However, don't despair. Taking an honest look at your life is the first step to creating the life you want where you will experience more joy, peace of mind, and yes, even better productivity at your work or your career. Boundaries between life and work are now more blurred than ever however you need to figure out how to find a happy medium. There is a Zen saying: “Wherever you go, there you are.” Our level of stress has more to do with our response to events than the event or job itself.
Growing up in Europe, I feel that I have gotten some advantage as I have learned ealry in my life that it cannot be just about work and no fun. Even as a 23 year old starting my career, I was entitled to minimum of 18 paid vacation days and unlimited sick time. Things have changed with Slovenia now being a part of more capitalistic, western approach, due to being a part of European Union (since 2005) however those values have stayed with me.
Even though I have been working hard and have been investing in my personal and professional life, SELF-CARE has always been important to me and I have been always on the lookout for ways to integrate self-care and fun in my life and have helped my clients to do the same.
Here are some of suggestions that you can apply to your life right away:
1. Think about if your job is what you truly care about. True, in this economy it may not be as easy to find a more suitable job. Make an honest assessment and if the answer is no, create a vision of what kind of job you truly want. What kind of company do you want to work for? What are some of the most important things? Work environment? Benefits? Flexibility? Time off?
2. If you do decide you need to stay at current job, or you are a business owner, figure out what specific changes you need to make to feel happier. Do you need to have an honest conversation with your manager? Do you need to delegate more? Maybe your employer would consider having you work from home a couple of days a week?
3. Focus on the positive. If you constantly dwell on the negative, that's how your life will look like.
4. Take breaks and especially take time for your lunch. You will be more productive by taking time to re-energize and maybe even take a walk around the block. (That includes taking a break from cell phones and iPods!)
5. Instead of dealing with stress and anxiety by consuming too many caffeinated drinks and pastries, grab fresh fruit or a fruit smoothie and some nuts.
6. Seek support. We all need times to have somebody listen to us.
7. Just BREATHE! Adopt stress relief techniques such as yoga and guided meditation. Practice staying in the moment. When you work, focus on the tasks at hand. When you relax, just focus on that specific moment whether it is drinking a cup of tea, enjoying a sunset or playing with your children.
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