Although independent consulting can be rewarding for those who choose to pursue it as a career path, it, like any job, can be stressful at times. How you manage your stress will affect the success you are able to attain in the long term. Will you shine on or will you burn out? With our help, you can learn to work with minimal stress. Here’s how to do it:
First, recognize the signs and symptoms of stress. Often, people experience the effects of stress without understanding the cause. Some of these side effects include:
Not only can these side effects of stress make you less productive at work, but they can also affect you in your personal life—you may become socially withdrawn, or develop physical and emotional problems.
Once you’ve recognized that you have one or more of the symptoms outlined, the next step is to uncover the cause of this stress. To do this, think about times you get anxious or irritable—what’s happening? Are you struggling to meet unrealistic deadlines? Are you having a hard time balancing your work with your personal life? Alternatively, have you always assumed work was supposed to be stressful, or that stress would make you more productive? Whatever the cause may be, without identifying it, you cannot correct it.
When you make time for relaxation and fun, stressful situations tend to roll off your back with ease. What activity helps you relax? Exercise? A nice dinner out and a movie? Perhaps attending a soccer game, or just unwinding in your backyard. Be sure to schedule time in your busy schedule to partake in your “stress release” activity.
It is also important to treat your body right. Many people cope with stress by eating junk food, drinking alcohol, or smoking cigarettes. While they may provide instant gratification in releasing stress, using these methods habitually will make you even less healthy in the long run. Remember: the healthier you are, the more prepared your body and mind will be to cope with stressful situations.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
There is a correlation between perfectionists and levels of stress. You guessed it—the more of a perfectionist you are, the higher your level of stress! It is important to remember that in most situations, there’s at least one aspect that is beyond your control. When you worry about things that are beyond your control, you endure a lot of unnecessary stress. As the old adage goes: “Accept the things you cannot change.” If you adjust your attitude, you will find work (and life) much more enjoyable.