“Daily Self-Care Habits To Manage A Stressful Career” is a collaborative post and includes affiliate links. Please see the disclosure page for more information. Disclaimer – always verify medical information with your doctor or a professional and follow all laws for your location.
Lots of people think of self-care as actions like going on vacation or treating yourself to a visit to the salon or the spa. These activities feel good while you’re doing them, but they’re not an everyday occurrence. Self-care shouldn’t be a one-time event and should be a daily practice instead especially if you work in a stressful field. Be honest with yourself about what you need to manage stressful career and perform your job to the best of your ability.
Here are some easy ways to manage stress at work and find a way to make self-care part of your day.
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Ask For Help
Juggling a demanding career, your family, and a social life can mean that one person suffers… You. It can be tempting to pretend that you have everything together and can juggle all these demands on your time with no worries at all. This attitude will be piling on stress and can lead to becoming exhausted, more stressed, and burnt out. If this happens, you run the risk of making silly mistakes at work or becoming anxious and depressed. The best way to handle this is to learn to ask for help. If your boss keeps adding to your workload, you could ask for a meeting with them and ask for some support in better prioritizing your workload so you can get everything done without piling on the stress. For example, take a leaf out of nursing. The future of health care is moving towards patient engagement, which means more communication between nurse and patient to manage care. Learn to communicate in the same way to get the help you need.
Learn To Delegate
If your workload is too high, learn to delegate tasks to employees, colleagues, or even family members. You can delegate work tasks, or ask your family to take on more at home if both work and home are piling on the work. Talk about your expectations, set deadlines, and make check-in points so you can make sure the work is done when you need it and to your requirements. Make sure the person you delegate to has the tools and resources they need to do a good job. Are you kids at home still fairly young. They can actually help out more than you think. My kids have been learning chores since they were 5 years old starting with picking up toys and making their beds. Now they are elementary aged, they put away dishes, sweep, mop and sometimes laundry. When they get to be around high school aged and start driving, they can help with cooking and running errands. Teach these things while they are home so when they are out on their own it won’t be a shock of what all it takes to do to have their own place.
Let It Go, And Walk Away
Not all negative situations need an immediate response. If you’re dealing with negative energy at work, tough situations or toxic people, you need to learn to let things go. Negativity is a big contributor to a stressful career. Take a pause before you respond so you can consider the best way to respond without engaging in negativity yourself. An immediate reaction is usually emotional and doesn’t have much thought behind it. Your emotions can also be unreliable, so take some time to breathe, think, and respond in a calm way. When I was working in engineering, I had to walk out of a meeting before saying anything that could ruin my career or others’ careers. When in doubt, think it out first.
Have Trust In Yourself
It’s easy to engage in beating yourself up for not always knowing the answers to everything with absolute certainty. In reality, certainty doesn’t help you to grow. Allow yourself permission to make the right decision with the information you have to hand at the time. If things don’t go as planned, then you need to remind yourself that this still means you learned something and can apply this knowledge next time. Sometimes perfectionism is the fuel for procrastination which could be the fuel for a resignation.
Have an Exit Plan
Just knowing you don’t have to stay at a job can relieve stress. Start getting together an emergency fund ASAP. Dave Ramsey suggests this should be 3-6 month of household expenses(rent, utilities, gas for your car, food, etc). It will take sacrifice to build up this savings account but knowing it is there can help relieve pressure from the possibility of layoffs, being fired, or quitting a job because of a hostile work environment. Also part of your exit plan is to grow your knowledge in the field that you would like to be working in. Start classes for the career you are currently in to increase your value or start classes for a career you have always wanted to try out. The more knowledge you have the more value you can add to a business. Or start a side business of your own and work after hours building this up until you can replace your current salary. These are just a couple ways you can start an exit plan or increase value in the position you currently have.
The American Institute of Stress says, “Numerous studies show that job stress is far and away the major source of stress for American adults and that it has escalated progressively over the past few decades.” This is no surprise, right?! I hope that these tips might help you with dealing with stress. Just remember to ask for help and delegate when needed. Let go of negativity and don’t get sucked into “water cooler” talk. Trust in your abilities and always have a just in case exit plan.
If you are feeling down or depressed for more days than not, please seek medical attention. If you are feeling like you cannot go on, please call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or chat here>>> https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/ Or visit the suicide prevention lifeline at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/