Life is full of stressors. You know you should stop stressing, but it’s out of your control, right? Wrong! There are ways you can reduce stress.
When you feel stressed, you don’t function at your full potential. This is important during all stages and phases of life, but especially during a job search. Don’t you want to prevent stress from getting the upper-hand?
What’s Stressing You Out?
You and I deal with stress almost every single day. These are the top 5 sources of stress according to The American Psychological Association:
- The economy
- Family responsibilities
- Personal health concerns
And this year, during COVID-19 stress levels are much higher. The APA conducted a study called Stress in America™ 2020 and found these specific stressors:
- Parents stressed about education, basic needs, access to health care services and missing out on major milestones
- Government’s response to COVID-19
- Higher stress levels in people of color
- Economy and work-related stress
These are all real and they prevent us from thinking clearly and deeply. They also get in our way of being productive, especially during job search.
While you can’t eliminate the source of stress. You can begin to change how you react or respond to things.
Are You Stuffing It Away
Wishing stress away or ignoring the sources doesn’t make it go away. I know, I’ve tried.
I put aside the things I don’t want to deal with, perhaps secretly hoping they will resolve on their own. Nope, this never happens. And worse, in the back of my mind, or subconscious, I still worry about them.
Then, when something else begins to cause me stress, I blow. I become an irrational, screaming fool. That’s how stuffed stress manifests itself with me. Your reaction may be very different.
Change How You Look At Stress
Things don’t happen to you- they just happen.
Instead of taking everything as a personal attack or conspiracy, acknowledge that it is just happening. I know, this isn’t easy. You have to retrain your brain. And this takes some work and time.
Be Grateful and Think Positive Thoughts
One way to stop stressing and to look at stressors differently. Spend two minutes a day for 21 days writing in a gratitude journal. You can read why and how here.
Here are five more ways to de-stress your life.
Turn Your To-Do Into A Ta-Da!
If you aren’t managing a to-do list (during your job search), you must. Your list helps keep you focused on the right activities. It provides a map and creates some sense of order.
Your list needs to be realistic. Don’t cram too many action items on your list. If you don’t accomplish them all, you are likely to feel disappointed. And you know what that leads to…stress.
What can you do to simplify your day so you don’t have to make as many decisions? Focus on what absolutely has to get done that day.
The most important thing to remember is to celebrate, or at least recognize, your accomplishments.
Add even the smallest of successes to your gratitude journal (and do the happy dance).
Positive reinforcement makes you want to continue to do things, especially those you may not enjoy doing.
More Tips to Help You Stop Stressing
Here are additional suggestions on things you can do to help you combat stress:
- Listen to music/sound
- Eat right
- Get enough sleep
- Use a stress ball
- Go outside during a break
- Eat away from your desk
- Be a mentor
- Say good morning
- Compliment someone
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.