Attempting to be the ultimate professional at work, the best dad that you can be and a perfect role model to your nearest and dearest can take its toll on your mental wellbeing. The pressure that we can put upon ourselves can cause us untold worry and stress. It’s time to make a change and implement strategies that will help us de-stress without the distress.
You may be one of those guys who has reached the highest level of senior management within your industry sector. You might have worked for the same company for over a decade and risen through the ranks. You’re highly regarded in your field and can command the utmost respect from your colleagues and team. However, that doesn’t prevent you from working sixty hour weeks to meet the near-impossible targets being filtered down from above. At the same time, you have little ones at home who you crave to spend more time with. You may give them a kiss goodbye in the morning as you rush out of the door on the way to work and you struggle to get home before their bedtime. This isn’t how it’s meant to be. You don’t want to be a stay-at-home dad by any means, but you do want to see your kids while they are awake on occasion. Surely you can find the time to have breakfast with your little cherubs and be home to read them their favorite story before they head to bed.
In the twenty-first century, our lives have become busier, faster paced and more hectic. The advent of technological advances such as social media, industry-specific software and smartphones has just compounded the fact that we are always busy doing something. To de-stress you need to take a step back, reflect and reassess what it is that you want from your life and chart a course in order to reach your goal. You want to work a forty hour week and spend your weekends with your offspring? You can achieve this. In the meantime, you need to discover ways in which you can de-stress and not allow the pressures of work and family life to get on top of you. Read on to find out how.
It may sound a little ludicrous but taking a fifteen-minute walk outside after a particularly stressful meeting at work can see your hormone levels return to normal and your blood pressure reset to safer levels. When we get stressed, our bodies get tense, our heart pumps faster, cortisol floods into our bloodstream and we can see our blood pressure skyrocket. This involuntary response is not good for our health. We need to limit the effects as much as possible. You may not be able to halt the response to stressful situations, but you can shorten it.
If your boss is being unreasonable about the sales figures for this quarter or if your staff team are less than willing to make the necessary software changes, don’t sit in your swivel chair around the table allowing your stress levels to increase. Excuse yourself and take a walk. This will clear your head, allow you to breathe cleaner and fresher air and encourage you to gain some perspective. Think about your partner, your kids, and the stuff you’ll be getting up to at the weekend. After all, this is just your job, and there are way more important things in life for you to be concerned about.
Some people like a tipple now and again or will reach for a cigarette if they feel their stress levels rising. Try to resist the temptation to do this and hunt for less health-damaging habits in order to find some respite from the pressure. Drinking alcohol can cause all sorts of liver issues as well as increase your risk of heart disease. Smoking is just as damaging with lung cancer and other breathing difficulties caused by the innocent looking white stick threatening to shorten your lifespan.
Instead, chew gum. If gum doesn’t do it for you and you still crave the habitual motion of smoking, investigate the healthier alternative of vape kits at Ecigwizard and no longer pump your body full of tar and other nasties. The need for an innate habit is a useful strategy to take your mind off of the stress you are experiencing. The repetitive motion of chewing gum, vaping or even cracking your knuckles is comforting and can settle your body back into its normal mode.
We need to breathe to live. That’s a given. However, with a more mindful and focused approach to the way in which we breathe, we can control our stress levels. If little Jimmy is being particularly willful one evening and refusing to go to bed without a fight, take some time out and perform some deep breathing exercises. By focusing on your inhalations and exhalations in a more meaningful way, you will find yourself discovering an inner sense of calm.
You could take this a step further and seek out a mindfulness course or enrol in a yoga class. Both of these disciplines promote breathing as an aid to de-stress. Boosting your oxygen levels can help stabilize your hormone levels and keep your blood pressure within a healthy range. It pays to arm yourself with strategies so if you are presented with a sudden stressful situation, you can counteract this quickly and limit its impact.
Find Your Hobby
It may seem simple but finding time for yourself and embarking on a semi-selfish activity just for you can help relieve your stress. Allocating a set amount of time to your hobby each week can give you something to look forward to amongst all of the other stressful stuff going on in your life, whether it’s an hour hitting some balls down at the driving range, an evening at your local book club or a Saturday morning hitting the open road in your sporty little number.
If you love nothing more than whipping up a storm in the kitchen, cook a meal every Sunday for your family. This way, you’ll be doing something that you enjoy and find relaxing while spending time with your nearest and dearest at the same time. Seeking out some quality time for you and your family will act as a natural de-stressing activity. Don’t be insular and try to share your stresses with your partner. Bottling things up can damage your mental wellbeing and cause even more stress in the long run.
Leave The Technology At Work
Staring at a monitor for eight hours a day when sat at your desk at work can cause eye strain, headaches and induce stressful situations. If you’re busy answering reams of emails only to find your messages getting misconstrued or you simply don’t get the responses you need from your colleagues, your blood can begin to boil. Basic admin tasks that need fulfilling when you should be busying yourself with the more integral parts of your company’s vision can be frustrating.
Although the technology you are forced to interact with at work may be out of your control, at home, you can switch off. Social media does nothing but encourage us to compare our lives to those of others we went to school with over a decade ago. Their Holga filtered selfies may exude a lifestyle that you wish to emulate, but it’s all photoshopped and unrealistic imagery that does nothing but stress you out.
Switch off your smartphone, put away the tablet and relinquish the laptop. Grab your partner, give them a kiss and scoop up your kids and squeeze them tight. Swapping technology for human interaction can decrease your stress levels phenomenally. A recent study found that the hormones released when kissing, namely the love chemical oxytocin, counteracted the more sinister stress-inducing cortisol resulting in a more stress-free existence. Kiss more and feel less stressed!
You don’t have to be one of those dreadlocked vegan tree huggers to realise the benefits of plants. By keeping one or two pieces of greenery within your home, you’ll be creating a more natural stress-free environment. Bamboo trees and aloe vera plants are great air purifiers and detoxify their environment. This leads to fewer headaches, less sore throats and minimal bugs being spread inside the home, lowering stress levels for the whole family.
Stress is one of life’s bugbears. Whereas a certain level of stress can be motivating and encourage us to perform our roles better, too much stress can be damaging to our health. Striving to find the correct work to home life balance is our ultimate goal. Ensure that you make time for yourself, enjoy the valuable moments you share with your nearest and dearest and have the all-important inbuilt strategies to deal with any stressful situations that may come your way.