Category Archive: Self-care & Personal Development

Why Pushing Yourself is Essential to Finding Success in Any Area of Life

~by Kara Masterson~

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It has been said that the easy road becomes hard, and the hard one becomes easier over time. For example, this is something that an engineer knows because of work and school, particularly if he or she masters electrical engineering, which is incredibly difficult and requires a good deal of struggle along the way. Among so many examples, a surprising one can be found in a pee-wee football program in a wealthy suburb of New York.

pushing yourselfThe Massapequa Mustangs regularly win the local travel championship, as well as a “bowl game” in Florida. The program has created several NFL players, such as Gary Baldinger of the Buffalo Bills and Darryl Young of the Washington Redskins. The Mustangs are so good that a 7-3 season is generally thought to be a bad one. How does this mostly white team of kids from well-to-do families win so much? Because on August 1st of every year the Mustangs are at practice while other teams wait until September. They are running plays with no pads; they are ingraining the moves to memory; they are building their muscles. The players and coaches take the hard road, which leads to easier victories on the field.

Getting away from sports, we will discuss how pushing yourself also applies to professional jobs, the military, and what is happening in the brain, body and spirit when we struggle.

Law, Accounting, Medicine, etc.

First year professionals suffer. It’s true. They are pushed very hard, and many quit. However, those who struggle through long hours, diligent work and extra effort find that after just a few years there are incredible opportunities awaiting them.

For doctors, it is a significant salary after residency. Not only are they ready to make the money, but they are also very adept at helping others, even when they are tired. Additionally, they understand their own limitations under duress.

For lawyers and accountants, this comes after passing the CPA and Bar exams. Many find that after only two years of working lower paying jobs they can leave an accounting or law firm and become high-paid executives, or they can stay on as partners earning incredible profits.

Why do companies tend to seek out those who stick with it? It shows character, determination and a willingness to endure the hard road, which will be necessary when the going gets tough.

Military Leadership

Our troops are incredible, but some make it further than others in their careers. And the big difference is usually how they got there. U.S. Marine Corps General Martin Steele is an incredible example of this. Following a youth of living in a desegregated Arkansas town, he enlisted to fight in Vietnam. As a Corporal he enforced that his unit would never speak ill of someone’s race or background, which he was extremely sensitive to from high school sports matches against segregated schools.

pushing yourselfFollowing his deployments, he went to Officer Candidate School to teach. It was very hard, but he endured it, and then became a candidate himself when a Sergeant inspired him to move forward. In spite of starting at the very bottom, General Steele rose higher than almost any officer in the history of the U.S. military when he was promoted to a three-star general. While his struggles did not specifically lead to his promotions, they did build his character, and many say that he created a better Marine Corps.

Struggle and the Brain, Body, and Soul

Struggle does not just build character. It also builds the body and soul. With these changes, the brain also follows, as noted in this Stanford University article. Anyone who has hit a punching bag knows that at first, a shock of pain goes up the arm or concentrates in the hand. Then after some time, one can wail away with little issue. Runners knows that their feet, hips, back, calves, and all the rest can only take so much strain at first, but then they can go farther.

You can succeed in life, but the road to success is not the easy one. It’s the one that requires some struggle. Those who have much and have not struggled often do so because someone else struggled years before.


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Kara MastersonMeet the Author: Kara Masterson

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys playing tennis and spending time with her family.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/pushing-yourself-essential-finding-success/

Forget the DIY Divorce — Your Future is at Stake

~by Sarah J. Hink~

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The Internet and technology make it increasingly easy to navigate the world on your own. If you want groceries delivered to your door, there is an App for that. If you want to learn how to repair a leaky faucet, there are dozens of YouTube videos regarding your specific faucet.

DIY DivorceIn fact, with a wealth of information at our fingertips at any given moment, it is tempting to believe that you can save yourself some money by representing yourself in a divorce proceeding. After all, there are plenty of online forms available. There are also endless Internet forums full of people telling you how simple it is to handle your own divorce.

