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How Can I Manage My Work-Life Stressors?

By Carlee Stephenson, Intern & Eva Timothy, Extension Assistant ProfessorMan stressed at desk

Stress is something that everyone of all ages faces. It can leave you feeling exhausted or cause you to feel unable to cope with everyday living. Stress can make it difficult to balance responsibilities in the work field and at home. This stress can harm your relationships. However, if handled correctly, the stress you feel does not have to be a barrier to happy relationships. Here are some helpful tips on ways you can manage your stress for an improved home and work experience.

Exercise: Find time every day to exercise. Daily physical activity can be in the form of a cardio workout, dancing, swimming, yoga, or simply going for a walk. Performing physical exercise can give you a mental and physical boost for several hours to increase stress-fighting abilities (Kofoworola & Alayode, 2012).  Regular exercise will allow your brain to release more endorphins, which helps you feel happy and positive. 

Take A Break: If you have something you need to get done in a short amount of time, you might find it helpful to step away. This concept has always been a hard thing for me to do. When I get overwhelmed, I feel the need to work on whatever I am doing until it is completed. Doing so can cause more frustration. However, stepping away from the task at hand can allow the brain to recuperate. If you do so, you may find your mental capacity renewed (Packer, 2020).

Talk it out: Communication is an essential part of life. Communication is especially beneficial during stressful times. Here’s why. Talking to others, especially loved ones, allows you to see a situation more clearly, allows you to give voice to the emotions you have been experiencing, and helps those in your life understand what you are going through. Having someone there to show support by listening is mentally beneficial (Kofoworola & Alayode, 2012).

Make time for yourself: When life’s responsibilities leave you in a constant state of busyness, you may feel there is no time to pursue any of your hobbies or to enjoy simple pleasures. Time for yourself is neither selfish nor wasteful. As an artist, I value the time when I can create for hours on end. I have realized that taking 15 minutes every day to do something I love will ease my mind and allow me to escape during stressful moments. Whether it be drawing, playing an instrument, reading, cooking, going outside, or just laughing, taking time for yourself can promote wellbeing.

Learn to say no: Balancing work and family responsibilities in and of itself can leave you feeling stressed. When you say no you might experience guilt, and no one likes that feeling either. As you take a quiet moment to acknowledge how you are feeling and what you have experienced throughout your day, you may find it easier to weed out the unnecessary and focus on what truly matters to you. If you often find you feel resentment at having to do something someone asked you to do, learning to kindly decline can assist you in avoiding this negative emotion. It may also be helpful to remind yourself that things will fine if you choose to say no to something you don’t have the time or desire to do (Matrin, 2002). 

No one wants to experience stress, but applying these tips can help you manage it, therefore, allowing you to experience more positive and happy emotions with the ones you love. For more information, see the websites below for additional tips on this subject.

  • https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/d103/e940284b6ff785e185968528c69f01ed06c9.pdf
  • https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-management.htm