Thursday, 20 April 2017

Ebere Sylvia: Tips For Managing Stress, Work & Lifestyle

Some days are great, everything is on schedule and going as planned. On some days there’s just so much to do, with a teaspoon of time to get them done. Days like that just make me want to pull my hair out.
Life can get so busy that we get so into it; if not careful we begin to lose ourselves and develop a lot of stress.
Balancing work and other real life activities has been a major problem on the rise; everyone is constantly trying to figure out how to manage the stress that come with it. In a lot of cases the inability to properly manage work and real life activities, can cause stress, burn out with little or no productivity.
My opinion on work-life balance may not be exactly what you would expect. A lot of people ask me how they can balance work and lifestyle, and my answer is: there is nothing like work-life balance.
I mean, it doesn’t exist.
It’s hard and nearly impossible to balance work and lifestyle equally, with the high demands of both and barely 24 hours in a day. The good news is, it can be managed. You can bring stress to the barest minimum, and get some sort of sanity.
Here are some tips to managing work and lifestyle, to reduce stress and increase productivity;
I remember going for a job interview and the interviewer asked, “How do you manage stress?”
Managing stress is an important part of our entire wellbeing, and that is where prioritization comes in.
Prioritizing our activities is an effective way to balance life and manage stress. Try not to do everything at the same time.
Choose what you want to do based on order of importance and leave the rest for later. I know you may be all shades of super woman/man, but trust me you will burn out if you try to get everything done at once.
I remember when I started working at my new job, I didn’t really understand how the daily activities flow, so I would come in and try to do everything at once; jumping from emails back and forth, to reports, meetings, phone calls and more emails. I was burning out.
After work everyday I looked like a burnt potato. Some weeks late, I got a hang of my daily activities; I realized 40% of my workload could have waited till the next day, if only I prioritized.
Life got a whole lot better; my stress level started to reduce and I produced more result. Prioritizing our work and choosing what’s most important and getting those done can save us a whole lot of stress.
Scheduling our activities is an important part of time management, but the question is how can we properly allocate a set time to the things we want to get done. We all have 24 hours in a day; even the most successful people have the same number of hours in a day. The only difference is how they choose to use it.
The best way to schedule and manage your time wisely in order to avoid stress is for you to engage in block scheduling.
Block scheduling is creating blocks of time in our schedule and completely dedicating a particular block to doing a particular thing. This means no phone calls, no TV shows, no video games, no distractions during those times.
Figure out the time of the day when you’re completely unavailable. For example: when you’re at work; when it’s time for the kids; school run, church or any other commitments. Block those hours off; that leaves you with the time you’re completely free, then you can schedule your activities within those hours.
Block scheduling gives you a clear perspective of your 24 hours and helps you manage them properly to avoid all the stress and overwhelm that come with work-life activities.
Sweat it Out
You can’t go wrong with having a good work out. Remember my work burn out story? I was so stressed that I had to go sweat it out at the gym, every other day, after work.
Sweating it out can help you manage the stress that comes with work-life activities. There is something magical about having a good work out or a good run. Sweating it out just helps your body relax.
Exercising makes us look good and most importantly makes us feel good. A good workout will relax the muscles, calm the nerves and send good vibes to our brain, causing our stress level to drop dramatically. It make us energetic and this eventually leads to results and productivity.
Catch your breath
Learn to relax, people. Catch your breath; life is not that serious.
I know we all want to relax sometimes but the realities of life and expectations make that a mere wish, but you can trick your mind to slow down by giving it a little scare.
Here is how I trick my mind to relax. I say this to myself “Ebere! If you don’t relax and find something fun to do, then you’re going to get anxious and stressed and eventually may be get sick. Remember everyone is busy with their lives and there will be no one to take care of you. You will eventually have to take some time off work. You know nobody is going to pay you for being sick, then tell me what are you going to do when you have no income coming in”.
Trust me, that works. The next minute you find me dancing to Wow by Brandy, or chilling with a glass of wine, reading a book and just taking sometime off for self-care.
Figure out what works for you, and relax from time to time. We could never perform to our highest potential if we have nothing but stress to give.

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