Don’t Take a DIY Divorce Approach

A divorce proceeding is no time for a Do It Yourself (DIY) approach. It may be tempting to download a set of those forms and fill them out, but you may do yourself significant harm in the process. Before you begin representing yourself in a divorce proceeding, consider the following:

Divorce laws in North Carolina are governed by statute and by an ever expanding body of case law from the Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court. Divorce lawyers have worked years to study and master this area of law.

Attorneys can take the facts of your case, apply the relevant laws and provide you with a comprehensive set of options. This will allow you to make an informed decision about your future.

A divorce requires you to file legal pleadings. Legal pleadings and proposed orders that do not strictly comply with the relevant state statutes my be voidable. A lawyer knows the legal requirements of pleadings as well as the strict timeframes to file these documents. 

DIY Divorce There are strict rules of procedure and evidence that you must comply with, even if you are representing yourself.

If your former spouse has an attorney, you will be at an incredible disadvantage. That attorney has no duty to go easy on you, and the court will not give you special treatment just because you are representing yourself and have no legal experience.

Your Future is at Stake

Divorce can mean ending a cycle of domestic violence and getting the proper protective orders for yourself and your children. It also means ensuring your financial future through alimony and the division of marital property. It cannot be understated that divorce can also mean obtaining child custody orders and child support orders that keep your children safe, happy and financially secure.

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If you are divorcing, or considering a divorce, contact us. New Direction Family Law wants to help you secure your future so that you can move forward. For over sixteen years, we have worked tirelessly to serve our clients’ interests. We serve Wake, Johnston, Lee, Harnett, Cumberland, Nash, Granville, Franklin, and Durham counties. Call New Direction Family Law today at (919) 719-3470 for a comprehensive consultation, or online at our website.


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Meet the Author: Sarah J. Hink

Sarah J. HinkSarah has practiced family law exclusively since being licensed to practice by the North Carolina State Bar. She enjoys working with people in a time of crisis, and her ability to stay calm, poised and pragmatic lends itself well in the family law environment. Sarah works with her clients throughout their case and is able to fight for their legal rights and the best interest of their family to ensure that they find the stability and security needed to move forward from crisis toward a positive and new direction.


Family Law


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/forget-diy-divorce/

6 Elements for Achieving Your Wildest Dreams

~by Hannah Ross~

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Life is a precious thing and it shouldn’t be wasted by living a normal routine, same thing every day. Life must be cherished by doing different activities that add to your life – with great achievements.

wildest dreamsThere should be no pause in life, and you must set goals which are your passions to bring your life into a flow. When you only think about surviving, you begin wasting the precious time of your life by doing nothing productive. A person who desires success and growth should understand the fact that doing exactly what others are doing will make him or her no better than them.

You should dream, and then work hard day and night to achieve those dreams that will make your life a living heaven. When a person has wild dreams about something, he or she strives to fulfill that dream in order to create a beautiful and colorful picture of their ideal life.

The real purpose of life is far from just eating or living in a nice house. Every person should endeavor to live an extraordinary life. Having the wildest dream is easy, but achieving it is far more difficult.

Recognizing and putting into practice the following 6 elements can help you achieve your wildest dreams.

1-Willpower and Determination

As mentioned above, it’s easy to dream. But achieving your dream is far more difficult and requires the right kind of energy. When you start working to fulfill your dream, you might face many problems and hardships. Here, one thing should be understood — without willpower and determination, you cannot achieve anything. You cannot give up at any point because if you keep changing your focus and dreams, there will be no success. Your determination and willpower will enable you to avoid all distractions and face every problem with strength in order to achieve your set goal.

