We all bring baggage home from work. Sometimes it’s the day’s tiredness, sometimes it’s work that has to be finished. Mostly it’s stress – disguised as anger, impatience, and sometimes just plain old meanness.
The first step is to recognize the warning signs of excessive stress at work: A feeling of being overwhelmed, a loss of confidence, and increased irritability at work translates into bad behavior at home.
It turns into a vicious cycle as the stress makes you feel less productive and effective which in turn increases stress… And when all of this leads to problems at home – insomnia, irritability and loss of temper, fatigue, using alcohol or drugs, loss of sex drive, general apathy as well as actual physiological and physical problems – then you need to take steps to curb the stress, proactively.
1. Gear Up, Mentally
The stronger you are, mentally and physically – the more resistant you will be to stress, naturally – and you do not have to overhaul your entire lifestyle for this. Small steps are what count – do things to increase energy, make you happy, and make you feel empowered and more in control, even if you have a devil of a boss or a job that needs 100 man hours to complete it in a 10-hour workday. Need a breathing technique? Try this one!
2. Get In Some Movement
Start exercising – swim, jog, run, do yoga or aerobics. Any and all activity that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat will produce endorphins or happy hormones -- one effective way to lift your mood, increase stamina, sharpen mental balance, and relax. Oh and at night, try and get some nooky as well for sex is a fun way to bust stress.
3. Eat Healthy Whenever You Can
Low blood sugar leads to increased anxiousness while eating too much can make you lazy and overstuffed. To combat this effect, don’t let yourself get too hungry: eat small but frequent meals and keep your energy up and your mood balanced.
4. Quit Smoking Yesterday & Drink Slowly As Well
A drink temporarily reduces worry, but too much works in opposite – drink in moderation whenever you do. And when you do reach for that cigarette, remember that nicotine is a powerful stimulant – it will increase anxiety, not alleviate it – plus kill you with lung cancer!
5. Get Those 7-8 Hours Of Sleep
So okay, stress can case sleeplessness, but not sleeping enough will add to stress. Aim for 8 hours a night, enough if a couple of hours are spent tossing and turning. Don’t work during sleeping hours and keep those cell phones off, or on mute.
6. Prioritize & Organize Beforehand
Analyze your schedule, responsibilities, and daily tasks and don’t over-commit yourself. Drop tasks that aren't truly necessary to the bottom of the list – too much on your plate will only make you run late on everything. Another thing to remember is to learn to delegate tasks – you don’t have to do it all yourself.
7. Recognize Hidden Stress
Read your signs – the build-up of stress, the kind of response you have to stress and the cues that can alleviate the anxiety and calm you down. Usually, the best way to reduce stress quickly is through the senses: see something calm, listen to soft music, spray a calming scent, taste a small treat or touch something – a stress ball, a piece of velvet, or a coloring book – anything that gets that stress off of you. Or call your kids…
Humor is a better way to deal with stress. And remember, conflict increases stress too. Keep calm and keep brushing off stress.
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