Understand Work Stress Burnout And Take Back Control Today

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Work stress today is very prevalent at all levels; prior to the pandemic, work stress was high but, since, work stress is out of control. According to the American Institute of Stress, 80% of workers feel stress on the job. I am sure that number is higher in certain industries, such as restaurants and retail.

The effects of stress can be very detrimental to one’s health and well-being, the effects which can be long-lasting. You may be experiencing the symptoms of work stress burnout no matter your age.

Symptoms of Work Stress

In order to manage stress, you need to understand what the symptoms are before you can take control of it. The symptoms will vary by each person, but there are some general ways stress presents itself. Here are some questions to answer:

+ Are you feeling a lack of personal achievement and satisfaction at work? This is one of the early warning signs.

+ Is going to work a time-consuming drudgery and work itself a day-long bore?

+ Do you get frustrated more easily and/or getting angry with work, your coworkers, your boss or customers?

+ Do you find yourself tired, both physically and mentally?

+ Are you having frequent headaches, backaches, eye strain, or neck pain?

+ Having problems sleeping, either falling asleep or frequently waking up?

+ Are you having trouble eating – either too much, reaching for foods with sugar, or not eating a lot due to an anxious stomach?

+ Do you have racing thoughts that seem to permeate areas of your day?

+ Are you feel anxious during the day, or worry about the future? Have heart palpitations or chest pain?

 

If you answered yes to these, you’re not alone. You are experiencing the effects of stress and may be on the downhill slide to burnout.

You may not be aware of the severity of these symptoms as you may ignore them or attribute them to some external factor. But they can creep on your slowly, taking its toll on your physical and emotional health.  Others may not  understand what you are going through, as burnout is extremely personal in nature – you are having the crisis, not them.

There are emotional and physical symptoms associated with what you are going through.

Emotional symptoms of stress at work…

The emotional symptoms usually show up as the first sign of burn out. You may often feel an unrelenting stress, lack enthusiasm, have a sense of loss of control as well as experience an unexplainable grief.

You may want to blame those around you for the way you feel, but this rarely resolves the inner turmoil that you are experiencing.

In severe cases of work stress, many people experience a sense of total detachment and wanting to escape the situation; the more they have these thoughts, the more detached and shut down they can become.

This feeling often results in a loss of productivity and creativity. It also fuels negativity and cynicism, with a quickness to get angry and blame others. Over time you may find solace in detaching yourself from others by isolating from your team members; however this will not resolve the issue.

One of the biggest effects of prolonged stress is feelings of guilt and shame – this list could go on, but many feel guilty for not working as hard or contributing as their teammates, or just for not being ‘strong enough.’ These types of thoughts and feelings only add to one’s stress level, which the spiral down continues.

 

Physical Symptoms that accompany job stress…

Work stress also affects your body. The feeling of “never being able to do enough” may drive you to work extensively long hours in an effort to catch up.

Physical exhaustion may take the form of headaches, physical shaking from head to foot, inability to think clearly and being unable to relax. Pain can show up in other parts of your body, such as you neck, eyes, hips – we each hold stress in differently. You might find your hair falling out and you are more susceptible to colds and illness due to your immune system being compromised.

Physical exhaustion also causes you to lose your natural communication ability, so communication between your spouse and children, your boss or co-workers may sometimes become explosive; you might have the opposite effect with withdrawal behaviors – not speaking up, being overly agreeable despite not wanting to.

There is also the possibility of experiencing gastrointestinal problems; you may find comfort in food or alcohol as a way to cope, or you may feel an aversion to food due to a ‘nervous’ stomach.

 

Is there a solution?

Yes there is. You need to gather information and make a lifestyle change. Making the determination to deal with stress is the first step. Understanding the concept of stress, such as through the American Institute of Stress (http://www.Stress.org) will help as awareness is the key.

Another step is to be more aware of the symptoms you are experiencing, i.e. know your body. Begin to notice when you have aches and pains, when your routine veers from its normal, when you detach or become aggressive in your behaviors towards others – this is when you, then, are able to stop the feelings and learn to use good coping skills that will lesson stress and its effects.

Stress can be managed but, if you’ve been under its effects for a while, it can take time to begin to feel more relaxed and able to handle your job. Write down you stressors to see how you can go about managing them so you can enjoy your work again.

 

 

If you are having difficulty with workplace stress, reach out to get help as we have programs that can help you and your team survive and thrive so their performance, productivity, and satisfaction are at their highest. Help is available – just reach out.

How to Stand Out and Get Noticed on the Job

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If you want to get ahead on the job, you will have to do more than hard work. To be honest, working hard is an expectation of employers – it’s a given. If you want to get noticed for a promotion or more challenging work, then there are other steps you can take that will move you forward and get the notice you desire.