2-Passion and Hard work

No doubt, wild things can only be done if you have extreme passion. Yes, the other element for the achievement of your wildest dreams if to have a passion so that you can work hard day and night without feeling drained. When a person is passionate about something, he or she will put in tremendous effort to make it happen. Hard work is that one thing which keeps a person from being disappointed and that enables them to achieve their set target. Therefore, the more passionate a person is, the harder he/she will work to fulfill their dreams.

3-Courage and Support

If you have the wildest dream, such as traveling the whole world on a bicycle or jumping from the world’s highest cliff, you need the support of your loved ones in order to achieve it. This element of courage and support gives you strength and power to achieve whatever you want from life. When your family and friends stand right behind you to support your dreams, you won’t feel so alone. This can make you stronger so you can do what it takes to achieve your wildest dreams.

4-Patience

wildest dreamsAnother essential element for the achievement of your wildest dreams is patience. Things are never readily served on a platter; you always have to put forth extra effort to start with, and then wait for results. This wait is very important because if you show no patience, you might end up making some bad decisions, such as taking a shortcut to eliminate that wait, which can ultimately result in failure or disappointment. Patience can make the path towards your dream clearer. Without this element, you may face anxiety and you may be tempted to give up on your dream.

5-Improved Productivity

To achieve your dreams, you should improve your productivity level. This process of productivity initially takes place in your mind, and later becomes visible by becoming a part of your actions. You must improve this process to improve your whole practical life. With an increase in your productivity, you can achieve your wildest dreams more easily. For good output, you first have to increase the amount of effort and energy. In short, higher productivity will take you more quickly towards your wildest dreams.

6-Positive Approach

The final element for the achievement of wildest dreams is to have a positive approach towards life. Optimism opens doors when you find yourself stuck in a situation. You should always have an optimistic approach in difficult situations. With a positive approach, you’ll be better able to find ways, whether simple or difficult, to achieve your wildest dreams.

Never give up on your wildest dreams, as you live only once!


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Hannah RossMeet the Author: Hannah Ross

Hannah is a student counselor and an aspiring writer. Currently she works at Assignment Hub and provides help to undergraduate students who struggle with writing their assignments.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/6-elements-achieving-wildest-dreams/

How to Get the Management Skills You Need to Rise in Your Industry

~by Hannah Whittenly~

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As a new entrepreneur or business owner, you are probably well aware of any flaws that you may have and might even lack the complete confidence that you need. Such feelings are completely normal for those first stepping foot in the business world. However, you can overcome that by compensating with strengths — especially when it comes to the way that you run your business. In this game, efficiency is key, and those who do it better come out as the winners. A huge part of that efficiency is your ability to manage.

management skills

To help you gain the management skills that you absolutely need to come out on top, here are a few tips:

Determine Which Skills You Need

As “Management Skills List and Examples” indicates, there are hundreds of management skills that you should try to learn. Yet, to optimize your ability to move forward in your career sector, you need to know which of these management skills are the most applicable within your field. As noted in the aforementioned article, most management skills pertain to five basic functions:

  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Coordinating
  • Directing
  • Oversight

Within each of the five major categories is a subset of skills that can include things like:

  • Persuasion
  • Research
  • Presentation
  • Responsibility
  • Productivity
  • Qualitative Skills
  • Problem Solving
  • Sales
  • Project Management
  • Public Speaking

You’d be better off determining which major and minor skill sets will help you rise in your specific industry rather than simply trying to attain general management skills. Entrepreneurs, for example, often have great ideas and come up with very useful products. Getting it out to the public, however, can be difficult—especially if you’re not a well-known person or have some significant competitors. In this case, it might be best to step up your game when it comes to sales, presentation and persuasion. If you’ve ever watched “Shark Tank” on TV, then you know that those three things are very important. Study up on different techniques and strategies that will make you stronger in those areas, but don’t forget to practice them! Grab a few of your friends or family members and practice pitching your products and business services to them. Little by little, you’ll get stronger at those skills and see your business profit for it.

