If you’re the type who is an unstoppable force when it comes to your work, you are not alone. Too many Type-A personalities not only feel the need to over-manage their own work, but they also feel the need to micro-manage the work of others. In doing so, they create too much stress in their daily life. They can also create anxiety and even depression without realizing it.
Says mental health expert Sherief Abu-Moustafa, if you find yourself caught up in a vicious, never-ending routine of overworking yourself, it might pay to consult a licensed expert who can help you manage a wide variety of conditions, including bi-polar syndrome, anxiety, ADD, PTSD, and more. Mental health experts can bring peace into your life and help you relax even during highly stressful conditions.
But what are some other things you can do to destress your life while you are working insane hours? According to a new report by The Muse, in the 2020s, everyone is said to be overly busy. Busy might even be an understatement. It’s possible you’re working on a major project, the deadline for which is looming over your head. Or perhaps you are an accountant and it’s the tax season. Or maybe you just happen to have a job that requires not forty hours per week, but eighty.
Fact: working crazy hours on a constant, non-stop basis can lead to mental fatigue and burnout. If you find yourself caught up in this whirlpool of stress, it’s best to take a breath and plan a vacation. In the meantime, you can learn to stay focused, energized, and even distressed while at work if you follow some of these daily practices.
Take Care of the Basics
If you feel overwhelmed at work, you might also find yourself letting the necessities of life slip away. You do things like choosing takeout instead of making a healthy meal. You drink way too much coffee instead of drinking lots of H2O. You don’t go to the gym or take in a jog which is a major destressing activity. Simply pacing the corridor during a conference call is not a substitute for getting your cardio in.
Skipping these basic things might seem trivial at first, but if you ignore them, they will take a heavy toll on your mental and physical health. They will not only leave you stressed, lethargic, and irritable, they can potentially lead to ulcers and even a heart attack.
The answer? Take care of your physical and mental well-being before you take care of your job. Exercise daily, keep healthy snacks in your backpack or desk, take a daily 20-minute nap, drink plenty of water, and every half hour or so, take a five-minute break. If your boss complains about any of this, find a new job or figure out a way to work for yourself.
Make Your Routine Simple
The Muse reports that Mark Zuckerberg wears a simple gray t-shirt to work every day just so he doesn’t have to think about what to wear. Adopting a daily uniform is a great way to make life simple while giving yourself more time to be productive.
You can also prepack all your lunches and snacks for the week or even schedule a food delivery service to do your home food shopping which will eliminate a time-consuming chore. Keep in mind that when you’re overly busy with work, every minute counts and adding free time makes a big difference in your stress level.
Create “Me Time”
If you’re working eighty hours a week, it’s nearly impossible to find free time for yourself. The hobbies you once enjoyed by yourself and with your friends have now been swallowed up by meetings and creating one report after the other.
However, this doesn’t mean you should forgo carving some free time into your day for yourself and your sanity. Go for a walk or go to the gym. If you like to ski, take a few hours off and head to the mountains. Go fishing. Or find a good book and a nice quiet spot to read it.
If you commute by train, try to avoid stressful social media that’s full of photos of people who apparently enjoy better lives than you do. Instead, choose a book on Amazon Kindle or Nook and spend that time escaping by reading your favorite mystery or romance author. You could also listen to one of your favorite podcasts.
The point is that you need breaks from your work, even if you love what you do for a living. Your physical and mental health depends upon it.
Lynn Martelli is an editor at Readability. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University and has worked as an editor for over 10 years. Lynn has edited a wide variety of books, including fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, and more. In her free time, Lynn enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with her family and friends.