If you’ve been in your job a while, you might feel like you’ve become part of the furniture, feeling like one in a crowd of not being acknowledged for your contributions. You might see others getting other opportunities but you are passed over.
There are a many ways, big and small, that you can do to get noticed in the office and put the “zing” back in your career:

1. Volunteer

Don’t sit back and wait to be allocated work. Volunteer for projects and become known as someone who won’t shirk responsibility.

Take the initiative and do what needs to be done, without waiting to be asked to do it. This can include serving on committees or helping out at events the company puts on/participates in. Being visible will get you noticed, not to mention showing off your skills.

2. Connect

Building relationships goes a long way in making you a familiar and likable person in the office. Make an effort to talk to people and find points of connection, whether it’s sport, pets or kids. Greet colleagues when you arrive and leave the office. Talk to people in the lunch room. Chat before meetings.

Work relationships are an important part of job satisfaction and engagement; they make coming to work more enjoyable and feeling like part of the team, both in your department and in the organization overall.

3. Be positive

Don’t be the person who always sees problems. Be the person who focuses on solutions. There will always be people who see faults or be critical. No one wants to be around a ‘Debbie-downer,’ or one others don’t want to be around.

The more positive in your outlook, which includes times when challenges arise, you will stand out by being one of the cheerleaders and a team player.

4. Steer your career

You can take control and be proactive in setting and achieving your career goals. Have a defined idea of where you want to go and when. Set your timetable for promotion and not someone else’s. You can build in skills development, networking and project positioning around your requirements as needed.
Learn all you can about the job you want so you know if your skills match and where you need to up-level them, or if any certifications are needed. Setting stretch goals for where you want to go will lead to getting them.

5. Be a good teammate

Make sure you do your best to help the team operate as one and do what needs to be done to get the job done. Help set up the room for the product launch or presentation, offer to proofread reports, and don’t talk about them behind their back. Be open and public in your support for your colleagues and your manager. Including staying late or taking over someone’s work when needed.
Think of the team’s needs – we don’t work in silos so looking at the end-result of the work will result in goal achievement and unite the team.

6. Network in good faith

Good networking is not a ruthless process of collecting people who will advance your career. Enjoy your networking by grounding it in kindness. Be nice to people because it feels good and oils the wheels of working together. Think of connecting laterally as well as upwards. You never know where colleagues or contacts will end up. They may be in a position one day to remember that you were the person who helped them clean up after a meeting or got the audiovisual equipment to work or called them a cab when they were in a hurry.

If you’re looking to transfer to a different department or move up into another role, start networking with employees in those areas, including the managers. You will not only make good connections but will be fresh on their minds when opportunities arise – you never know if you might be seeing them on the other side of an interview desk.

 

 

5 Ways To Practice Stillness in Your Work Routine

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5 Ways To Practice Stillness in Your Work Routine

When you hear the word “stillness,” you probably think of the act of physically sitting still without any sounds, movements, or feelings. This is true, in a sense, but stillness also refers to a sense of inner peace and serenity (or, calmness); it is a mindfulness practice that leads to more focus and productivity which are essential in these crazy and uncertain time we are currently living in.

Because stillness involves the body, mind, and spirit, there are plenty of ways that you can practice stillness and improve your overall mental state. Let’s go over some of the easiest ways that you can practice stillness in your life right now!

1. Take Time to Reflect

How often do you find yourself just going through the motions of life and never looking back? While this is a good strategy to avoid harping on the negatives and reliving bad experiences, it also denies you the opportunity to reflect.

One of the best ways to practice stillness is by sitting down and reflecting on past events that have happened to you. Think about things that have happened, ideally happy moments, and think about what they meant to you and how they’ve changed you as a person for the better. Sitting in past circumstance can show that you have lived through other experiences and will again. Any negative memories won’t have control over you, despite thinking that way.

2. Focus on Gratitude and What You’re Thankful For

As humans, we spend a lot of time looking toward the future and constantly setting new goals. This is great for advancing yourself as a functioning member of society, but it’s also good to slow down a little and take a look around.

Take the time to think about what you do have currently in your life. This could be friends, family, physical items, and experiences you’ve had. Just focus on the positives that have happened in your life and identify what you’re thankful for and jot them down in a gratitude journal. Be sure to include yourself in this practice, either through actions that you have taken or something you have done for others, and who has done for you. This will enhance your self-esteem and confidence levels.

3. Just “Be”

How often do you just merely “exist” as a human? We’re talking about just sitting or lying there, not doing anything productive, not thinking about anything that’s going on in your life, and not distracted by your phone or other technology.

Take the time to just relax and do nothing. You can do it in your home or at your favorite place, but just focus on breathing, passing by any negative thoughts that might be lingering, and just work on the concept of existing. This is a boundary issue that is okay to be selfish at times. You will feel refreshed and recharged to face each daily.