Develop a “Team” Mentality

management skillsOne of the best ways to gain management skills is by working effectively with others. You can either do this through networking or working with whatever size team that you have available to you, small or big. You can collaborate with them on new products, event planning and business strategy. Doing so can help you develop management skills such as the following:

  • Conflict Resolution
  • Adaptability
  • Collaboration
  • Division of Work
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Engagement
  • Flexibility

With this idea in mind, make sure that you operate according to a “team” mentality. There are several ways that you can learn to work effectively in a team. As noted in Inc., effective teamwork necessitates that each group member understands what the team is trying to accomplish. Therefore, one way for you to operate effectively as a team member is by remaining up to date regarding the group’s professional objectives.

Pursue an Additional Degree or Certification

When you’re an entrepreneur or new business owner, you’re pretty much on your own, and learning the skills that you need is pretty much all up to you. Therefore, if you’re serious about gaining the management skills necessary to rise in your industry, consider the value of pursuing an additional degree or certification. Engaging in an ongoing education process will always provide you with some or several management skills that you can use and list on resumes when you apply for jobs. If you’re an entrepreneur providing a service to the healthcare industry, for example, it would be beneficial for you to get your healthcare administration degree online. Whatever industry you’re in, you can find some way to become more educated in it. Not only that, but pursuing an education is one of the best ways to become up to date within the industry you’re trying to work in. It could also help to establish your legitimacy.

Hopefully, the above tips have helped you understand how you can go about becoming an effective business person with managerial skills that can only take you upward to success. Just remember to practice every newly obtained skill at every available opportunity.


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Hannah WhittenlyMeet the Author: Hannah Whittenly

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She graduated from the University of California-Sacramento with a degree in Journalism.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/management-skills-you-need-rise-industry/

Natural Leader? 4 Ways to Use Your Talent in Your Career and Life

~by Emma Sturgis~

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Natural leaders have a special talent for getting people to listen. You can put your innate talents to use both in your career and in your personal life. Consider these four ways that you can make the most of your talents and help others in the process.

natural leader

Starting Your Own Business

As a natural leader, you may find success in starting your own business. Your leadership talents are essential to the success of any type of business. Find your market niche, join your local small business administration or chamber of commerce, and discover what it takes to open your doors in a type of work that drives your passion and suits your talents.

Mentoring New Staff Members

If starting your own business is not your thing, consider taking on a leadership role in your place of work. You could initiate a mentoring program if there is not already one in place. When a new person joins the team, you could act as his or her mentor. A mentoring program allows you to introduce a new staff member to how your organization operates and helps the new person to get a good feel for what is expected and what the culture is like.

Getting a Masters in Health Administration

natural leaderStudying from top MHA programs is a natural step for your career. Health administrators take on leadership roles in health care facilities such as nursing homes and hospitals. You may find yourself in charge of a highly educated and passionate group of nurses, physicians and other health care professionals who are driven to deliver excellent care.

Volunteering With Children

You could inspire children in your community to live up to their dreams with your leadership skills. Consider volunteering at a school, helping kids learn how to read or tutoring them in math or science. Community organizations such as Big Brothers, Big Sisters offer volunteer opportunities that allow you to work with one child for the long-term. Community recreation centers are also a great way to show your leadership. You could coach a team or teach a class for kids.

Leadership is a highly prized skill. Your ability to use this skill in the workplace will allow you to advance into visible roles. Leading other professionals can bring a tremendous sense of satisfaction into your life. You can also put your talents to use in the community, helping others to achieve their own personal goals for education and careers.


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Emma SturgisMeet the Author: Emma Sturgis

Emma is a freelance writer based in Boston, MA. When not writing, she enjoys reading and rock climbing. Say “hi” on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/natural-leader-use-talent-career-life/

How to Separate: Sometimes it’s Easier Said than Done

~by Elizabeth Stephenson~

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how to separateIt’s that time of year for Spring cleaning, and sometimes that may include cleaning op your personal life and relationships. That may mean refocusing on your current relationships and moving forward together, or realizing that it’s time to move on separately. If your decision is the latter, wanting to separate from your spouse is sometimes easier said than done. There are a myriad of issues you need to consider before either of you physically leaves the marriage.

