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Secrets to a Work-Life Balance in Stressful Professions

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.
  • Depression

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.

Hillary Clinton quote on work life balance

“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.

Moving forward

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.

Questions:

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.

About author

LaurenPenrodprofile pic

Lauren Penrod is the mother to two poodle mixes and is expecting her first child in November. She is born and raised in Boise, Idaho and spends her free time freelance writing, and planning too far into the future. 

 

 

 

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About Yvonne I. Wilson (758 Articles)
Yvonne is a positive thinker, a catalyst for change, and a conduit through which holistic healing takes place and destiny is fulfilled. Her ministry through her blog, Empowerment Moments, came at a very low point in her life and was born out of much adversity, persecution, physical abuses, and rejection to the point of her being suicidal. She was left feeling defeated and shrunk back by fear. But through some miraculous means, God has given her pain purpose and a unique voice through which He speaks to touch the untouchable, to reach the unreachable and to empower, inspire, motivate, encourage and uplift the hurting and spiritually wounded to bring about healing and wholeness - mind, body, soul and spirit, one person at a time.

12 Comments on Secrets to a Work-Life Balance in Stressful Professions

  1. Thanks, Yvonne, this is a topic that we cannot stop talking about and you share some good insights here. Thanks and have a blessed rest of the week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Richard,

      It’s a pleasure seeing you again. Work life balance is definitely something that we talk about all the time – our lives are somewhat fast paced and it is good to ensure that in spite of, we are not stressing or neglecting any aspect of our life.

      Continue to be encouraged and have a blessed day and enjoy the rest of the week also.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Yvonne

    Stress is a silent killer yet like you have mentioned so many families are going through stress.

    You have listed great ways to get rid of stress and they are do spot on.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  3. Hi Lauren/Yvonne Ma.am
    Finally got time to read this post.
    What a great article. I’m so glad that I am regular reader of Yvonne ma,am blog.
    Well Stress is happening everywhere and everyone’s life.
    A little bit stress/pressure is a positive thing. It helps us being on the track. But a lot of stress which is due to negative thinking allows us to go in a bad phase.
    The 9 rules you are mentioned in are worth a million.

    Like

  4. Hey Yvonne and Lauren,

    I am glad to read such kind of motivational post after a long time.
    Now a days due to many reasons people are stressed a lot. We all try to manage our life but sometimes fail to do that. We need stress management things to do. I am shocked to know the effects of stress.
    Maintaining our work and perfect life is needed. Thanks for such an effective tips.
    Hope you both are enjoying your day.
    ~Ravi

    Like

    • Hi Ravi,

      So glad to have you stop by after a such a long time. One thing is clear is that our lives have become hectic and that in itself is enough to cause us to be stressed.

      Stress do have damaging effects upon the body when exposed to it and the longer the exposure, death can even come about. Nonetheless, it is still the responsibility of each person who do find themselves in such a situation to be proactive and take all the necessary steps to find the right balance.

      Thanks Ravi. I really appreciate your input. Have a great day and enjoy the rest of the week.

      Like

    • Hi Ravi,
      Thank you for the kind words! I am glad that my post could help!

      Like

  5. Hi Yatin,

    Thank you so much, for your well wishes! We are all very excited for her to arrive!

    I agree, thinking of positives, and often times some of the “first world” benefits that we have that are stress-inducing- is a good way to relax, and appreciate oneself and all of the blessings we have in our life. Perspective is an amazing thing.

    Thank you for your support!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Lauren
    First of all, accept my advance wishes for your healthy child.

    Everyone can connect with your post. The word ‘stress’ has become so common that people don’t even realize it’s long-term impact. It is always better to have a check on our stress indicators. Otherwise, we won’t be able to come out the stress mess.

    I completely agree with the list of stress determinants. Stress is the gateway to infinite troubles. Everybody deals with stress. But, the success of the individual is determined by the way the individual tackles it.

    I calm myself by appreciating all my achievements. Whenever I feel stressed, I feel thankful for all the wonderful things around me.

    Thanks Yvonne for having Lauren on your blog. Have a lovely week ahead

    Like

    • Hi Yatin,

      So nice to see you again and for giving your well wishes to Lauren. I am glad she was able to pitch in and drop you a response.

      It was a much needed post as I too work in a very stressful profession and can really do with balancing things out a bit and to go at a slower pace. These days I think it is more about working smarter and not harder.

      I love the fact that you calm yourself by appreciating your achievements. It’s like saying stop and smell the roses as you give thanks for them.

      Appreciate you stopping by. Have a great day/week ahead buddy. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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