Professionals and Stress
Professionals and Stress
Stress faced by professionals is a serious cause for concern in a highly competitive world today as it is a threat to their physical and mental health. Long-term stress has led professionals to develop many lifestyle diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, depression to name a few, at a very young age. Many have become victims of addiction. They take to alcohol and smoking which are dangerous and can cause serious health problems. We often read or hear about many highly successful professionals who succumb to heart attacks and strokes at a very young age. Stress is not only a threat to the health of the professionals themselves but also affects the entire organisations. In this competitive world, the wish to succeed is natural but it should not be at the cost of one’s health. A few lifestyle changes can work wonders with an individual’s health.
Workplace stress and Health
In this highly competitive world, the urge to archive is natural but it should not be at the cost of one's health. Achieving goals that are practical and achievable should be the aim. It is necessary to stay focused and be organised to keep stress at bay. At the same time health should be given equal importance, as only when a person is healthy is he/she can be productive and an asset to the organization. The quote-"Good Health and Good sense are two of life's greatest blessings" is very true.
Workplace stress is the main cause of deterioration of the health of professionals. Workplace stress can stem from the following reasons:
- Deadlines to meet
- Time Constraints
- Inefficient co-workers
- Office politics
- Long hours of work, shifts
- Lack of training
- Lack of appreciation
- Lack of support
- Lack of job satisfaction
- Job insecurity
Apart from workplace stress, managing home and family within the limited time available and maintaining the work-life balance can cause severe health problems in the working professional today. Managing stress is imperative for the health of the professionals, the progress of the organisations that they work for and for all-round economic development.
“We Need To Do A Better Job Of Putting Ourselves Higher On Our Own ‘To Do’ List”- Michelle Obama. This quote is very relevant to a professional today. He needs to prioritize his work and first in the 'To-Do' list should be his own health and taking care of his family. Great achievements will mean nothing if it is at the cost of one's own health and the health of one's near and dear ones. Spending time with the family, taking time off work, taking short breaks during work is very important.
Lifestyle changes help
We often read or hear about many highly successful professionals who succumb to heart attacks and strokes at a very young age. Many have become victims of addiction. They take to alcohol and smoking which are dangerous and can cause serious health problems. Mental disorders like depression and suicidal tendencies have become common among youngsters today. It is very important to address stress among working professionals today.
A few lifestyle changes can work wonders with an individual’s health.
So listed below are a few Lifestyle hacks to stay fit being a professional:
- Proper Nutrition
- Regular Exercise
- Sleep Well
- Avoid Addiction
- Take a Vacation
- Develop a Hobby
- Take a break
- Keep a journal
- Delegate work
- Change the Job
Address stress-Lifestyle hacks
Nutritious food, Regular exercise, good sleep are the three most important factors for maintaining good health. Addiction to alcohol and cigarettes should be avoided totally. Writing a journal, taking a vacation once a year, developing a hobby, joining a Run club are all stress busters. Yoga, breathing exercises and meditation are known to improve health. At the workplace, taking short breaks, using a standing workspace, taking small walks, delegating work go a long way in addressing stress
Nutrition, Exercise and Sleep
- Nutritious food: Professionals need to take special care to develop proper food habits. They need to have nutritious food at all times with due diligence to include all the nutrients like proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals in their food. They should avoid fast food and packaged food and try to include natural and local fresh vegetables and fruits in the daily diet. Skipping meals or substituting meals with beverages like coffee, tea is not a good idea. Caffeine may give a momentary boost but will later lead to fatigue and metabolic disorders. It is important to have regular meals at the proper time throughout the day to be active
- Sleep: In today’s busy hectic world the professionals often sacrifice sleep in order to achieve their ambitions and dreams which can cause severe health problems. Studies have proved the importance of sleep for maintaining good health. At least seven to eight hours of sleep is essential for the human body to stay healthy and fit. Meditation, Pranayama or breathing exercises and yoga help addressing stress and have sustained good health
- Exercise: Regular exercise will keep a person healthy and fit. Something as simple as a walk or jog in the park, early in the morning can lift one's spirit. It is better to spend some time every day at a park or garden. Open green spaces can be therapeutic. They have a healing effect on the mind and body. If there are no parks nearby, one should try to convert the balconies or rooftops of their homes into green spaces and spend time there. Studies have proved that gardening is a very good stress buster. Everyday access to nature promotes well-being.
More Ideas to Improve Health
- Take a vacation: Yes work is important but so is our health. The professionals usually tend to give priority to work. It is true that in today’s highly competitive world one has to stay focused to achieve one’s dreams but it should not be at the cost of one’s health. The Professionals should spend more time with their families and friends, sharing their experiences and thoughts. They should go on vacation at least once a year. Travelling to new places and meeting new people can be very interesting and invigorating.
- Develop a hobby: No doubt work is worship but developing a hobby is very necessary to beat stress. Reading a book, listening to music or even learning to play an instrument can help relieve stress to a great extent. Joining a laughing club is a very good idea.
- Taking a few breaks amidst stressful work and practising deep breathing techniques can help calm the nerves and relieve the stress. A ten to fifteen-minute break can help a lot. Drinking sufficient water will keep the body hydrated and fit. So a water break can be had once in a while during the office hours. Sitting continuously for long hours at the workplace can be detrimental to one’s health. Studies have proved that a sedentary lifestyle and bad eating habits are the main cause of many lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, weight gain, etc. Many people are opting for standing work stations to avoid the bad effects of sitting for long periods.
- Keeping a journal and jotting important points helps in organising the work thereby reducing stress. Preparing a to-do list of all the things to be done the previous day itself can be very helpful. The next day as the work gets completed, the list can be updated. Writing has known to be therapeutic. Upgrade your knowledge and skills often because as the saying goes "knowledge is power". A professional with good skill and knowledge is always sought after.
- Addiction: Professionals often become prey to addiction in order to address the stress in their lives. They often get addicted to alcohol and cigarettes which are known to be very harmful and can cause dangerous diseases like cancer and heart disease. Professionals should seek help when they cannot help themselves with addiction. Nowadays there are various organisations and institutions to help people get over their addictions. Relatives and family members can help the professional in this regard.
- Overwork, higher responsibilities and meeting deadlines often lead to stress for the professional. Stress often leads to panic or anxiety attacks and in extreme cases can even lead to depression and suicidal tendencies. Hence it is imperative for the professional to have a positive state of mind and keep a happy countenance always. A professional should try to delegate the work properly and not overburden himself. He should learn the art of saying no when riddled with impossible tasks. He should seek professional help when he is not able to handle the stress leading to a breakdown.
- Change of Job: When a professional feels that the job is affecting his health he should consider changing the job. There is no dearth of good jobs for the intelligent and able professional today. He can always start his own company, be his own boss with his skill and knowledge. Avoid excess screen addiction. Keep away from devices like cell phone, computers, TV for a little while each day. Instead, read a book, listen to soothing music and contemplate, spend time with children and pets, Imbibing their simple and innocent joys of life.
Incorporating these simple lifestyle changes can help a lot in reducing stress and improving health and thereby productivity. Maintaining a work-life balance is important. Organisations nowadays have realised the importance of health for their employees and are offering better time limits for achieving targets, flexible work hours, Office trips, paid vacations and wellness programs apart from encouraging employees by recognising their good work with incentives and gifts on special occasions. Group health insurance schemes are also offered by many organisations.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 VIDYA D SAGAR