1. Somebody’s gotta go.  Even when both parties are unhappy and want to separate, many times neither wants to leave the marital home. You may have a great emotional attachment, you may want to stay for stability for the children, or sometimes, you just don’t want the other spouse to be able to live in what used to be “y’all’s” home. No matter the reason, in order to be legally separated in North Carolina, one of you must vacate the marital home.

2. But I don’t wanna leave.  Now you may have a problem. You can’t force your spouse to leave. If there is domestic violence, you can seek a protective order and be awarded possession of the home and your spouse is not allowed to return. You could seek a divorce from bed and board – in essence a judicial separation, where the court could order your spouse to leave because his/her behavior or treatment of you is so intolerable. If neither of these fit your situation and you want to separate, you may be the one who has to leave.

how to separate3. I’m outta here!  Although you and your spouse may own the home together or both be on the lease, once you leave with the intent to remain separate and apart, you no longer have a right to come and go as you please. You still have ownership rights to the home, but you’ve “abandoned” the property, so if you return without your spouse’s approval, you could be cited for trespassing. If you didn’t take all the personal property you wanted when you left, you’ll need your spouse’s approval or a court order to get what’s left. The spouse remaining can also have the locks changed.

4. Whoa Nelly… not so fast. Her or she may be a jerk and you want out now, but if you leave and you have no court orders in place or a signed separation agreement, then neither of you are legally obligated to provide financial support to the other. Sounds crazy, right?! But it’s true. Even if your spouse leaves you with the marital home, he/she is under no obligation to financially contribute to the household bills unless a court orders them to do so or you can come to a mutual agreement.

5. So, now what?  If you are not in danger of domestic violence and you can tolerate one another (perhaps living in two separate bedrooms or floors of the home for example), make a plan and set a timeframe to physically separate. If you’re not working, you may want to get a part time job and stash that money away so you can have some funds in the event you have to support yourself or your children for a couple of months. Run your credit report, and if you don’t have your own credit card, open one so you can begin to build your own financial history. Plan on selling your home? Many couples stay in the marital home until the sale of the house. Then they use the proceeds to set up their own separate households.

James R. Sherman once said, “You can’t go back and make a brand new start, but you can start now and make a brand new ending.” Keep that in mind when considering separation. Deciding to end your marriage is the first step. Finding out about all your legal rights and options BEFORE you separate can help you put a plan in place so that you can make the best decisions for you and your family’s future.


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Meet the Author: Elizabeth Stephenson

New Direction Family LawElizabeth has extensive experience in a range of different family law legal proceedings, including mediations, arbitrations, litigation, and appeals. She is the person you want by your side when you’re facing divorce, separation, child custody, property division, domestic violence, or any other family law issue. She understands the emotional upheaval and stress experienced by families facing separation and divorce. Using expert knowledge of North Carolina family law and 17 years of practice in the field, she is dedicated to providing steadfast support and guidance to each and every client.Family Law


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/how-separate-easier-said-than-done/

4 Skills That Will Make You an Invaluable Asset

~by Dixie Somers~

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When you’re starting out in the real world and looking to make a great living, you’ll need to be better than the rest of those in your field. Although this is easier said than done, becoming a valuable employee at your company — no matter where you work — is possible. Below are several skills you should consider gaining to help boost your value in the eyes of your employer in regards to certifications and pathways.

1. Graphic Design

skillsPretty much every business will need a graphic designer at one point or another. Whether it’s designing logos, business cards, letterheads, or something else, a graphic designer is always in demand. If you’re an especially talented designer, that makes you that much more valuable, especially for small businesses who might not be able to budget for an expensive freelancer. A company with a talented in-house designer will not be letting them go anytime soon, and a designer with certifications and experience is always a plus.

