04 Nov A Psychotherapist Provides 4 Tips to Create More (work/life) Balance
By Julie Marshall
A growing trend in the workplace, coined “The Great Resignation” has been underway for some time now. Many folks are feeling overwhelmed to outperform and overwork. If stress is not well-managed, this can lead to burnout and even Depression. Do not blame yourself for feeling this way! Many adults who feel out-of-balance and overstressed at work are hard working individuals like yourself. By the way “work” can mean caregiving for a loved one, going to school, taking care of children, or a paid position.
Disclaimer: This blog is not a replacement for professional mental health services. Please visit PsychologyToday.com to request local therapy services if needed. If you would like to speak with one of our therapists, click here.
Below are four tips to foster a balance in mental health while working:
1. Listen to Your Body
Our bodies give us signals that we are stressed. For instance- muscle tension, teeth grinding, headaches, upset stomach, and shakiness are some common body sensations that may come up when our minds are overwhelmed. Do you ever notice more aches and pains during times of high stress? Or perhaps you feel run-down after having an overwhelming week. You know your body best, all you need to do is tune in. Practicing mindfulness can help access this level of body/mind connection. If you’ve never practiced mindfulness, that’s ok! You can start with short and intentional exercises.
How to try it: An easy technique to use to bring awareness into your body is to practice progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). You can find a few free guided PMR scripts here and here. Or you can try it without guidance: Start by tensing and releasing different body parts (forehead, shoulders, stomach, etc) all the way down to your feet. For an example, you can reference a written script.
2. Take Breaks!
Yes, you have deadlines to meet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take short and intentional ‘brain breaks’. Contrary to what we were taught in grade school, sitting still and powering through work is not all that helpful (especially if we are tired). Our minds and bodies need breaks to keep things flowing and to release tension. The trick is to return from your break and refocus back to the task at hand.
How to try it:
- No screens for five minutes
- Go for a short walk/ change scenery
- Practice grounding by naming 5 things you can see, four things you hear, and three things you physically feel
3. Spend Time in Nature
There are incredible therapeutic effects of surrounding ourselves in nature. Even if this means taking a phone call outdoors, opening a window, or visualizing a peaceful place it can make an incredible difference on your overall mood. It can feel counterintuitive to take time away from your desk or your tasks at hand to connect with nature but the lasting effects can carry you throughout the rest of your day in a less-stressed state of mind. Even if you only have a couple of minutes, you can reap the benefits of the great outdoors.
How to try it:
- If you can’t get outside, bring outside in! Close your eyes and visualize a peaceful place in nature. It can be a real location or imagined. Really take it in. Think about the smells, sounds, images, and feelings this place brings. If you are on the beach, for example, imagine the beating sun the sound of the waves crashing the smell of salt air and sunscreen
- If you can go outside, make it meaningful. Go to a special place that brings you in the present. Maybe it’s a local park, a garden, or a body of water.
- Take in a moment. Did you ever watch the sunrise or sunset and feel in complete awe? If so, you were practicing mindfulness.
4. Reach Out
There is nothing wrong with speaking to a professional psychotherapist if you are noticing overwhelm or unhappiness. Many adults find relief with speaking to someone with an expertise in mental health and can formulate specific strategies for you.
If you would like a consultation please call:
Verne Psychotherapy and Wellness LLC specializes in mental health treatment for tweens, teens, parents, and adults. We specialize in treating anxiety, OCD, social anxiety, ADHD, self-esteem, and depression. We work to address the emotional, psychological and behavioral needs of clients while providing a safe space to trust, heal, connect and move forward. We welcome people of all racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds as well as sexual and gender expressions. Learn more about our services at: www.vernewellness.com