All Articles Tagged "stress"
The weekend is here! So it’s time to catch up on some zzzs.
You might not realize it, but getting enough sleep can impact many areas in your life, from how you make every day decisions to your financial stability. If you are too tired to do even the tasks on a daily basis, or more high-level ones like completing a project, you are probably too tired to make wise decisions physically, mentally and financially. Ultimately, your sleep habits and practices could end up making you sluggish, burnt out… or even poor. Don’t believe it? Click through.
Even a 12 year old knows when to take a step back from a job to just smell the roses and enjoy life. Willow Smith recently backed out of a big gig to star as Annie in a film produced by Marcy Media (Jay-Z’s company) and Overlook Entertainment. Overlook announced that Willow Smith would not be starring as Annie in the upcoming film because she was too old (she is now 12 and not the nine-year-old she was when it was first proposed). But her dad Will quickly set the record straight letting everyone know that no Smith ever gets canned and that there were other factors that lead to Willow’s departure from the film.
In an interview at Philadelphia’s Temple University, Mr. Smith stated:
“Willow was supposed to be doing ‘Annie.’ We got Jay-Z to do the movie, got the studio to come in, and Willow had such a difficult time on tour with ‘Whip My Hair’ and she said, ‘You know Daddy, I don’t think so,’” he recalled. “And I said, ‘Baby, hold up!’ I said, ‘No, no, no, listen, you’ll be in New York with all of your friends and Beyonce will be there. You will be singing and dancing.’ And she looked at me and said, ‘Daddy, I have a better idea. How about I just be 12?’”
Willow gets big props for being mature enough to know her limitations and to do something about it no matter what the pressures were from her parents, Jay-Z or anyone else. That’s more than I can say for many child actors or musicians that keep pushing themselves until they end up with a drug addiction or a deadbeat baby daddy and two kids.
Moreover, I think we can all learn something from little Willow. Many Americans spend so much time at work and thinking about work that even when they aren’t at work, their jobs can have a negative impact on their personal lives and lead to complete burnout.
The American Psychological Association’s Dr. David Ballard, described to Forbes magazine what job burnout is: “An extended period of time where someone experiences exhaustion and a lack of interest in things, resulting in a decline in their job performance… A lot of burnout really has to do with experiencing chronic stress.”
I can totally see where Dr. Ballard is coming from. Recently I allowed myself to be put under so much pressure at work that I became stressed and suffered from chronic tension headaches. At the time I wasn’t eating right, getting about four hours of sleep, and drinking boat loads of coffee. It all caught up to me.
Professionals at the Mayo Clinic say you should ask yourself the following questions to figure out if you are experiencing job burnout:
- Have you become cynical or critical at work?
- Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started once you arrive?
- Have you become irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers or clients?
- Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
- Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
- Do you feel disillusioned about your job?
- Are you using food, drugs or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel?
- Have your sleep habits or appetite changed?
- Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, backaches or other physical complaints?
To combat burnout Dr. Ballard suggests that you take time to relax, cultivate a rich non-work life, and get plenty of sleep, among other things. I’d add that if these things fail due to the nature of the job or the company you work for, and it’s impacting your health, find a way to transition out of that job. Sometimes you have to know when you hold em’ and know when to fold em’, and your health is your number one priority. You might think you will lose money if you leave your job, but you will lose even more money if you are laid up in a hospital somewhere suffering from a medical condition as a result of stress.
Although we might not see much more of her until she concludes her hiatus, we should thank Willow Smith. Not only did she teach us how to whip our hair, she taught us how to put ourselves first and understand that sometimes you have to throw the deuces to a good opportunity to give yourself a chance to enjoy life.
Do you feel the wheels are turning round and round in your head without any results? As far as work goes, it’s never a walk in the park (or at least all the time). There are things that make us feel overwhelmed, under-appreciated and like we rarely accomplish anything on that neverending list of to-dos. Things like this happen all the time and unfortunately, can be a part of life.
One thing however that shouldn’t be a part of your everyday routine is feeling burned out. If you find yourself constantly stressed and experiencing a feeling of suffocation on the job, it’s important to you, your health, and sanity that you take the necessary precautions to make sure this doesn’t happen. Though we are unable to control the cards we are dealt with, we can control our reaction.
Here are ways to help prevent on the job burnout.
