How to Relieve Stress and Win at Work: Advice for the Career-Minded Individual

Whether you’re a business owner or a busy professional, working long hours are often part of the job. As with anything in life, when you focus all of your efforts in one direction -- especially work -- tension and stress are likely to occur. Here are four tips to help you reduce stress and hit the ground running to achieve new goals.

Make Yourself a Priority

Yes, your business or career is probably at the top of your list, but remember, if you don’t take care of yourself, no one else will. Ultimately, this means that if you aren’t there for yourself, you won’t be able to tend to your work. Make sure that you are number one in your life.

Practice the Basics of Self-Care

This should be a familiar checklist, but in case it’s slipped your mind, here’s a reminder:

● Get an adequate amount of sleep. Trying to accomplish more work in exchange for sleep is never a good idea. Doing so will eventually catch up with you, generally in the form of mental exhaustion, which will later manifest itself in the body physically. According to the CDC, you need at least seven or more hours of sleep each night.

● Drink enough water and shower regularly. According to the National Academies of Sciences, the best way to stay hydrated is to let your craving for water be your guide. As for practicing good hygiene, never underestimate the power of hot shower or freshening up, as it can often make you feel like a million bucks.

● Eat when you’re hungry, but choose items that are nutritious. If you’re on the go, it’s likely your meals are, too. Prepare food at home in advance. If you have to make selections while you’re out, choose items that aren’t processed, such as fruits and veggies. Nuts and seeds make good snacks, but stay away from the extra salt.

● Exercise often. Research has proven time and time again that working out will make you feel great both physically and mentally. If something is stumping you at work, use this to your advantage. Go for a run or hit the gym. This is a way to show up for yourself and come back with a fresh perspective for the job. Keep in mind, like eating, exercising requires balance, so look for ways to get a complete body workout.

● Have joy. Life is a gift, so celebrate it every day. Do what makes you happy, whether that’s unwinding by slipping into your pajamas immediately after you get home or joining a group of friends for a trivia night at the local pub.

Lift the Weight of Worries and Find Ways to Cope

Reducing stress is about making good choices for your mental well-being. These decisions can range from expressing gratitude every day to going to therapy. It’s really up to you and what you need as an individual. It’s hard to be completely free of stress and anxiety, so finding ways to cope are imperative. Practicing meditation and yoga, as well as learning deep-breathing exercises are a couple of fundamental ways to deal with life’s pressures. This is especially true for work-related stress, whether it’s problems with your boss or worries regarding a round of layoffs. Work stress has been linked to a number of health problems, and in some extreme cases, it can result in drug and/or alcohol abuse.

Adjust Goals

If you’re a business owner or professional, there’s no doubt you’re the ambitious type. When setbacks happen or when personal challenges appear, don’t be afraid to re-adjust your goals — setting realistic expectations and cutting yourself some slack can go a long way. You can either respond to situations in a way that sets yourself up for success, recognizing all of the circumstances at hand, or in a way that promotes stress, anxiety, and possible let-downs. Let your intuition be the guide during times like this.

There are many things in life you can buy, but your health is not one. Be kind to yourself during times of stress. Select ways to cope (that actually work for you) and overcome hardships as they arise. By taking these steps, you will surely be on your path to achieving new goals. Photo credit:


Julie Morris is a life and career coach. She thrives on helping others live their best lives. It’s easy for her to relate to clients who feel run over by life because she’s been there. After years in a successful (but unfulfilling) career in finance, Julie busted out of the corner office that had become her prison.

Today, she is fulfilled by helping busy professionals like her past self get the clarity they need in order to live inspired lives that fill more than just their bank accounts. When Julie isn’t working with clients, she enjoys writing and is currently working on her first book. She also loves spending time outdoors and getting lost in a good book.

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