Find out how to get rid of work stress forever
Making time to recharge your internal batteries isn’t a priority for everyone. In this fast-paced life and fast-paced world, people find it hard to slow down to make time to care for themselves, lest an angry boss or needy client label you as “unproductive” or – even worse – “unreachable”. In these days of instantaneous communication and immediate answers at your fingertips (yes, that actor IS from that movie we saw!), your personal time is less respected – and less personal – than ever. If a client or co-worker needs something at 8pm on a Tuesday night, many times a text or email will be sent right then and there, instead of the person waiting until normal business hours to ask the urgent question. In our quest to be the best, most available, and most knowledgeable business owners or employees, the mistake lies in us answering those after-hours calls or texts, and not being the first to respect our own time.
Finding a work / life balance
Making time to recharge yourself and “drawing the line in the sand” to respect your own work life balance is a valuable skill that many do not recognize or utilize these days. Up-and-coming professionals are looking to make their mark on their fields and assume that finding a balance is something you do when you are older and more established. Those who are older and more established would likely disagree that it gets any easier. Taking care of yourself helps you to produce better and more-focused work later, when you aren’t stressed and exhausted. Don’t mistake this article for an advocacy of laziness – it certainly is not. Work hard, but work smart. When busy, productive, and valued employees start to lose their balance and find that work (or work stress) is driving their lives both inside of and outside of work hours, it’s time to reassess the situation to see what’s really to blame. I think most times we can accept the responsibility ourselves for answering or agreeing to more than we can handle.
Introverts vs. Extroverts
People recharge their batteries in different ways – someone who is more introverted may need some alone time to fully recharge batteries that have been drained by too much interaction or overstimulation with others, whereas a more extroverted individual may need a more social situation to feel more recharged. Everyone is different and there is no right or wrong answer question of “how best way to recharge your batteries”. The best advice I can share is to take the time to appreciate the little things, the things you enjoy doing when you aren’t stressed or spread too thin. If you are an avid reader or writer, make time to enjoy those hobbies. If you are an exercise enthusiast, don’t lose sight of that just because you are feeling overwhelmed. If hosting a dinner party or planning a vacation makes you feel the most centered, then by all means host/plan away. Whether you are a self-proclaimed introvert or extrovert, the more you can take time to enjoy the things (and people) that you love, the more balance you will find in your life AND work.
We are our own toughest critics
That little voice in your head that shouts at you “There is work to be done!” when you do take time to sit down and relax with a movie, is YOU. You are the one who is driving yourself too hard. Take a moment to recognize that. It’s important to meet your deadlines and to provide your peak performance while at work, but it’s equally important to make time for your own personal goals and deadlines when it comes to what makes you happy outside of work.
Be more conscious of the boundaries that you feel you need to regain balance or recharge after running low. You are in control of your own boundaries. If you consistently answer your cell phone at all hours of the day and night for work-related calls, and then get frustrated – you are the one who isn’t setting a clear expectation of what your clients or co-workers should expect from you. As much as it seems we lack control in life and are victims of circumstance, we are not. We create our situations, due to boundaries, values, and goals. Be mindful of the life you want to live, and make sure your work and life can reach the balance that you desire.
If all else fails, try taking a day off once in a while. What do you do to recharge your batteries? I’d love to hear from you in the comments![hupso]