If you are stressed out at work, skip the coffee or the walk around the block to calm your nerves. Instead, just stay at your desk where there are some high-tech ways to monitor and control your stress levels. Two such devices are Tinké by Zensorium and Inner Balance by HeartMath.
The palm-size Tinké, which will run you $100, monitors your cardiorespiratory health by using an iPhone or iPad. After downloading the mobile app, just put your thumb on the sensor, and the app will display your heart rate, blood oxygen level, respiration rate, and heart rate. The app then compiles the data into a shareable fitness score called a Vita Index.
Inner Balance is a $99 kit that includes an app for the iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch and a sensor that you attach to your earlobe. With this you have to perform a guided breathing exercises while thinking about a positive moment. It will then give you a score that measures your heart rate stability.
According to Inc.’s John Brandon, who tested out the devices, said they both helped him. By monitoring his stress levels he found ways to lower them. “But both products helped me control my stress levels without doing much more than breathing… I still spend most of the day at my desk, but now I’m much more relaxed,” he wrote.
But if you don’t want t buy a separate device, there are apps you can download that will also help you distress at the desk. The Breath2Relax app is free and features a video on relaxing breathing techniques. Another, Breathe and Relax, which coast 99 cents, offers a series of breathing exercised. According to USA Today, “The app can set reminders to cue you to keep mindful throughout the day (Are you breathing? Are you holding your breath? Take a deep breath, and so on).”
Work deadlines, overdue bills, and aging parents can have your blood pressure through the roof. Stress can keep you wide-eyed and staring at the ceiling at night and pounding your head on the desk in the morning at work because of the overwhelming sense of helplessness. We’ve all had our moments where we feel paralyzed by tense experiences in life and surefire coping strategies are needed to put your mind at ease. Learn to smack stress away like Dikembe Mutombo’s blocks with these easy-to-enforce tips.
Don’t Hesitate To Meditate
Tina Turner found peace through meditation, so can you. Chant positive phrases that reinforce healthy affirmations. It allows you to live in the moment and ignore things that may stress you.
Work, money and relationships are stressing out millennials so much that many of them are suffering from depression, according to a new study. While rates are falling for the rest of Americans, the Millennial generation, ages 18 to 33, are reporting more stress, depression and anxiety.
An online “Stress in America” survey of 2,020 U.S. adults 18 and older conducted in 2012 by Harris Interactive for American Psychological Association found that millennials are also more likely to be told by a health care provider they have depression or an anxiety disorder. In the survey, 39 percent of millennials said their stress level increased in the past year and 52 percent say stress has kept them awake at night in the past month. “On a 10-point scale, where 1 means ‘little or no stress’ and 10 means ‘a great deal of stress,’ the 2012 average is 4.9. But for millennials, it’s 5.4,” reports USA Today. Top stress sources for millennials are work (cited by 76 percent), money (73 percent) and relationships (59 percent), family responsibilities (56 percent) and the economy (55 percent).
“Millennials are growing up at a tough time. They were sheltered in many ways, with a lot of high expectations for what they should achieve. Individual failure is difficult to accept when confronted with a sense you’re an important person and expected to achieve,” Mike Hais of Arcadia, CA, a market researcher and co-author of two books on that generation, including 2011′s Millennial Momentum, told USA Today. “Even though, in most instances, it’s not their fault — the economy collapsed just as many of them were getting out of college and coming of age — that does lead to a greater sense of stress,” he says.
Depression has been diagnosed for 19 percent of millennials, compared with 14 percent of Generation X (ages 34 to 47); 12 percent of Baby Boomers (ages 48 to 66) and 11 percent of those ages 67 and older. Anxiety disorder has also been cited in millennials more than other generations, 12 percent, compared with eight percent of Gen X, seven percent of Boomers and four percent of seniors.
Millennials often try to cope with stress on their own, with more than a third saying they eat, play video games, or surf the Web. “But the most common coping mechanism is listening to music, cited by 59% of young adults; 51% exercise or walk, about the same as the national average (52%),” reports the newspaper.
From family members to co-workers, lovers and friends, I think we’ve all found ourselves in a position or situation where we were disappointed by something they’ve done–or didn’t do.
