Engaging in daily meditation and learning how to live in the present can help you keep a noisy mind under control. Knowing how to say no and setting boundaries should be part of your self-care regimen. Having an end-of-day routine can help better define the line between work and home.
Learning how to control and quiet your thoughts is important in preventing stress and mental exhaustion, says executive leadership coach Lolly Daskal. Among her tips for quieting mind chatter:
Make time to check out. Engage in daily meditation, prayer or deep breathing exercises, and develop shorter techniques to use whenever the chatter becomes overwhelming.
Don’t get lost in your fears. Fear is just (f)alse (e)vidence (a)ppearing (r)eal. Name your fears and ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen—that’s the first step to getting past them.
Learn to be present. Replaying the past or worrying about possible futures is only going to increase your stress. Try to live in the moment and genuinely connect with your surroundings.
Remember you have control. When a rapid train of thought threatens to derail your day, an emphatic mental STOP! and several deep breaths can help you move on.
Workout regimens and diet plans help to keep our bodies healthy, but what about our emotional well-being? Emotional intelligence expert Harvey Deutschendorf offers some advice for developing self-care habits at work.
Be aware of your stressors. What causes you stress in the workplace? Is it the workload? Co-workers? Deadlines? Are you more stressed working in a team or working alone?
Learn to say no. Many of us are afraid to say no, worried we’ll be considered a bad team player or miss out on a promotion. But saying no lets the people we work with know that we are at our limit—just be sure to frame it the right way. Let it be known that if you accept the extra work, the quality of the work you do will suffer.
Set and keep boundaries. Let people know if you need quiet time to work on an important project or even just to recharge. Be clear that outside of emergencies, you would appreciate not being interrupted during this time.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it shows that you know yourself. Consider that others may feel good about the fact that you trust them and their work enough to ask them for help. And let your colleagues know when you have some free time and are able to help them with something in return.
Thanks to technology, many of our workplaces are always just a touch screen away, making it more difficult than ever to disengage from our jobs at the end of the workday. Executive coach Deborah Bright says developing end-of-day routines can help more clearly define the line between work and home. Among her suggestions:
Do one more small task. Make a short phone call, sign a document or respond to an email so you can end the day on a positive note of completion. There’s gratification in knowing that you elected to push yourself and now have one less thing to do the following morning.
Write a to-do list. Make a record of all the tasks you need to accomplish, ideally in order of importance.
Straighten up your work area. Putting things away and getting piles organized will better position you to start off fresh the next day.