Stress is a beast that is not always tame, especially at times such as these. What many are not aware of are the impacts of stress and how it's weight affects our daily lives, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It is critical to manage stress during your employment journey so you are able to think clearly and execute with precision.
Stress makes us feel horrible when it is in excess. It can bring about new conditions or worsen existing conditions. According to WebMD, stress re-related illnesses include:
I know reading this list of stress-related illnesses can make you feel weary, but I'm going to tell you three ways you can manage your stress daily to reduce your overwhelm. These are tips I use to melt stress and refocus on necessary tasks. Please note these are suggestions only and do not override treatment plans from your medical or mental health providers.
Make a small to-do list
Sometimes stress exists to tell us we are not doing enough. If your stress is related to feeling unproductive, make a to-do list of 3 tasks. No more, no less. These should be tasks of varying degrees of complexity and commitment. One structure that has been particularly useful for me is to complete tasks that take 15 minutes, 45 minutes, and 1.5 hours. These tasks can be folding a load of clothes, updating your resume, or cooking dinner. Either way, you can look back upon the day to see some productivity.
Elizabeth, what if I don't feel like doing anything?
Then don't. Forcing yourself to complete tasks when you need to rest can be counterproductive and add to your stress. If you are not able to complete the 15-minute task, then be kind to yourself and just rest.
Taking deep breaths
I know you had heard this before and probably blew it off. However, there is much research that shows increasing your body's oxygen circulation helps you think clearer and acts as a reset to your body. Think of deep breaths like a quick squeeze to let your body know you hear it and will care for it. Take 3 minutes mid-morning and 3 minutes mid-afternoon to give yourself this oxygen flow.
You can perform this breathwork by:
sitting in an upright position or lying down flat
close your eyes (or leave them open if more comfortable)
take slow breaths in for 4 seconds
hold the breath for 4 seconds
then release the breath slowly for 4 seconds
normal breathing for 10 seconds
repeat 3 times
Unless you have health concerns that would make this problematic or otherwise ill-advised, I would strongly suggest you take the time to breathe. Most people are shallow breathers, and this exercise will help get more oxygen to the body while providing a calming solution.
Take 5 minutes longer in the shower
Remember how you were dreaming of going to the beach or taking a cruise after you secure this promotion? Take a quick trip there every day if you like. There is power in visualization as it is a quick (and economical) way to take a trip no matter where you are. Enjoy the calmness and stillness of the water while allowing the water to tap the stress away lightly. It would be amazing to begin the day with a quick trip. Be sure to enjoy it!
While experiencing high levels of stress can be painful, engaging in intentional stress management techniques throughout the day can reduce tension and give you some peace. Always remember to take care of yourself. Your family is counting on you, but you are counting on you too. Be kind to yourself.
Elizabeth, Your Next Level Career Strategist
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