I’ve had friends who didn’t go above and beyond to make time for me, though I would make myself tired trying to be a “good” friend, running around to keep up with them. I’ve had co-workers (and fellow interns) who wouldn’t pull their weight and would have me thinking I had to work like crazy so that everything that needed to be done, would be done. I’ve had boyfriends who I would find myself at the store buying little small gifts and things for, because I have a habit of spoiling people I love (“Oh, he likes colorful socks, I’ll get him a pair”; “I’m going to buy him this shirt just because it’s on sale”; “One more Christmas gift won’t hurt…”), but then feel disappointed when they would hardly do the same for me. The more and more I would find myself on the other side of these occurrences feeling salty, hurt or just straight up pissed off, the more stress I would put on myself at the end of the day. Trying to do everybody’s work was having a negative impact on me physically; Overspending just to look like the Girlfriend of the Year was hurting my wallet; And expecting my friends to make themselves available in the same way that I would for them was causing unnecessary animosity in my relationships with them. My expectations were too high for everyone because of the fact that expectations for myself were way too high for myself.
I got a wake-up call about all this from a friend of a friend who I was catching up with. When I explained to her one of the aforementioned issues and the anger and stress it was causing me, she gave me the real.
“You can’t get mad at that person for the fact that they’re not doing what you do. Nobody asked you to go out of your way when you didn’t feel like it. That’s YOU, not them. You can’t get mad at other people and expect them to do everything the way you do it, because that’s not going to happen. And in the end, you’re the one over here stressing, and they’re over here not even realizing you have a problem.”
Initially expecting her to agree with me, I was surprised at her opinion, but it was what I needed to hear, and it was plain and simple: You do you, stop worrying about everybody else. I’ve found not only in my own situations, but in those of friends and colleagues, we get upset at people for not living up to these overwhelming expectations that they didn’t even know we had for them. We expect our men to be uber-romantic and know when to give us flowers because we go out of our way for them by cooking and baking and buying things and making ourselves available to them out of the kindness of our own hearts. We expect family members to lend us a hand because we’ve gone out of our way to do everything for them. But as my pastor would say, if you want to do good for people, do it because you want to and you enjoy it, not because you’re looking for applause or adoration.
As for myself, I realized that while I do like to do nice things for people, I often do THE most. So I’ve made a better effort not to wear myself thin, not to overdo things as to spoil the people I care about, and in the end, learned that I can only worry about myself and not what the people in my life do and don’t do. I can only make it clear in the beginning what standards I have for my friends, my family, my partner, and the like, but I can’t put all my overly high expectations for myself on them, and I can’t fault them for not being more like me. Because as homegirl said, worrying about all that keeps me stressing when they’re somewhere not even batting an eye.
Are you stressed out at work? It might not be that project you’re working on, or even your co-workers. You might be creating the stress.
It is common for to get stressed out at work. In fact, as many as three in four U.S. employees report that work is a somewhat or very significant cause of stress in their lives, according to the American Psychological Association (APA) (via The Huffington Post), second only to money. Stress can cause lots of problems in the workplace, including absenteeism, tardiness, and employees who intend to quit, according to the CDC.
Because of these negative outcomes, it is important to pinpoint the source of your stress at work. Could you be it?
Here are the top five ways stress is created in the workplace.
1. Do you take on too much responsibility? If you are overloaded, don’t agree to another project. Delegate if you can, or put something on the back burner.
2. Does all the decision making fall on your shoulders? If you are the boss or manger, trust your employees to handle certain responsibilities— including making some basic decisions. This will also help build teamwork. According to the website, “Employees who have a say about what they do at work and how they do it report greater job satisfaction.”
3. Do you fail to give feedback? If you don’t let your employees know how they are doing, then they might not perform the task as you’d like, causing you to handle it yourself or making your employees stressed because they failed. Give feedback and guidance.
4. Do you leave out the details when giving instructions? If you don’t tell employees exactly whet you need done then they can’t deliver. “Confusion about work duties, company goals or priorities can add to an employee’s stress level,” notes HuffPo.
5. Do you ignore each worker’s skills and interests? Use your employees to the utmost. “Underutilizing talent by assigning tasks outside of a worker’s skill set or with little meaning can lead to frustration and stress on the job,” concludes the news site.
Be for real. Are you the cause of your own stress?
Think your job is stressful? CareerCast has taken its annual look at the most and least stressful jobs out there. And, as should be expected, the jobs occupied by those who are risking life and limb are the most stressful — members of the military, military generals, and firefighters are in the top three spots.
But you don’t have to go too much farther down the list to come to jobs that you might otherwise think are pretty sweet. At number five is PR executive, a job that stays on the most stressful list year after year.
