5 Healthy Strategies for Juggling Your Responsibilities and Looking after Your Mental Health at the Same TimeMar 23, 2023
To start I want to share a quote from time management expert Laura Vanderkam
"We don't build the lives we want by saving time, we build the lives we want and time saves itself"
We all know the feeling of being overwhelmed by work and life. Whether it's a pile of paperwork, long meetings, family obligations, or tight deadlines, work- and life-related stress have become just another part of our daily lives. But this stress can have more serious consequences than just headaches and feeling tired. This stress can lead to serious mental health issues like burnout and anxiety if left unchecked. That's why taking proactive steps toward managing your stress is essential for safeguarding your mental health. Today, I would love to share healthy strategies for juggling your responsibilities and looking after your mental health, and I want to encourage you by saying it is 100 percent possible to find inner peace, center your well-being, and take on your career and life goals at the same time! Let's get started!
Why do I struggle to manage my time?
Many people in the world may find themselves having trouble figuring out how to make the best use of their time and energy. This could be due to a lack of concentration or an inability to single out the most important tasks. This could also be because we may find ourselves easily distracted by the pull of social media; we might get lost in scrolling on YouTube or Instagram, or maybe we have difficulty establishing boundaries and making decisions. Or maybe it's not us; it could be other things like challenging work environments or unforeseen events that can also lead to issues with time management. It might be hard to figure out exactly what it is because, well, we're humans, and no magic pill will make all of our life stresses go away. However, there are many things we can do to protect our mental health while still taking care of all of our responsibilities. To help with this, here are five ideas for reducing work-related anxiety and creating a more balanced lifestyle:
- Create Boundaries Around Your Time - Drawing firm limits around your time is essential to keeping stress levels low. Designate specific slots in your schedule for work projects, errands, and recreational activities so that you don't feel worn down by excessive obligations.
- Learn to Prioritize & Delegate - When you arrange tasks according to their importance and pass on responsibilities when suitable, you can better manage your workload without feeling overwhelmed. As a result of prioritizing and delegating responsibly, there will be more time for yourself plus less stress as an added benefit.
- Practice Self-Care Whenever Possible - Taking care of yourself should be a priority even when faced with overwhelming tasks. Make sure to set aside some time each day for rest, relaxation, exercise, or creative pursuits however small they may be - these moments of self-care can make all the difference when it comes to managing stress levels.
- Communicate Effectively With Others - Open communication is essential when it comes to tackling stress-inducing tasks. Be clear about what you need from others to complete projects and ask questions if something feels unclear or confusing - this will help keep everyone on the same page and reduce mistakes made due to miscommunication which can add extra stress or anxiety in the long run.
- Take Breaks & Allow Yourself Relaxation Time - Scheduling regular breaks throughout days filled with back-to-back meetings or tasks is incredibly important when it comes to keeping stress levels low. Taking a few minutes out to breathe deeply, go for a walk outside or meditate has been proven time and time again as an effective way of dealing with work and life-related stressors without sacrificing productivity levels.
How do you take off time for mental health reasons?
One of the most common struggles that I hear about in my counselling and coaching sessions is how to make time for yourself amidst looming deadlines and overwhelming obligations. Believe it or not, some people get themselves in a position where even taking a break can be daunting. However, it is a crucial measure for managing stress and ensuring your health and well-being. Not only should we take a break from our everyday obligations to refresh ourselves, but we can also use this time as an opportunity to reset and come back even stronger than before.
An example of taking time off for mental health could include proactively communicating with your boss about needing extra breaks or more flexible hours because of mental health issues. Your boss should strive to be understanding and accommodating of your needs whenever possible; this will have a positive result not only for you but for the workplace as well in the long term. If they're not, that could be an indication of a potential issue and should be taken into account.
How do I manage my time if I have anxiety?
But what if you have anxiety?
I would encourage you to take a deep breath and remember that time is elastic and ever-changing, and it is ultimately up to us to make the most of it. Try journaling when you're feeling overwhelmed, and write from the perspective of a future self who has been able to accomplish everything on their schedule and maintain their peace. See what shifts inside of you as you process, and take note of any ideas that come up.
Exercises like this can help us become more mindful of how we spend our time, and by doing so, we can start to master anxiety-free productivity and achieve great things in our careers and our lives. Remember, don’t be too hard on yourself; it’s perfectly okay to take things one step at a time.
We understand that time management can be a tricky skill to master, especially if you have anxiety or other challenges interfering with your ability to stay focused and on track. However, by establishing good habits such as creating a daily schedule, breaking tasks into manageable chunks, and taking regular breaks for grounding exercises or mindfulness activities, you can improve your time management skills and become more productive in the long run. If you still struggle with managing your time despite trying these tips, consider booking a counselling or coaching session with our team at Shelly Qualtieri & Associates to get the extra help you need. And a gentle reminder, even if you don't get it right the first time, luckily, there is still time to try again.
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