The importance of de-stressing

Like many hard working individuals (I want to say workaholics, but I think that’s too strong a word), I have designed my entire lifestyle around doing my job as best as I can.

To start off with, I make sure I get plenty of sleep so I so I am fully charged to handle the 8-10 hours of taxing activities. I follow news and subscribe to feeds that relates to my work, and catch up whenever I have some free time.  I don’t smoke, don’t drink alcohol, don’t do drugs and limit my coffee consumption to social outings.  I even try to stay active and eat healthy since it affects my health and eventually the way I work (but admittedly, I easily compromise those tasks when more after hour work is required or the tasks I handled for that day was more draining than usual).

While I think it’s important to give your job high importance, I also understand that life is about balance.  So while your job may expose you to stress, it is important to counter that with some de-stressing tasks.

Without de-stressing, your job WILL cause the following:

  • Loss of enthusiasm
  • Loss of motivation
  • Symptoms of depression (sadness, low self-esteem, isolation, tiredness)
  • Over sensitive
  • Over anxious
  • Short tempered
  • Overeating or loss of appetite
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Feeling overwhelmed

My de-stressing techniques are the following.  They are simple, yet effective.

Talk to a friend.
I follow this rule with limitations as too much of this affects the quality of your work.  I have turned off all my social network notification tools, I don’t use any chatting program and only check my Gmail after hours or during lunch (and that’s if I’m taking lunch) as these tools are distracting and prevents me from doing my duties optimally.
But speaking to someone that can take your mind off work for a few minutes, and in that time, you get a smile on your face or even a bit of laughter, you just got yourself an instant de-stressor.

Take your mind off things.
It is important to not think about work when you not working, but when you have tight deadlines, your responsibilities tend to stay in your head, even after hours, stressing you out.  So it’s important to find an activity that can pull you away from that.
I can suggest that you do something worthwhile like participate in a charity event so you can find fulfilment via some alternative avenue, but my approach is video games (not very noble, probably regarded by most as a waste of time, but it works).
Video Games allow my mind to enter this alternative universe, and focus on the challenges presented in the game, with that sense of fulfilment when I have accomplished the task.  The best de-stressing games I played to date is Batman: Arkham City, but I hear Call of Duty and other FPS (First person shooter) games are great for de-stressing as well.

Get away
I always believed that it was a good idea to build up my leave days to a significant number, and then use it for some significant event like an overseas holiday.
In reality, those overseas trips are few and far between and I learnt, that sometimes you need to take time off to do nothing, i.e. have no plans but to relax.
You could plan to go to some relaxing spa, maybe have a picnic or have a nice walk in the forest or up the mountain.  Don’t be scared to take off a day from work every now and then just  for relaxing (I know this one  may be easier said than done - and if you have any advice on how to do this, let me know)

So that it, that’s my de-stressing techniques, the important thing is that you have to love your job and gain fulfilment from it, it makes all the stress worthwhile.


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