“Their job is completely in the public eye, trying to manage awareness and branding for various products and services. It doesn’t matter if you’re in charge of toothpaste or a small nonprofit, you’re still under stress to make sure the word gets out in a positive way,” Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast.com tells NBC News. Also on the list are reporters, photojournalists, and cab drivers. The full list is available here.
And what about the least stressful jobs? University professor, tailor, and medical records technician.
The scale isn’t all about danger and cash. Numbers two and three on the least stressful list aren’t big money makers and relatively low-paying jobs appear on both lists. Job prospects are also taken into consideration. Also stressful — when you work with psychopaths. AOL Jobs says that the areas attracting the most psychos are CEOs, lawyer, the media, and salespeople. We probably could’ve guessed that.
Of course, ultimately, what stresses people out is unique to each person. What do you find stressful about a job?
Seasonal Stressers: How To Unwind At Work, At Home, and Everywhere in Between During This Holiday Period
End-of-the-year work crunch. Holiday shopping and entertaining. Crowded public transportation and traffic jams. This can all lead up to major stress. But you can take steps to de-stress and enjoy the season to its fullest.
Stressers at work can be at an all-time high at this time of year, as projects may need to completed before the year’s end, you may have more meetings with potential clients to ink deals to start 2013 off, or you just want to get organized before the new year comes in.
There are ways to elevate pressure on the job, especially before a major presentation or meeting:
- Keep a photo of your significant other or close friend with you. “A minute or two spent looking at the photo before you are ‘on’ can reset your nervous system. You’ll then feel more relaxed and confident because you’ll feel more grounded and at home, even in an uncomfortable or unusual setting,” writes Inc.
- Keep something on your desk to play with, like a squeeze ball. “The process of squeezing and tensing muscles and then letting go–even if just using fine motor movements–drops your heart rate and makes you less nervous. You can also play with beads or roll stones in your hand; that’s why playing with a pen helps many people focus,” according to the magazine.
It’s hard not to bring the stresses from work to home, and during this season you may find more tensions in the household, what with planning family events, cooking special holiday meals, and decorating your home holiday hosting. So it is important to have peace of mind on the home front as well.
- Continue or start an exercise routine. “It always feels like money in the bank when you get your exercise in, in the wee hours of the morning. A good brisk walk or run just before the day begins will work wonders on holiday stress,” explains Marlene Adelmann, certified herbalist and founder of the Herbal Academy of New England. “Take some deep breaths of fresh air, literally fill your lungs. Hold it just for a second or two and then let it out.”
- Sleep works wonders. You will perform better at work and have more energy to get all that Christmas shopping done.
- Skip the coffee. “A cup of chamomile tea after dinner (not right before bed because it may cause you to wake to visit the bathroom) will insure sound sleep,” Adelmann tells us in an email.
- Self massage. Yes, give yourself a massage when your get home. After a long day at the computer or maneuvering all the crowds during shopping your muscles will be tense. The shoulders and neck always hold in tension, so it is a great idea to massage that area. “Reach with your right hand (across your body), resting the palm of your hand on top of shoulder (with fingers on your back) and most importantly with the base knuckle of your thumb pressing against neck muscles,” offers licensed massage therapist Michele Merhib, founder of Elements Therapeutic Massage. “Slowly rotate your head and neck, pressing neck muscles against thumb knuckle. This will massage your neck muscles. Keeping hand in same place, press into your back muscle (between your shoulder blade and spine) with fingertips and rotate your left shoulder blade. Reach and relax the left arm to massage the upper back/shoulder region. Repeat on other side.”
At Holiday Events
The season is filled with may obligatory holiday socializing, whether it be the company Chirstmas party or holiday dinner with friends or family get-togethers.
- Make an appearance and a graceful exit. “If you have social commitment that you’re dreading, be targeted about how you spend your time when you get there. Arrive early and spend a few minutes one on one with the host. Put in your face time, do the necessary networking and be on your way,” advises organizational expert Barbara Reich, author Secrets of an Organized Mom.
- And it’s okay to declines some offers. “Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to those events that you truly don’t want to attend. It’s having too many obligations that makes the holidays stressful instead of enjoyable,” Reich says in an interview.
So take a few minutes to unwind, you will be able to perform at work better, stay energized during your shopping and then enjoy spending time with others this holiday season.