Unfortunately, stress is always going to be a part of our lives. However, it doesn’t have to be an obstacle that stands in our way, but instead should be a driving force that helps us reach our fullest potential. From family matters to important deadlines at work, it is important that we learn to cope with stress in a healthy way so that it is not harmful to our health.

Stress can be broken down into two categories: healthy and harmful. What is considered healthy stress? It is short-term, should feel good and help you want to strive to grow. For example, hoping to get promoted at your job or taking a vacation are examples of positive stressors. 

On the other hand, harmful stress is prolonged, creates worry and fear, and has a negative impact on your productivity and function. A few examples of negative stressors could include unemployment, an unexpected illness, or relationship problems. 

Now that we have determined the difference between stressors, it is essential that we understand how to manage this stress whether positive or negative. It is important that you take intentional steps to prevent stress from interfering with your health. 

Try implementing the following different strategies to see what works best for you when it comes to managing stressful times: 

Schedule breaks

Although you may have a lot of work to get done during your work day, it is important that you are able to give yourself a break so that you do not feel overwhelmed. You should make it a point to schedule breaks on your calendar throughout your day. You could do this by taking a quick five minute break to grab a snack or 15 minutes to you can take a quick walk outside. Do your best to disconnect from technology during this time in order to clear your mind so you can relax. You will be surprised at how much better you feel when you are able to give yourself small breaks from your busy schedule. 

Set boundaries

It is important to know that external pressures are a huge cause for stress. This could be due to your calendar, partners, or even your loved ones. With this in mind, set boundaries for yourself. Try choosing a time to log off from work every day and sticking to it. You could also try turning off notifications when you are off work so that you are not tempted to respond to messages. Another boundary you should consider is learning to say no to new commitments to help you avoid feeling overwhelmed. 

Find tools to help

Work is always going to be waiting for you, but to make your life easier, find a way to work smarter. Think of areas in your processes that are very time consuming and see if there is a more efficient way to completing these tasks. For example, if you find yourself going back and forth to various meetings that are scheduled, consider setting up a calendar link so people can choose the best day and time to meet based on your availability. Another idea to help make your life easier is regarding social media. If you are tired of taking the time to post on social media, you could always create your posts and schedule them for a time in the future by using a social media management platform. Overall, your goal should be to find ways to help you work more efficiently so you can streamline your workflow and reduce your amount of stress.

Take care of yourself

In order to avoid burnout, you need to ensure you are taking time for yourself by doing self-care. Try to spend time finding activities that you enjoy. Also, make sure that you are eating well, getting enough sleep, and are doing some form of physical activity so that you can stay healthy.

Take time off if allowed

If available, try to take some time off for yourself. This is a great way to help you recharge and be able to relax. If you are able to take a vacation, be sure to set boundaries for yourself so that you are not working during your time off. 

Although stress may feel like it is never ending, it is important that during the down season of your work that you take time to recharge and start planning how you are going to tackle the next year. Since stress will always be around you, it is up to you to determine how you are going to deal with it. You can either tackle the stress in a positive or harmful way to your mental and physical health. As you start creating game plans on how you can better handle stress, be sure to also consider process improvements so that you can start working smarter this year. 


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