Work stress happens. It’s how you deal with it that matters for both yourself and your family.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
Examine the expectations you have for yourself and see if they are reasonable. Are you hard on yourself? Often, people get burned out because they are trying to do things ‘perfectly’ all the time. Experiment with doing a ‘good enough’ job and evaluate how it turns out — does anyone (except you) seem to notice?
Another thing is to look at your to-do list and sort each item by 1) urgency and 2) importance. Focus on the items that are both urgent and important. Delegate or postpone deadlines on the others.
And finally, offer yourself some compassion. Working is hard. Raising children is hard. It’s only natural to feel stressed at times. This is not a flaw — you are just experiencing a human moment. Offer yourself some support in the form of self-compassionate self-talk, such as ‘This is really hard right now. It’s human to feel this way sometimes and other people feel this way too. Let me be kind to myself right now.’”
Reach Out to Loved Ones
“Men are generally not socialized to believe that talking about their emotions and reaching out for support are OK. Reaching out for support early on is one of the most beneficial things you can do. It can help you to challenge your beliefs about opening up, more likely than not, your loved ones will feel appreciative of your honesty, and the vulnerability will bring you closer rather than create a rift.
An important step in managing overall stress is to normalize your own emotions and validate the stress you are experiencing.
Life can get really hard sometimes, and burnout can pile up and create a snowball effect. Once you allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling, try to identify your triggers and your red flags. Your triggers are the things that can cause or contribute to feelings of stress, and your red flags are the signs indicative of something off-balance. Examples of triggers include not enough breaks during the day, hunger, lack of boundaries at work, and frequent urgent deadlines. Examples of red flags include irritability, withdrawal from your partner/friends, increased drinking or substance use, and health problems like hypertension and frequent headaches.
It is also important to note that stress, in and of itself, is not the problem; it’s how we deal with it that counts. Finding regular ways to check in with yourself, even if that means setting a reminder on your phone midday to meditate or simply step outside for a few moments, is important. Scheduling things that make you feel like yourself, whether that is running, cooking, reading, or trying a new restaurant, is another way to deal with stress in a healthy manner. Spending time connecting with others is another wonderful antidote to experiences of stress and burnout. Try yoga, walking outside, and improving your sleep hygiene for even more benefits.” —
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