Everyone worries. Sometimes worrying can even be useful when it encourages you to take action. But if you’re held up with “what ifs” and worst-case scenarios, worry becomes a problem.
Anxious thoughts can drain your emotional energy, send your anxiety levels soaring, and interfere with your life. But worrying is a habit that can be broken. Here are 3 ways in which you can prevent worry:
Postpone your worry.
Set a designated time in the day when you can deal with the things which worry you. It is a good idea to do this for a short period (around 20 minutes) when you get home from work, so that your worry does not continue into your evening and night.
If something which worries you crosses your mind during the day, make a short note of it and let it go until your ‘designated worry time’. This ‘worry list’ means that you do not stress about anything more than is necessary, and allows you to deal with your worries at a time when you can be productive about them.
Make distinctions between solvable and unsolvable worries.
Solvable worries are those you can take action on. For example, if you’re worried about your bills, you can call your providers to ask about payment options. Unsolvable worries are those with no corresponding action. For example “What if my child gets into an accident?”
If the worry is solvable, make a list of all the possible solutions you can think of. After you’ve evaluated your options, make a plan of action.
If the worry is not solvable, accept the uncertainty. Focusing on worst-case scenarios will only keep you from enjoying the good things you have in the present.
Worrying is focused on the future and what might happen. Mindfulness can help you bring your attention back to the present. Mindfulness is based on observing your worries and then letting them go. This helps you identify where your thinking is causing problems.
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Successfully achieving a healthy work-life balance can support greater achievement in the workplace, as well as improved wellbeing and happiness. In contrast, not achieving a healthy work-life balance can result in increased stress levels, exhaustion, illness and burnout.
Finding the right balance will vary depending on circumstances such as having children, starting a new career or business, or simply going through a busy period. Achieving work-life balance doesn’t mean you have to stop working hard, as many professions require us to do so. It is however, about getting the balance right and knowing how and when to switch off from work.
It’s essential to maintain a healthy balance between work, rest/relaxation and having fun, in order to perform at your best both at home and in work. Ensure you aren’t sacrificing your free time to work overtime daily, especially at the expense of your personal wellbeing or health.
Five ways to improve work-life balance:
Cut out activities that drain your time and energy
When time feels restricted it’s important that we are mindful of how time and energy are being spent. At times we can be drawn into tasks or habits that make us less efficient and can drain our energy without even realising. An example could be clicking on push notifications whilst trying to complete an assignment or spending hours scrolling through Instagram when you could have spent quality time with a loved one. If you are easily drawn into activities that are not serving you as you wish, learn how to say no. This can be difficult however, when you do give your time you will be more positive and productive.
For a healthy work-life balance, it’s important to set clear boundaries. This could be turning off push notifications and refraining from checking emails outside of working hours. In addition, minimising the amount you talk about work at home could help you switch off from the day.
Make time for the things you most enjoy
Once you’ve cut out activities that are no longer a good use of your time, you may find that there are still a number of tasks that you don’t enjoy but are required. Examples could be cleaning your home, managing your books or preparing healthy meals. If this isn’t something you enjoy or feel is time well spent, then outsourcing could be a great option. Your time could then be spent on tasks that you are good at and most enjoy.
Find time for self-care
Self-care is an important task that we should perform regularly in order to help maintain good health and wellbeing. Imagine having time to yourself to relax with no other demands. How would you spend this time? Read book, go for a massage, meditate, exercise, catch up with friends or go for a walk. All of which are a great way to help switch off from work, relax and recharge.
Ask for help
It is essential that we have a strong support network around. Surround yourself with like-minded, positive and supportive people that you can reach out to. Sometimes a chat with good friend is all you need to offload and feel more positive.
Stress Awareness Month and has been held every year since 1992 and has become increasingly prominent over the years, as reports show that the number of people struggling with stress has continued to rise. During this awareness period, health care professionals and experts aim to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic.’ http://stressawarenessmonth.com
Stress is not only affecting daily lives, but it has a huge impact in the workplace too as HSE states;
526,000 workers suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17.
12.5 million working days lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety.
In addition, presenteeism is also on the rise, leaving employees unmotivated, tired or stressed at work. This naturally affects productivity resulting in additional costs for employers.
The question on everyones lips is what can we do about it?
It’s important to remember that everyone is individual and stress is unique to each person. A situation that feels stressful to one person, may be motivating to someone else. Similarly, the ways in which we deal with stress also differs. It is a necessity to learn how deal with your own level of stress effectively and in a healthy manner. Sometimes our automatic responses aren’t the healthiest and you should bear this in mind. Negative behaviours as a result of stress can include smoking, drinking in excess, compulsive spending and emotional eating.
Making positive steps to manage stress:
When you’re feeling stressed it’s important to understand what the route cause could be. Try keeping a diary over a set period of time to identify any situations that cause you most stress. Understanding how you respond is also important, so jot down your thoughts and feelings, as well as any other key information you remember about the people and circumstances.
Develop Healthy Responses
As previously discussed, there are a number of common responses that can have a negative effective on stress and can potentially lead to health problems. Activities such as Yoga can help combat stress, with many other forms of sports and fitness activities also proving beneficial. Sleep also plays a vital part of an effective stress management. Healthy sleep patterns can be enhanced by turning off your electrical devices on an evening, and limiting caffeine intake.
Take Time Out to Recharge
In a challenging 24 hour world with pressure apparent in most professions, it is essential to establish and effective work-life balance. Try setting yourself work-life boundaries, such as turning off your mobile after a set time and setting aside parts of your week for focused family time. By doing so you can reduce work-life conflicts. This practice will also help you to be in the present moment, either at work or at home. Ensure that you take those well deserved holiday days and switch off from work, so that on your return you are re-energised and left feeling relaxed.