Reduce Stress at Work and at Home

Michele Warg
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Spending a long, hard day at work and then coming home to deal with numerous family and financial responsibilities can overwhelm anyone. Those who don't find ways to effectively reduce stress and maintain a healthy work-life balance usually experience burnout. Stress can also have detrimental effects on your health and well-being. No matter how stressful your work life or home life seems, there are things you can do to reduce stress and regain control.

1. Minimize Your Work Hours

Countless people have a hard time maintaining a healthy work-life balance because they simply work too much. One of the quickest ways to reduce stress in your life is to decrease your work hours. Do you constantly volunteer to work weekends or stay late at the office? If so, stop immediately. If occasional weekends are mandatory at your company, talk to your boss, and let him know you're only available to work one weekend per month. Make sure you're as productive as possible during the workday to ensure you never have to take work home. If minimizing your work hours with your current employer is impossible, consider taking your talents to a firm that offers more flexibility.

2. Ask For Help

If you're feeling overwhelmed and desperately need to reduce stress, ask for help. See if a colleague can help you out if you have a larger-than-normal workload, and be sure to return the favor when your workmate needs your assistance. Ask family members, friends and neighbors to help out with home responsibilities. For example, consider creating a carpool program with other parents in your neighborhood so you're not always in a rush to pick up the kids, or pay your best friend's kid to walk and feed your dog in the evenings. If you have trustworthy relatives nearby, ask them to watch your kids for a few hours so you can relax and unwind after a long, stressful day. As long as you don't take advantage of your colleagues, friends or loved ones, they probably won't mind helping you out every now and then.

3. Live a Healthy Lifestyle

If you truly want to reduce stress, it's essential to exercise regularly, eat healthy, stay hydrated and get enough rest. Living a healthy lifestyle does wonders when it comes to improving your overall quality of life. If health and wellness are a major part of your lifestyle, you're less likely to grab unhealthy foods, alcohol, medications or drugs when you're feeling overwhelmed at work or dealing with major family issues. You'll also have a clearer, sharper, calmer mind, which makes it easier for you to deal with stressful situations that arise. It's also important to make time to have fun with your family and friends. Your life shouldn't be all about work and family responsibilities. Have regular get-togethers and go on exciting trips with people who boost your spirits and make you happy.

Experiencing stress at work or home is normal, but you don't have to let stress impact your physical or emotional health. Follow these helpful tips if you need to reduce stress and improve the overall quality of your life.

Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at


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