How To Beat Stress and Strike a Balance in Work and Play

A stress-free mind is a space full of clarity, just as good physical health helps one stay energetic. Balancing the demands of a busy lifestyle is difficult, but it can be done by examining and reassessing your priorities on a regular basis. With the new normal in place and the ease in Singapore’s government regulation of allowing all employees to return to the workplace, there’s a need to readjust and find a balance in how we manage our routine and personal time. After all, most of us are going back to work in the office again after 2 years of working from home.

Setting work boundaries consists of developing healthy professional habits for yourself. These boundaries can help you be productive and happy at work while allowing you to better differentiate your professional and personal lives. In this article, let’s take a closer look at how you can beat stress and strike a balance between work and play.

Prioritise Your Happiness

The connection between personal and professional lives is undeniable. Because most of us spend so much of our lives working, it’s inevitable that work has a significant impact on our happiness. Workplace happiness stems from contentment at home and within ourselves.

Pay attention to your emotions, and don’t ignore the negative thoughts in your head. Take responsibility for your concerns. Recognise when you’re stuck in a bad loop and do something about it. The idea is to shift your perspective from one of failure (“I’m a failure.”) to one of success (“I’ve had a lot of success in my recent project and was highly recognised by my superiors for it.”).

In an ideal world, you must be content in all aspects of your life if you want to stay happy all the time. But as an individual, happiness stems from personal choices, and this type of happiness can derive from having a work-life balance that’s in line with your values and priorities.

If you’re having trouble understanding your emotional well-being, professional aid and guidance may be necessary. Here are some online platforms and resources that provide mental health support when and where it is needed:

Schedule Your Health Checkup

Chronic stress can lead to or exacerbate a variety of serious physical and mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and personality disorders.

Visiting your primary care physician for an annual exam is the greatest way to obtain a big dose of prevention. Checkups guarantee that you are healthy and that any cardiovascular disease like high blood pressure or abnormal heart rhythms are detected early, when they are easier to treat. Establishing a relationship with a primary care physician early on and visiting them on a regular basis will help you build the trust and open communication that will make dealing with greater health difficulties easier later on.

If you’re guilty of not keeping up with your health, here’s some positive news that might encourage you to keep your next appointment.

The Health Promotion Board (HPB) has improved the Screen for Life programme for Singaporeans aged 40 and up to make health screening more accessible and inexpensive!

Even if you don’t have any symptoms or indicators, health screening can help you figure out if you have a specific ailment. The last thing you want is to be caught up in a cycle about stressing your health.

Eat Healthy and Nutritious Foods

Stress is something that we will all face at some point in our lives. External demands, such as work or family commitments, and internal influences, such as what we eat and how our digestive, immunological, and neurological systems function, are all variables that cause stress in the body. The good news is that we can reduce and beat stress levels by making a few easy lifestyle modifications to what we eat.

A balanced and healthy diet is essential for our bodies to cope with the physiological changes brought on by stress. Because blood sugar levels have a substantial impact on adrenal function, much of the dietary advice below focuses on lowering blood sugar levels. If you’re entirely new to nutrition, we advise you to start simply by learning how to read food labels and make beneficial health choices.

Choose natural and whole-grain foods and prioritise protein. You can play around with the following foods that include lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds. Protein slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.

Many people often forget that cooking oil is also an important factor to consider when it comes to making healthier choices. If you love to cook and cook very often, you may want to be more conscious about the type of cooking oil you use. Olive oil is healthier than other oils due to its nutritional content, which has a variety of health benefits. Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is high in healthy monounsaturated fats and has anti-inflammatory properties!

Find Meaning in Everyday Activities

If you’re feeling lost or dissatisfied with how your life is going, the first step is to consider what you value in life. The act of discovering these essential beliefs can help you live a life that’s balanced, meaningful, and purposeful.

There are easy activities you can take to recharge your emotional batteries and spark a sense of fulfilment, purpose, and happiness. This mix of physical, mental, and emotional wellness is referred to as “flourishing” in the psychological community. One simple approach to get there is to make your daily actions more purposeful. Making your morning coffee or tea, decluttering your room, or simply washing the dishes can all contribute to a feeling of success.

At work, why not personalise and decorate your space for a unique sense of identity to call your own? You can also take the initiative to have a conversation with a colleague beyond work topics. If you share a common interest, like owning a pet or learning a similar hobby, you can also find meaningful activities to do together from time to time.

Learn To Say No

It’s critical to know how to say no in a professional setting since it allows you to maintain limits. While some may find this challenging, keep in mind that declining some requests is healthy and acceptable to achieve a work-life balance. It’s reasonable to decline an invitation to attend a meeting after office hours, for example, to avoid overworking and have the capacity to live an active lifestyle and participate in activities that bring you happiness and relaxation – whether a dancing, cooking, or exercising class.

Are you someone who has a hard time saying no? We get it. However, saying no without being awkward, harming relationships, or feeling guilty is possible. And we’re here to help you get there.

Saying no at work:

  • Make any request your default response. “Give me some time to respond.”
  • “I can’t give you an answer right away. I’ll check my schedule and get back to you later.
  • “Thanks for thinking of me. Unfortunately, I’m booked into something else right now.”
  • “Wonderful idea! Please give me some time to think about it for a while and then I’ll respond.”

Saying no in your personal life:

  • Thank you for the invitation, but I’m trying to concentrate on myself these days, so I’ll have to decline.”
  • “I’ll have to say no this time! I promised myself I’d go to the gym tonight.”

Express Gratitude

Gratitude doesn’t have to be exclusively reserved for life’s major events. The habit of being grateful begins with appreciating everything that’s good around you. In fact, thinking about bad or challenging situations can sometimes help you pinpoint what you have to be grateful for at work and in life.

Gratitude has been linked to happiness, and practising it can help you feel more good emotions, become more resilient, enhance relationships, and improve your overall health. It has even been discovered to have positive effects on people suffering from mental illness.

Why should we stop practising gratitude when we get to work if we start doing it everywhere?

How often do we appreciate our coworkers for their time at the end of a meeting? We’re so used to getting out of our chairs or pressing ‘leave’ on our Zoom meetings that we forget to appreciate each other’s time and expertise.

Even little acts of thankfulness, such as saying “thank you” and recognising great work, can increase productivity and happiness, all of which are essential for a healthy and productive workplace.

It’s crucial to remember that you can’t always do everything or be in two places at the same time. It’s critical for your long-term health and mental well-being to strike a balance between how you think, work, and spend your time. Only from within comes the drive to effect change. So, start investing in healthy work-life balance initiatives to reap the benefits.

Finally, achieving a good work-life balance requires being aware of and intentional about your choices, as well as establishing priorities for life outside of work. For a solid work-life balance, you can devote time to work while also making time for your interests and passions.