It is important to keep a happy balance between your work life and your personal life. We must always make sure to take time for ourselves and do stuff that makes us happy. Having a work-life balance can sometimes be easier said than done, so we have put together some tips and tools to help manage your stress at times when you feel it is needed. Stress is different for everyone so what works for someone else might not work for you. It's about trying and finding out what works best for you. Stress can be unavoidable, so it’s all about how we deal with it, that makes a difference to our wellbeing. It's about making a choice to have that work-life balance that works for you.
Stress can affect you in the following ways.
Physical – low energy, headache, upset stomach, muscle pain or tense muscles, insomnia
Emotional- change in mood, more agitated and irritable and angry. Can also cause emotional outbursts, low self-esteem and feeling worthless.
Mentally- anxiety depression, substance abuse or addiction.
Above are just some of the most common ways stress can affect us if left unchecked. Below are some tools and tips to help us manage our stress and hopefully think more about having a better work-life balance.
- Deep breathing- probably the most simple and effective way to control your stress and calm down in the moment. Slowly take a deep breath in through the nose to the count of 4, pause and then breath out nice and slowly through the mouth (as if you are blowing out of a straw) to the count of 4. Repeat as many times as required. You can practice deep breathing anywhere at any time.
- Affirmations- The dictionary definition of an affirmation is declaring to be true. Affirmations are a way to harness positive thinking. What we think we become. First, notice or identify any negative self-talk that is often in your thoughts.Create an affirmation from this by transforming it into a positive statement for e.g., change I can’t cook to I’m getting better at cooking! If you say an affirmation long enough your brain will start to believe it. Affirmations can also be used in relation to work. If you have had a hard day, try to think of the positives and focus on them. Affirmations you could use are things like “I tried my best today”, “I made a difference today”. A good way to start your day is with a positive affirmation in the morning.
- Goal setting- Setting realistic goals is a great way to keep you motivated and trying your best, whether it's personal or professional goals. Breaking goals down into small manageable chunks makes them seem more manageable.
- Be positive- Let go of anger, let go of worry, be grateful, accept things you cannot control and take control of your decisions. letting go of anger and worry lifts some stress from your life and helps you see things from a more positive perspective. being grateful shows you how much you have in life to be thankful for, even when you are not having the best day, showing gratitude and thanks can lift your mood. by accepting things, you cannot control you are relieving yourself of the stress of trying to fix it or control it. and by taking control of your decisions and being proactive, you are actively deciding to take charge of your life and what happens.
- Be mindful- Mindfulness is the state of knowing what is going on inside and outside of your body in that moment and giving it your full attention by being present in the moment. recognising your thoughts and feelings in the moment helps you to be better connected with yourself and others. By making the decision to be mindful and present in the moment you will start to enjoy life better and form better relationships. mindfulness isn't about clearing your mind; it's about recognising your mind has drifted and that that’s ok then bringing your attention back to the present moment.
- Feed your body well- diet is important, make sure you are feeding your body with everything it needs, drinking plenty of water and making sure you eat nice nutritious meals. feeding your body well isn't just about what you eat and drink, it's also about what we put in mentally, what are we watching on tv? What are we looking at on social media? All of this can also add stress to our lives.
- List writing or Calander- being organised makes you more productive. making a to-do list helps you to priorities tasks and makes it easy to see what you must do, also ticking stuff off your list when finished can be very therapeutic. Keeping a to-do Calander allows you to plan what needs to be done and when. it allows you to plan to use a timescale showing what you will work on or do at a certain time, and having it planned like this can make it easier to stick to and can make tasks look more manageable when you see working times for each task written down. By planning you free up some time which can be used to do something you love.
- It's ok to say no-you shouldn’t feel pressured into agreeing to anything, give yourself permission to put yourself first and do what you want to do.
- Leave work at work. Give yourself permission to leave work when you finish. Turn off email notifications until you are back working and every day make the conscious decision to leave thoughts of the working day in work and don’t dwell on the day when you finish. Instead, enjoy spending your time doing something for yourself instead of thinking about work.