One of the best and sure-fire ways to manage stress is to take out just a little bit of time of your day for yourself. It sounds very obvious when you hear it and when you think about it, but a lot of people (myself included) seem to forget this. Life keeps getting in the way, there’s too much work to be done, I’ll relax as soon as this is finished, if I start relaxing now I won’t feel like doing the work at all, all valid excuses but excuses none the less. You need to take at least a few minutes out of your day to turn off your mind and not think about anything stressful.
To use a bad analogy, we are like wind-up toys, wind us up too tight too often and eventually we’ll break, don’t wind us up enough and we won’t work at all. You need to find a good balance between work, responsibility and yourself; you should try to find that time in the day where you can switch off and do what you want to do not what you need to do. It doesn’t have to be anything special and it doesn’t have to be for that long.
When it comes to what to do it’s all up to you (hey that rhymed). Watch your favourite show on TV, surf the internet for a while, play a video game, play a board game, play a card game, talk to friend, whatever relaxes you and makes you feel less stressed afterwards.
As for how much time to take out of your day, well that’s up to you really. You need to gauge for yourself how much time you need to unwind and how you can fit it into your schedule. My advice, put away at least half an hour of the day for yourself, a lot of you might be saying that that’s impossible but trust me, if you do it, you’ll thank yourself later.
For those of you who are really busy with work and are still wondering how you can create a work and life balance, I recommend this article on themuse.com. It’s called, “5 Ways to Reset Your Work-Life Balance When You’re Crazy Busy,” and is written by Melody J. Wilding, LMSW.
To summarise it, the five ways the article mentions:
- Talk to your boss so you know what’s going on
- Follow a morning and bedtime routine
- Try to do some exercise, even if it’s just a ten minute walk
- Keep some time for yourself (pretty much what my article is trying to say)
- Try to be a little creative, do things like singing in the shower, doodling, etc.
Mind you I’ve cut out a lot of other stuff from the article so you should go and check it out for yourself so you can get some more details (plus it’s a nicely written and I think it deserves to be read).
Now before I finish this post let me make one thing clear, I am not telling you to shirk your responsibilities, what I am trying to tell you is that if you don’t look after yourself properly you won’t be able to fulfill your responsibilities. So take a little time to yourself, recharge yourself so that you can be ready for another day in your life.