Mark your calendar (or, better yet, clear your calendar) for the second annual SOS to Stress Day this Saturday, June 30. We all know that stress impacts our bodies, relationships, productivity, and well-being, but oftentimes we don’t take time to evaluate the factors that are causing the problem and what we can do to deal with them. This occasion offers a good opportunity for a tune-up.
If you are lucky enough to be getting a vacation this summer, you have probably been looking forward to it for some time, eagerly counting the days until you can escape from the office and enjoy some stress-free time away.
But many of us find it difficult to truly escape from work completely once our vacation time finally arrives. If you often find yourself answering work-related calls or checking your office email at night or on weekends, there is a good chance that the same thing will be likely to happen on vacation, unless you take steps to prevent it.
For many working parents, that first hour home from the office can be among the most challenging times of the day. Adults are tired, kids want attention, and everybody is hungry. Developing a routine to make that period go smoother can set the tone for the whole evening.
Many people spend long hours at the office. Some are trying to make a name for themselves in their industry and put in extra time in the hope of receiving a promotion. Others find themselves being asked by their employer to stay longer to compensate for a limited staff or to perform more duties to keep the company competitive. But there also are numerous people who find themselves staying late for another reason: They don’t particularly want to go home.
Does fear dominate your work day? If so, this could really be hurting your career. We’re not talking about being afraid of the next tantrum from your nightmare boss (although that can wreak havoc on your career, as well). But we are referring to the constant fear that many workers (especially women) battle everyday—the insecurity that they are not worthy of praise or promotions, or that someone will suddenly decide they aren’t qualified to do their current job.
Whether brooding about something that happened during the day while on your train ride home or going over tomorrow’s to-do list while making dinner, a worker might physically leave the office at quitting time but sometimes doesn’t make a mental shift between the office and after-hours activities. But such a transition between work time and private time is critical to both areas. Failure to let go of stressors leads to burnout and deprives us of spending quality time on things outside of the workplace that make us happy.
Relationships with bosses can be tricky. On the one hand, you’re both adults and are on the same team. But you both know the playing field is not equal. Bosses influence many aspects of an employee’s life, from day-to-day assignments to who will be the next person terminated. No wonder workers sometimes feel on edge around them.
The problem with nerves, however, is that they can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you’re worrying about making mistakes, your focus may be compromised -- leading to errors or actions that make you seem insecure or incompetent.