Healthy work-life balance can often seem like an impossible goal. With so many of us striving to “balance” heavy workloads with daily pressures of family, friends and self - and fit in downtime, exercise or leisure activities -it's no wonder that over 1 in 4 Americans describe themselves as super stressed.
In our rush to “get it all done” at the office and at home, we can forget that as our stress levels rise, our productivity and concentration drop, making us feel irritable or anxious. Excessive stress can also take a toll on our happiness and wellbeing - especially working parents. With no one whose job it is to exclusively manage the endless cycle of household, childcare and commuting responsibilities, stress levels are likely to soar and cause us to feel even more out of balance.
While a certain amount of stress can help us perform at our best, studies have shown that prolonged stress and the lack of healthy work-life balance can have serious consequences on our health including, but not limited to:
- Chronic and adrenal fatigue
- Compromised immune system
- Coronary heart disease and stroke
- High blood pressure
- Sleep deprivation
- Increased risk for substance abuse
- Neglect of personal care, causing additional stress
How Stress Management Coaching can Help
The good news is that healthy work-life balance is within reach, if stress is managed well. The right support and stress relief plan is essential- and personal coaching can provide the roadmap, step-by-step guidance and skills to regain focus and control faster by helping you to:
Understand your stress response. When you face a stressful situation ( work deadline, losing a job), your brain identifies the challenge and sounds an alarm, preparing you to react quickly. Stress hormones flood your system and produce a “fight-or-flight” response (increased heart rate, faster breathing, tense muscles, etc.). Observing physiological changes is the first step in learning to manage stress more effectively.
Identify your stress triggers. Everyone experiences stress differently (pain, headaches, trouble sleeping, stomach aches, anger, sadness, etc.) Becoming mindful of emotional and environmental stressors that trigger your reactions can help you control the negative effects of stress. Take our free stress quizzes to assess your personal and work stress triggers.
Improve your lifestyle. Making small but powerful changes to unhealthy eating, exercise, sleep, mental and social habits can help minimize stress. In fact, the latest research shows that 80% of stress-related illnesses (heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes, etc.) and 40% of cancers can be prevented with improvements to diet and lifestyle.
Manage negative moods. Many people spend the majority of their day stuck in stress, frustration and overwhelm, often needlessly. Understanding how you create unproductive states and learning to reframe them can help you shift negative emotions and adapt thoughts to a more positive mindset, which can be just as important as eating well and getting enough exercise and sleep.
Develop new coping skills. Deep breathing, muscle relaxation, meditation, body scanning and guided imagery are powerful mindfulness techniques for de-stressing your body and brain. In a recent UCLA study, participants who learned and practiced mindfulness for just 5 minutes a day over 3-weeks significantly reduced their stress. They also experienced an increase in life satisfaction, mastery of their environment and more positive relationships with others.
Ready to find relief? Read about our Stress Management Programs and schedule a free discovery call today. Learn how personal coaching can help you manage stress more effectively and create a healthier work-life balance.