4. Try Meditation

It’s hard to go a minute in your life without being stressed by something, let alone being stress-free for an hour or more. Therefore, it’s a great idea to proactively rid your mind of the stress you’re experiencing, at least for a little while.

Find a comfortable spot and play some soft music or a guided meditation track. Focus on taking deep breaths, clearing your mind of any lingering stress, and shifting your mind toward nothing (yes, nothing at all!). Start small, say two minutes, and work your way up. Meditation does not mean that you won’t have any thoughts but that you don’t have to do anything about them, thus leading to more peace.

5. Explore the World

When was the last time you went any further than 30 minutes away from the house (and not to go to work or the department store)? Now, think about the last time you actually went off the beaten path and explored nature a little bit.

You don’t have to go on a road trip or go anywhere further than the local hiking trails at the park. But, spend a little time engulfing yourself in the beauty of the world around you and you’ll begin to recognize that there’s much more to life than your own little world. This is a helpful practice if working from home – go outside on your lunch hour to connect with nature. Somehow, the air and change of scenery is a mood-lifter so you have more energy to face the day.

Final Thoughts

When you begin to actively practice stillness in your life, you’ll begin to notice that you feel much calmer than you normally do, which will reflect in your work. It takes a little bit of time and effort on your part, but this is honestly one of the best ways to achieve a sense of inner peace.

We focus on all things corporate, especially workplace stress. If you, or your employees, are struggling right now, why not schedule a call to see how we can help. We’re here for you!

Monday Morning Success Tip: An Easy Way to Change Mindset

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As a certified Law of Attraction Coach, using the power of your mind to manifest your desires is more than what you think – just saying what you want won’t bring it to you immediately.  It is not like I Dream of Jeannie, where you can nod your head and “poof” it appears.  When we manifest, it creates a desired intention that elicits a positive emotion and keeps us focused on attaining that desire.
 
According to the Law of Attraction, action offered from a place of contradicted thought is hard, unsatisfying work and does not produce good results; but when you feel really good about jumping into action, it is a clear sign that you are offering thoughts that are in line with your desires. 
 
Unless you are focusing on what is important to you, you can not achieve what you truly desire.  By choosing a thought that feels slightly better than the thoughts you have been thinking, you can gradually change your direction. When you focus on a better-feeling thought, the balance of your thoughts will improve.
 
As our brains place focus on the last thing it hears, it’s important to not let them be negative ones. Start today to change your thoughts from what you don’t want to what you do. Keep the focus by repeating your desire and enjoy the positive emotion you feel.  It’s a simple, but effective exercise. Do this daily and see how your life changes for the better.
 
If you’re ready to get started manifesting your desires, call today as I’d love to partner with you in creating the life you want. Feel free to share this with others who may want more in their lives.  
 
I hope you have a productive week – make it a successful one!

It’s March Fourth and Do Something Day

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Today is March Fourth and Do Something Day (I said there are celebrations for everything) and, since we’re in this first week of March, what are your plans for what you want the next 31 days to look like? Now is the time to make new plans, new goals, new thresholds for what you want in your business. I like the premise of doing something you’ve not done before – challenging yourself- with the idea of marching forward. They both go together wonderfully:

  1. What is on your ‘to do’ or bucket list? What did you say you would do in those resolutions a couple months back? What are you feeling you need more of are ready to do? Answering these questions will help you to make a decision on a specific action you want to accomplish by March 31
  2. Start with choosing one of those (not to overwhelm) and write it out very specifically, i.e. I will be in my new job as an IT software developer by March 31. What this does is create a visual on the goal, which the brain will latch on to and want to achieve it, as well as giving it a deadline. The more specific we are, the more compelling it becomes and then we will seek out the ways to get it.
  3. Write out every possible action you would need to take to get that goal accomplished; this is not about limiting but about every possibility out there – this is where you may need to ‘leap’ and stretch in what those may be. Work backwards from March 31 (you with a successful team or business), thinking of what it took to get there; this will really expand the creative side of the brain to come up with ideas you might not think of in a conscious state (left side).
  4. Armed now with a goal and specific steps to take, make the leap; decide what time you will make it to hold yourself accountable and get mentally prepared. Then, begin. It may feel a bit scary at first but the more you, the easier it will become and the faster results you will see.

The key to any of these is taking action and doing something that, while it may feel uncomfortable, will move you achieving your business goals.   Ensuring you have a good mindset is the driver for all behavior and goal-achievement, so take time each morning to create a positive mindset – say gratitude, have goals, use positive self-talk, breathe to energize your brain, and affirm your intentions. Practicing this daily will create a new habit that will lead to your success.

If you’re ‘stuck’ and want to stop the struggle, then contact us to day to change this around.