2. Journeyman Skills

If you have skills as an electrician, carpenter or plumber, you’re instantly sought after. Even if your current profession is nowhere related to those skills, if you prove to be valuable when there is a plumbing or electrical problem, you have earned your keep. This is especially true if a company doesn’t have a lot of money to spend on repairs. This can also save you money when home issues arise.

3. Nursing

skillsHighly skilled nurses are more in demand than ever today. The nursing field has a shortage of qualified nurses which makes them even more valuable to companies and clinics. If you’re considering going into the nursing field, then you may want to consider getting a Master’s of Science in nursing online. Earning your degree online will make it easier for you to pursue other goals while you go to school. When you’re finished, you can look forward to a lucrative career in the medical field.

4. Sales and Marketing

Understanding the basics of marketing and sales can get your foot in the door at some places, but having a degree in any one of these areas will set you above the rest. Those who understand marketing and are gifted at sales become crucial assets to a company. These people are the ones that bring in the dollars and keep the company above water. If you’re one of these people who the company relies on to make sales and bring in customers, you’ll have a bargaining chip that you can use if your company hits troubled waters.

There are many more pathways you can take to prove your worth, but the above areas are some of the most useful. Understanding the basics of just one of these will set you apart, and you could have much more career potential than your coworkers.


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Dixie SomersMeet the Author: Dixie Somers

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who loves writing for business, finance, and those with an entrepreneurial spirit. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/4-skills-invaluable-asset/

Employee Education: The Importance of Improving Your Workers’ Skills

~by Kara Masterson~

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Education is the key to the futures of your workers and the company in general. Workers who educate themselves are able to think more critically and increase their performance rates. When they perform better, they contribute to the growing success of your business. There are many reasons why education is an important asset to have in the workplace.

Employers Promote Continuing Education

employee educationContinuing education is a common term in the workplace. Continuing education in the workplace is essential to success for many reasons. Many professionals can only keep their licenses by taking continuing education courses. Even though they have graduated and are no longer enrolled in school, they retake certain courses to stay up to date in their industry. Nurses retake certain science courses to refresh their memory about parts of the human body. Licensed professionals who apply for renewal must retake classes in fields such as management, marketing and math. Many courses are provided online for free or at regular cost.

Education Ties into Financial Security

Keeping your employees informed means keeping the company safe. Many e-commerce companies are involved in the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which is designed to protect credit cardholders’ information. There is no use being a part of the system if your employees are not fully trained in its practices. Whether you hire cashiers or accountants, order that they undergo quality PCI-DSS training. The main purpose is to protect sensitive credit card information that passes through the data system. When it is time for an audit, know that your employees understand the main compliance requirements without any concerns.

employee educationEmployees are Made More Aware

With education, employees are made more aware of the competitive world in which they live. Many employers do not consider job applicants who do not meet certain educational standards. When they hand out promotions, they tend to favor workers who are better qualified with more credentials. Gaining skills is the only way to move forward in the workforce. Education is a boost to the resumes of all working individuals. They are better able to do their jobs and have more opportunities open up for them.

When workers think about improving their skills, they dread the thought of going back to school. Employers should remind them of the many benefits associated with education, such as improved work performances and advancements to higher positions. In the end, maintain the efforts to improve your workers’ skills and create good, long-lasting results for your business.


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Kara MastersonMeet the Author: Kara Masterson

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys playing tennis and spending time with her family.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/employee-education-importance-improving-skills/

3 Strategies to Help Reduce Stress So You Can Work Efficiently

~by Emma Sturgis~

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reduce stressThe phone call with the cranky client. The lunch meeting that goes until four. The last-minute project that gets dumped on your desk before the weekend. All these situations and more represent just some of the stresses you’re likely to feel at work. Unfortunately, it’s usually not possible to work without at least some stress getting you down. However, it doesn’t have to knock you out.

