We started this series discussing a couple of topics related to enhancing your work satisfaction and career prospects. Now we turn to an oft-neglected aspect of work-life balance – time out!
The list can go on of course – many people have carer and other responsibilities to pile on top of the other tasks. The question posed today is, where do you find time for yourself in all of this? And what is the cost, personal and professional, for failing to find this time?
The debilitating effects of stress on mind and body have been well studied and the outcomes widely publicized, so won't be discussed in detail here. However we'll use one surprising study to highlight the point.
So, we know for our own well being that we must seek ways to reduce the stress levels caused by work and life, and/or reduce their impact. Part of this naturally involves strategies to reduce the effects of potentially stressful events and situations, for example:
The scope of stress mitigation is way beyond this article (but may be fodder for a future one?). However researchers tell us that one of the greatest stress factors in our lives is not feeling in control, so use of these and other techniques can help to restore that sense of control to our lives. (but see Steve Maraboli's quote below!)
But as well as you may manage stress, the best option sometimes is to get away from it for a while!
It's natural to think about your time outside work as the main avenue for doing things you love (remember all that 4x4 off-roading and karate we mentioned?!), but don't ignore opportunities during the day to release the pressure valve. It can be as simple as getting up from your desk periodically (good for general health as well), or doing something that detaches you from work during your lunch break.
If this isn't for you, then find a quiet spot and read a book, meditate, go to the gym or listen to heavy metal music! Do whatever zones you out for a while, and re-charges the batteries.
In closing, the message is simple but clear – take time out each day to reduce the stress in your life, and your health and happiness will improve. To finish, a comforting thought from Steve Maraboli - “You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.”
Feedback welcome and encouraged! We'd like to hear what you do to de-stress – or strategies for reducing stress in your lives...
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