People love to work hard at what they do, whether this be in a job or a business. Because of the desire to prove themselves and earn a decent salary, a good number of us tend to overdo it and we can become negatively stressed about work. We end up paying less attention to ourselves and the other areas of life that are also important to us.
An extreme focus on work alone will surely wear a person down. While work occupies a big part of our days, keeps us active, and provides the income for daily existence, we must remember that we need to have a balanced approach to live a complete life with increased vitality.
Here is a daily 20-minute program that can help you improve your response to stress at work and achieve better work-life balance:
Taking care of yourself is of utmost importance. Done at the start of each day, a meditation is very valuable in making you feel “whole” before getting immersed in your work. Even a brief meditation establishes a huge difference between you just going through the working day meaninglessly versus performing your responsibilities with assured calm.
- Meditation focuses the mind and bestows calm on the spirit.
- Meditation helps release tensions and worries for the day about to begin.
- Meditation channels your personal power and reminds you to call on your strengths.
After you’ve completed your meditation, set aside time to plan your day. Planning is about reviewing what is most important to you (e.g. people, events, business goals) and organizing your tasks realistically around these. Doing so will help you be more focused and productive while decreasing distractions and becoming less negatively stressed about unimportant things.
- Organize your tasks by evaluating their importance and prioritizing them accordingly.
- Do your best to follow the plan for the day while remaining flexible to unforeseen events.
- Schedule short breaks and other activities that will re-energize you (e.g. movement and exercise, coffee or tea breaks to re-connect with colleagues)
Whether it’s within five minutes straight at mid-day or in one-minute intervals spread throughout the day, evaluate how you are doing versus plan. How well have you been able to follow your plan? How much of your important tasks have you accomplished? What has worked well and what were challenges you encountered that caused you lose control? After doing a thoughtful assessment, get back to the game with calm and fortitude.
- Be ready to adjust your list of tasks based on new or changed circumstances.
- Don’t let unforeseen events discourage you from becoming flexible with your plan; at times, all it takes is a minor adjustment in your approach to the task at hand.
- Just go with the flow!
5-Minute Wind Down
At the end of the day, allow yourself some time to leave aside work, do something else to clear your mind and release the tension in your body. This may be something you haven’t done in the past, but changing pace and activities is a sure way to decrease the negative effects of stress at work. Forget all your troubles and look forward to the adventures of the next day.
- Do you enjoy listening to music? Play that relaxing or soulful music that has been proven to calm your nerves.
- Do you like stretching and breathing exercises? Practice some yoga to re-connect with your body and mind peacefully.
- Did you miss your spouse, your children, or other family members during the day? Make sure you get home early enough to join them for dinner or some time to watch your favorite show together.
It may all seem so simple, but devoting these 20 minutes each day re-balances the personal and professional areas of your life. This way, you’ll live with greater peace and enjoy increased vitality that makes life really worth living.
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