When Work Stress Gets The Best Of You

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Some of you may know that I started a new job recently. In January I became the managing editor of a group of business-to-business magazines, and I’m loving my new role. I help organize our production schedule and keep us on track, while copy editing and brainstorming with other editors and designers. It’s creative and challenging and I feel right at home.

It’s also more demanding and more to juggle than an other job I’ve ever had — and while I relish that, I also know that I need to focus on some key ways to channel the work stress.

My job is no different than anyone else’s when it comes to work stress — sadly we all suffer from it from time to time. My friend Javacia of See Jane Write spoke about this last Sunday during her #SundaySlay Periscope session, which she hosts each week at 6 p.m. CT (you should tune in!). She spoke about how “Balance is a unicorn.” And I think she’s so right. Everyone talks about striving for this elusive “balance” — yet balance looks different for all people, and I think it’s rarely achieved.

Javacia had a lot of great advice during her Scope, though, including scheduling. I’ve picked up a lot of good habits from her on this front — instead of just writing out a to-do list, I’ve started listing each item I have to do, and exactly what time I’m going to do it. When I have a lot facing me during the day, a detailed schedule like this actually makes me feel at ease. I can handle a task, and then move on to the next. If you work at a job where you attend a lot of meetings, I think this would be really handy. Sometimes our actual job can get pushed aside to attend one meeting after another, so scheduling the time to do the job itself is a necessity.

The other thing I’m trying to employ, and I did pretty well at this this week, is scheduling in time for exercise. I simply feel more energetic and better about myself when I work out a few times each week. What works for me is making appointments with friends — I don’t always keep those appointments, but by and large I won’t cancel on someone else and they will hold me accountable.

For me, it’s not just enough to workout, though. I need to really let my mind be free during those workouts. It’s almost like meditation — I release myself from thinking about work or whatever else it is that’s causing stress, and I focus on the music at spinning class or the beautiful spring trees that surround me during a walk/run.

I feel really blessed to have a job I actually enjoy — I know all of us aren’t so lucky. So I want to make sure I handle the stress of my job well, so I can enjoy the job for years to come. Scheduling and working out are two things I am doing to minimize the work stress, but I can always use more tips! How do you handle work stress?

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