Your happy place
Let’s talk about stress. Public enemy numero uno (in my opinion). Stress in the adult world can surface from many different areas: project deadlines, money, work relationships, personal relationships, guilt from eating too many cupcakes… A lot of these stem from work. We tend to over-invest in managing our work life. This is probably because success in the small things leads to more opportunity, opportunities lead to $$$, and financial freedom leads to happiness. We put so much of ourselves into work that it begins to dictate our happiness. Whether we have a successful day or just completely tank, our performance becomes the driving force that makes us happy, content, frustrated, or disappointed in ourselves. The stress from putting all of our emotional and physical energy into our work is arguably the largest factor inhibiting us from living well-rounded, healthy lives.
Cortisol, I Don’t Like You
There is a lot of stigma connected to the hormone cortisol. When we are experiencing fear or stress, our body releases cortisol as part of our internal fight-or-flight mechanism. Scientists say, “elevated cortisol levels…interfere with learning and memory, lower immune functions and bone density, increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease…” and more.
Ok, so it’s obviously unrealistic to completely eliminate all of the “stressers” in life, because some of them are external and out of our control. But there are things we can do to combat the cortisol that is being released.
-Have daily quiet time
-Over-communicate with your peers
-Power stances (no joke)
-Learn to combat conflict immediately
-Have community outside of work
This is just a short list of things we can do to combat stress. Realistically, if we make it a goal to live well-rounded lives, stress from work won’t have such a tremendous effect on our emotional health. But how do we ensure we have well-rounded lives when we are always running out of time?
Your Happy Place: Find It & Make A Plan
I know there are just never enough hours in the day, but if you sit down and decide what is important for you to make time for, and prioritize, you will be more diligent in putting energy into things other than work.
For example, if you decide you want to make sure you have time for relationships, exercise, work, and a hobby, write those 4 things down and use them as touch points throughout the day. Tell yourself, “My day has not been productive unless I have spent time in each of these 4 areas.” I know that sounds nerdy and kind of like a stupid homework assignment, but even dedicating 15 minutes to reading or intentionally talking a friend on the phone will make you forget the things that are stressing you out at work. It might also help you realize that life is more than projects and money. You will grow to enjoy every day so much more if you are diligent in investing a little time into the things that make you happy. Hopefully, as a result of that growth, some of your stress will disappear.