Get a Life

By Judith Welles

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Get a Life!: Don’t let the turkey get you down

At home, like work, we are in a fast-paced world. I couldn’t find parking at the mall this past weekend, and stores were jammed with shoppers, most of them with cell phones on their ears. Were all those shoppers rushing to sales or trying to get ahead of the holiday rush on a long weekend? Either way, it was clearly stressful.

In a new survey, the American Psychological Association found that stress has become a fact of life. The leading causes of stress in 2007 are money and work, affecting three out of four Americans, a dramatic increase over 2006.

More than half of employees said they were less productive at work because of stress. Even so, most did not use all their allotted vacation time.

The leading sources of stress at work were low salaries, heavy workload, lack of advancement, uncertain job expectations and long hours.

Stress can cause you to feel overwhelmed or pushed to the limit. You might have a hard time concentrating or making decisions; feel angry, irritable, or nervous; or experience headaches, muscle tension or a lack of energy.

But stress can be managed. The survey found that healthy behaviors used to manage stress include listening to music, reading, exercising or walking, and spending time with family and friends.

Here are tips from APA:

  • Recognize how you deal with stress. Avoid unhealthy choices as a result of feeling rushed and overwhelmed (such as smoking, drinking alcohol and over/undereating) to cope.

  • Take care of yourself. Eat right, get enough sleep, drink plenty of water and engage in regular physical activity. Take regular vacations or other breaks from work. No matter how hectic life gets, make time for yourself. 

  • Reach out for support. Accept help from supportive friends and family to manage stress. If you continue to feel overwhelmed, you might want to talk to a professional.

APA provides an online quick test to help you know your stress smarts. With holidays coming, what will you do to manage stress at work and home? 

Posted by Judith Welles on Nov 14, 2007 at 12:13 PM


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