If you are an adult, think back to the time in childhood when the idea of working to support yourself seemed novel and fun. You could live on your own, come and go as you please, or eat what you like (maybe that was just my dream, as we were a health food household, and I just wanted Cookie Crisps!).
Enter the real world. There is such a thing, John Mayer. It’s not quite what we had in mind, huh? Sure, we can live on our own, come and go as we please (well, my two preschool daughters make this complicated), and eat what we want (wouldn’t you know it, I eat healthy now, too). There is, however, much more to the real world.
We feel the pressure of finding a job and performing well at that job, we understand the necessity of a paycheck, and we spend a great deal of time at work or commuting to work. We are usually left exhausted. The stress can rapidly accumulate, leaving us worse for wear.
How can we healthily cope with stress, decreasing the toll it takes on our emotional and physical health?
- Exercise. It manages stress because “feel-good” endorphins are released, self-confidence is gained by exerting oneself, and the mind is distracted from work-related worries when exercising. Not to mention a healthy body can more easily handle stressors. So try to involve exercise in your weekly routine.
- Pursue a hobby. It can help your mind unwind and provide a stress-relieving outlet as you focus on doing what you enjoy. Examine your interests and determine a hobby to pursue in your free time.
- Socialize with others. Regardless of whether you draw energy from time spent alone or with others, you are a social being. You have a need and desire to connect with and relate to others. Acknowledge how much time is ideal for you to spend with others (perhaps daily or every other day), and seek opportunities to spend with peers. Invite neighbors over for dinner, join a social recreational club, participate in a team sport, get involved with church, or become a member of a volunteer group.
- Develop relationships. If you are meeting others through social groups and activities, and taking the time to get to know the people in the groups, you may find you connect well with and enjoy a few others. Having one, two, or three very good friends greatly increases your quality of life, lowering stress levels and improving emotional health.
- Volunteer. A sense of accomplishment and well-being is gained from actively contributing to society. Stress decreases as the focus is taken from your hardship and stress to helping others. Become involved in this mutually beneficial experience.
Partake in endeavors and relationships that enrich your emotional health and well-being, becoming equipped to manage work-related stress before it feels overwhelming.
If you are a teacher or professional working with youth who are blind or visually impaired, utilize CareerConnect’s Stress Management lesson series.