“I have a stressful job, and I know stress is really bad, but how do you handle it when you have a job that is deadline oriented and is constantly filled with unexpected issues? In addition, work issues sometimes carry over to my family life, and it's hard for me to disengage sometimes. Are there any solutions you can suggest?”
Stress is a call to change! What changes can you make that will help you restore balance and flow to your work and allow you to enjoy more quality time with your family?
Here are a few ideas you might like to consider:-
Address the issue at its core. Could you manage your work deadlines differently so you can plan ahead and allocate enough time to meet them? What is the cause of the unexpected issues? Could you establish a solution that might eradicate them or lessen them? Introduce seamless clear communication, delivery and organisational systems at work that save you time and ensure all parties involved know their tasks and due dates. Knowing your deadlines well in advance not only helps at work but will also allow you to plan for quality time with your family.
Communicate your availability to your family and work colleagues so everyone knows when they can expect to see you. Establish a routine or some kind of regularity in your weekly schedule. Have special days allocated to family time. Agree on make-up days if at times you can’t stick to these so no one feels neglected. And why not surprise your family by appearing home unannounced occasionally? You will relish the hugs of joy!
Set boundaries around work. Have a cut-off point when you get home and commit to no longer taking calls. Do your best to avoid talking or even thinking about work. Your exclusive attention to your family will make them feel more loved and, of course, you will benefit from these precious moments too.
Many of us feel guilty when we think we’re not spending enough time with our families. Guilt will drain you and make it difficult for you to focus at work and enjoy family time. So everyone loses out. Be gentle with yourself. Remind yourself that you are doing your best. Commit to spending quality time with each member of your family. A little quality time goes a long way. The memory of happy times together always lives on after the experience itself so you can relax when you go back to work and know that your family are happy having had quality time with you.
Sometimes even with all the above in place both work deadlines and family demands can still be overwhelming. When this happens give yourself permission to take time out. This could be a matter of minutes or if you are suffering from very high level of stress then you may need a longer period of time off. Your health and wellbeing are number one!
For immediate stress relief take a stress ball to work. Play with slime! Sounds mad but it is so relaxing and hypnotic! Have a supply of calming and warm drinks available for comforting breaks. Learn a few breathing techniques so you can practice at your desk. Ground yourself with 5 minutes of gentle stretching. Invest in a small trampoline for your office. Spend 5 minutes bouncing out the stress when you feel overwhelmed. Take a skipping rope to work or a yoga ball to stretch over and bounce on. Walk up and down the stairs a few times or around the block. Consciously let the tension go as you exhale when you do these simple exercises.
For more general stress relief take regular barefoot walks in a park to ground yourself and come out of your mind. Time in nature always helps calm the nervous system. Sit on the grass and feel your connection to the earth. Breathe gently and focus on yourself.
Yoga is an increasingly popular way to return to your body and quiet the mind, as is dancing, qi gong, and tai chi. Any regular physical activity will release stress.
Avoid spicy and over seasoned foods. They agitate the nervous system. Eat your last meal of the day well before you go to bed to allow for full digestion and a deeply renewing sleep. And make sure you are well hydrated at all times. Water promotes flow and also helps dilute and eliminate the toxic chemicals formed in your body from the stress response mechanism.
Ensure good long deep sleep every night! Go to bed early. Avoid gadgets and TV before bed as they stimulate the brain into a wakeful state when really you should be calming things down at this time. Play soft healing sounds, om meditation recordings, or sleep music with binaural beats of delta and theta waves to help you fall into a deep sleep. Make sure your alarm clock gives you a gentle awakening and not an abrupt shock.
Many of us work in open-plan spaces with bright strip lighting and constant noise around us. Create a peaceful working environment at work. Decorate your works space with pastel colours that are gentle and pleasing to the eye. Add soft furnishings, bean bags and cushions to recreate a homely feeling. They help to absorb sound too! If necessary try noise cancellation headphones to block out background noise. Replace the strip lighting with bulbs that mimic real daylight. Plants and water features can also help create a relaxing environment.
Open the windows and allow for fresh air to clear the space daily. Diffuse calming essential oils. Playing soft meditation or classical music helps stimulate creativity and focus. Comfortable ergonomic seats that support your spine are an absolute must to avoid pain and tiredness from poor posture. Making changes to all these details will relieve stress at work and even enhance everyones’ productivity. Then you may get more time to be with your family!
Regular practice of meditation and connecting with yourself brings you back to the centre and greatly increases your productivity. A meditation room at work could be an idea! And why not allow yourself some pampering? Let someone else take care of you! Treat yourself to a nice relaxing massage or sound healing experience to let those brain waves slow down. Spend time alone just being, or reading a good book. Do something creative. Any of these simple practices can shift the mind into a different mode and bring stress relief.
Do you enjoy your job enough? When you give long hours and much of your energy to a job it must be one that you enjoy. Otherwise, you create what I call an “energy drain” where you are losing energy to something rather than being energised by it. This eventually leads to burnout. If this is your case then you may want to consider making gradual and practical changes towards doing something that you enjoy more.
We are often faced with difficult choices in life. And feel torn in different directions because of our duties and obligations. This is when we really need to look at our values and decide what is most important to us. Our work, money, family or health? There may be times when you feel you can prioritise one over another but life will tell you clearly when things are out of balance. Signs of stress can be used as a gift to show you that this is the time to restore that balance. It takes courage to do this at times but you will be grateful for the changes you make and may even be surprised at how quickly the flow returns to your life when you do decide to prioritise what you value most.
-Written by Rosalind Marie
Rosalind is an Intuitive Guide, Public Speaker, Writer & Healer.
She has also been deeply immersed in healing and personal development for over twenty years and is very passionate about awakening to her highest and truest self.
She brings her truth and passions together in Intuitive Movement Classes, Soul Readings, Healing Courses and Inspirational Talks.