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3 Ways to Improve Your Stress Management

As a busy professional, you likely have more than enough tasks to keep track of and complete. Besides that, you also have a life and responsibilities. Try improving your life in three different areas: self-care, productivity and physical health. Here are a few tips on how to reduce stress.

Self-care

1. Be kind to yourself

An important thing to understand is that giving yourself a little compassion won’t destroy your motivation or personal drive. You don’t have to engage in frequent self-criticism to improve yourself. Remind yourself that you’re human and your worth is not dependent on who approves of you and what you’ve accomplished.

2. Learn to say “no”

Sometimes it’s easy to commit to all the tasks and commitments. However, saying “no” establishes important boundaries and reduces unimportant obligations. One tip for learning to say no is writing down your reasons. This can help you clearly articulate why an opportunity might not be a good fit for you and organize your thoughts.

3. Do something you love

A recent article from the Harvard Business Review highlights research that indicates taking time to do something you love on a regular basis can buffer stress, decrease negative emotions and even promote ethical behaviour

in the workplace. Having a hobby you love, from knitting to rock climbing, can give you something to look forward to at the end of every day. Try something new that excites you.

Maintain productivity

1. Get quality sleep

A study by the Rand Corporation reports the U.S. economy sustains almost $411 billion in losses each year as a result of sleep problems. Some ways you can improve your sleep include having a nightly routine, getting comfortable pillows and making your room sufficiently dark. Try to get to bed at the same time each night as well.

2. Taking breaks

Breaks have been shown to be an effective way to fire up creativity, boost learning ability and prevent “decision fatigue,” which can negatively impact problem-solving abilities and increase procrastination. Try to take breaks every couple of hours. The best kinds of breaks involve a little extra walking and other ways you can separate your mind from work.

3. Reduce phone distractions

Studies have demonstrated that cell phones can steal about five hours of productivity each week. You can use phone apps to improve your focus, or even time yourself on tasks so you can’t look at your phone until you’re done with a specific task.

Boost physical health and immunity

1. Exercise

Just 20 minutes of exercise is all that’s required to promote anti-inflammatory activity in the body, and improve immune function. Try incorporating more physical activity into your life. You can find ways to walk greater distances to work, take regular walking breaks, or exercise during lunch. Exercise can also counteract the effects of sitting all day.

2. Healthy eats

Sometimes stress makes you reach for the ice cream instead of the celery. While you don’t need to put down the ice cream just yet, eating a variety of healthy food can balance out your life. Try to eat at least five different fruits and vegetables daily and try new foods.

Improving your life in these different areas will take a little trial and error, but they’re a lot easier to do than you think. Be compassionate with yourself and recognize that you don’t have to be perfect. Take care of your body through a healthy diet and exercise. Take breaks at work and reduce distractions. You will be able to achieve your goals more easily.

Photo credit – Pexels

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