterproductive, but science backs it up. Start a good sleeping routine by doing the following:
- Getting at least eight hours of sleep every night
- Sticking to your sleeping schedule
- Avoiding sleeping in on weekends
- Turning off your screens at least an hour before going to bed
- Taking naps
Don’t work hard, work smart. This timeless advice remains one of the most effective hacks to productivity. The key to competent work and churning out high-quality output is often not in how many hours you pored over the task but in the thought and creativity that went into doing them.
In this case, proper energy management is key. By spending at least fifteen minutes each day clearing your mind and engaging in meditative practice, you will be able to purge your mind gradually of anxious thoughts that often dominate your workday. Instead, it is replaced by a sense of calm, a necessary ingredient in helping you focus and concentrate on tasks at hand.
After you wake up every day, avoid checking your phone. This creates a false sense of urgency that is eventually built up into your day. Instead, take the time to sit on your bed, close your eyes, and meditate in peace.
While meditating, you can also include the exercise of creative visualization, in which you visualize the kind of self you want yourself to be. By doing this, you basically hack your mind to start the day with positive thoughts, kind of like a fitness exercise for the mind. Do this every day, and you will love the positive change that it will bring about to your life.
Junk the Bad Habits
This may take a lot of self-discipline and restricting to do, but once you get it out of the way, doing the others will be a lot simpler. Bad habits are simple, yet often they are bad for your health and a waste of time. And if you’re already stressed enough, they can only add to your crippling feeling of inadequacy and loss of control. What’s not simple, however, is getting rid of them.
Still, quitting bad habits is possible. If you are a smoker, there are plenty of resources online that can give you a wealth of tips on how to quit early and quit for good. Marijuana is another recreation that, although mild, often causes many of its users to be lethargic and unproductive. Some state laws may also prevent them from entering the workforce due to strict pre-employment drug tests that detect cannabis chemicals in the body.
If you’re a regular cannabis user, perhaps it’s time to consider ridding your system of the habit. There are effective detox methods that offer negative test results in just seven days. The government, as well as private support systems on substance affinity or addiction, also offers excellent help services that can assist you in turning your life around in no time.
Stress is a natural part of life. However, instead of succumbing to the overwhelming reality of a cruel world, take stress as a challenge. Instead of changing things you can’t control, begin with those that you can—such as yourself. Explore these tips and see your life transform.