Caring for You, Not Just Your Career: How Cutting the Stress Improves the Bottom Line

By Keeva Stratton

Somebody wise once said, ‘when you look back on your life it’s unlikely you’re going to think “I wish I worked more”, and they were certainly right (unless, perhaps, you’re Lindsay Lohan). But Ms Lohan aside, getting stressed out at work really isn’t worth it.

Stress can not only hinder your happiness, but indeed your physical and mental health (not to mention those around you), so it’s time to kick the work addiction in favour of healthy harmony – and RESCU has devised the following suggestions to get you started.

Adopt a ‘Freelance’ Mentality

When’s the last time you sat down and looked at how your hours are spent? Is it possible that you allow procrastination, distraction and office politics to occupy your earning hours, forcing you to stay back and get behind?

Get disciplined – don’t spend 5 minutes on Facebook here and there throughout the day if it means you’re spending an hour more at your desk at night, and don’t let others get in the way of you getting your job done – pretend you charge by the hour and spend your hours accordingly.

Book meetings with yourself

Calendar blocking is a skill, and one that pays off. Schedule time for critical tasks, time that you are unavailable, so that you can get your work done. Book in lunch meetings with yourself and stick to them – you wouldn’t not turn up to a client lunch, so why is it OK to skip your own?

If you need a monetary incentive, commit to lunchtime yoga or Pilates classes. Likewise make after work commitments that force you to leave the office and return to your life.

Be Guilt Free

If you use your hours efficiently you should leave on time – and you shouldn’t feel ‘bad’ about it. Good employers appreciate committed workers who get the job done, not show ponies or timesheet point scorers.

We’ve sadly developed a ‘chained-to-the-desk’ mentality of late, and it can seriously affect emotional well-being, but hours at your desk are not an indicator of job performance. When you’re done, leave. Your time is precious and just as your employer doesn’t let your holiday hours creep up unchecked, you shouldn’t get into the nasty habit of voluntarily extending yours.

Communicate, Don’t Implode

If you’re feeling under the pump, let your supervisor know. Can you push back some deadlines? Can you share or streamline tasks? Have you taken on too much? After all, employee burnout or rehiring and retraining is more costly to employers in the long run. If you’re constantly being run to the floor, your health needs to take priority and only you can make it so. If your supervisor won’t assist or shift, it might be time to look at career alternatives.


How many of us find that once our career starts to hit its stride, everything else falls apart. It’s because we let it. We get into a habit of giving our jobs all of our energy and leaving none for ourselves. It’s time to get out of the funk and get back to fun. Make regular friend dates – and keep them. Book movies, concerts, weekends away well in advance, so you’re always committed to fun time. Give family and loved ones a bit of overtime, and turn some of that hard earned cash into a healthy escape, like a massage or facial.

While many find career success is important, health and happiness still trump titles. Apply some of your working brain to making your life work in balance and you’ll be surprised how the improvements flow across the board.

Learn how to reduce stress with these articles on RESCU:

  1. Learn how to improve your concentration and overall brain power with 10 tips from the author of The Clear Mind Guide
  2. Celebrity nutritionist Zoe Bingley-Pullin reveals 5 ways to reduce and maintain low stress levels with simple diet changes
  3. A wellness expert from the Six Senses Destination Spa, Phuket, opens your eyes to the dangers of workplace stress
  4. Clear the Mess, Remove the Stress: simple solutions to de-clutter your world

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