by Lauren Penrod
More and more studies indicate the impacts of stress on our daily life. These include stomach ulcers, miscarriage, headaches, depression, weight gain, weight loss, muscle tension, high blood pressure; and the list goes on.
These daily stressors are significant throughout the entirety of the US population and around the world, but we find significant stress in law enforcement, nursing, law offices, social work, and teaching. In fact these professions are so stressful they have specific training and coping mechanisms to prevent on-the-job breakdowns, and burnout.
It’s not surprising these professions have such a hard time balancing the stresses of work when they are relied upon to such a high degree in life and death or life altering situations, while still being highly regulated by their employer, with little to no gratitude from those they are helping.
How to Determine Stressors?
Some of the top reasons people have cited work stresses impacting their home life are:
- Low salaries.
- Excessive workloads.
- Few opportunities for growth or advancement.
- Work that isn’t engaging or challenging.
- Lack of social support.
- Feeling undervalued.
- Not having enough control over job-related decisions.
- Conflicting demands or unclear performance expectations.
There are many ways to avoid having these variables stress out your work day. Some include organizational tools to help with managing workload, or taking on small projects to engage and challenge you.
Another tool that I have found to be successful in the workplace is over use of communication. Whether that be asking a lot of questions to clarify tasks and expectations, or setting up times with management to ensure you are performing according to the requirements.
Communication, like in any relationship, is extremely important for opening up workplace boundaries, and feeling comfortable with your roles and responsibilities.
Some effects this has on work productivity include:
- Poor time management.
- Defensiveness and lack of collaboration.
- Lack of efficiency.
- Lack of “caring”.
- Procrastination on important things.
These effects will directly impact your productivity and efficiency, and will result in lack of performance. When this happens and is recognized by other staff, or management, this can lead to increased stressors in your life, and potential for job loss. Take preventative measures, and caution and try to recognize your stressors and reactions before it is an issue.
Some effects this has on your home life can include:
- Low sex drive.
- Lack of sleep.
- Lack of eating.
- Poor nutrition.
- Family/ Marital conflict.
A happy home life is the best way to ensure a positive work-life balance. It prevents added stressors going into the workplace, and helps to relieve any stress after the work day. A career is very important, especially in the early stages of life, however, nothing compares to a happy home life. Spending intentional time with your friends and family will reduce the need for praise and appreciation in the workplace.
“Our lives are a mixture of different roles. Most of us are doing the best we can to find whatever the right balance is…For me, that balance is family, work and service.” ~ Hillary Rodham Clinton
How to Rid Yourself of Stressors
If only you could afford to take monthly short vacations, or quit your stressful career and follow your dream of being the world’s finest pie maker; however, in most cases that’s unrealistic, and generally irresponsible.
Here are a few alternatives that can help rid your life, body, and mind of every day stressors from your profession:
- Eat right, sleep well, and move your body. Start tracking your foods,
- Learn to say no to tasks you cannot handle, and feel OK saying no.
- Don’t lose sight of your purpose, and why you chose that profession.
- Create a positive group of social support in and out of the workplace.
- Harness your fight or flight response, and try to slow down your breathing, and thoughts- in a meditation type method whenever you feel anxious.
- Take a lunch, or as many breaks as possible throughout your day to clear your head, and nourish your body.
- Try to limit stresses in the home, which seep into your workplace.
- Take a short break, staycation or vacation from work if possible. Even five days off can give you some much needed rest and relaxation time.
- Have a discussion with your supervisor or mentor about some of your concerns- see if they can’t offer any advice to help deal with the stressors.
*If all of these fail, and you see no light at the end of the tunnel, consider changing careers, or applying for alternative positions within the company.
In a nation that prides ourselves on family values, we currently have mothers and fathers working double time in the office, and in the homes, for wages far lower than they were in the 70’s, when adjusted for inflation. This results in an offset work-home balance, which tends to be more of a work at home and work at work balance-resulting in poor eating habits, poor sleeping habits and overall increased stresses to the body and mind.
We have grown accustomed to the “busy” lifestyle that often fills our insecurities and voids with ringing phones, social media, and lots of materialistic goods. Attempting to sift out some of these negative, and unnecessary extras is a good way to revamp your attitude, and better balance your home and work life stressors.
Was this post helpful? What are some of the things you do to rid yourself of stressors and to create a work-life balance? Would love to hear about it in the comment form below.
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