Here are 3 tips that will help you reduce stress, relax and work more efficiently.

1. Be Sure to Unplug

While it’s tempting to just eat lunch at your desk or to skip that workout after work, you shouldn’t. Finding ways to exercise and move around may help break up your day, give you time to take a break from stressful tasks, and lower your stress levels. If you have time, take a run at lunch or catch that spin class at your local gym after work.

Or if you want a more low-key way to spend your down time, take up yoga, meditation or even adult coloring books. These activities get your mind off of your work stresses and on to more pleasant things. Many of them you can even do while you’re at work. Don’t discount how much a 5-minute walk or a few minutes spent coloring can brighten your day and relieve your stress.

2. Eat Right

You probably got tired of your mom telling you to eat your vegetables when you were a kid, but mom was right. Sound nutrition does more than just build the body. It helps us combat stress and helps to rebuild your cells. Cellular health determines how we handle stress, how fast our body repairs itself after illness, and how well we perform when we’re working at peak level.

Your cells rely on redox signaling to work correctly. If you’re feeling run-down, chances are very good that you’ve been heading toward a crash for a while. Supplements that rejuvenate redox signaling get your cells back up to par. In the process, you’ll be better able to manage your stress levels at work and at home.

3. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake

reduce stressCaffeine can jazz you up when you need it. It can also make it nearly impossible for you to keep your stress levels down when you’re already stressed. Consuming caffeine may help you stay awake, but it also leads to crashes later that may mess with your body’s natural relaxation schedule. If you notice that your stress levels at work go up instead of down after that cup of coffee, it might be best to reduce your caffeine intake or eliminate it all together.

That said, you’ll want to reduce your caffeine intake gradually, or you may end up with side effects like headaches. You could try switching to beverage options that are lower in caffeine and gradually wean yourself off of them. You’ll also want to read the labels on your meds, as some automatically include a small dose of caffeine. Finally, make a note of any symptoms like headaches or nausea. You may be trying to reduce your caffeine intake too quickly. Slow and steady wins the race in this case.

Last Thoughts On Reducing Stress At Work

Stress can be a real brain zapper. It also breaks down your body, making you susceptible to illness. Learning to manage stress is the key. That said, many jobs are inherently stressful, which means that your stress levels will remain high. Taking steps like practicing meditation, eating right, and reducing your caffeine intake will help you manage your stress levels. The best chance you have to combat stress is to be aware of its triggers and come up with a plan ahead of time to alleviate it before your body breaks down.


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Emma SturgisMeet the Author: Emma Sturgis

Emma is a freelance writer based in Boston, MA. When not writing, she enjoys reading and rock climbing. Say “hi” on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/strategies-reduce-stress-work-efficiently/

How to Achieve and Maintain Balance in Everyday Life

~by Jenn Bovee~

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Since about the early 1990’s I have been infatuated with the concept of balance. Sometimes it feels as mystical as a unicorn. You know, the very minute you think you have grasped it, POOF, you are overwhelmed and overcommitted to things again! The experience I have just described is only magnified when you throw in parenting and working and other obligations. It is also my belief that women struggle significantly more with achieving and maintaining balance than men do as a whole.

maintain balance

My experience in working with people over the last twenty years, is that there is no one right way for everyone to achieve balance. As such, I am a firm believer that each individual has to find a philosophy and formula that works perfectly for them. We are all different, so I will give basic suggestions for how to achieve and maintain balance. However, please feel free to personalize these in ways that work best for you.

1. Outsourcing: I’m a big fan of outsourcing things that I either haven’t made time for, or that bring tons of stress with it. The two things I outsource in my life are my QuickBooks (because I’m NOT an accountant) and housekeeping. I literally pay someone to come in and clean my house. Not because I don’t want to clean it or can’t clean it, but because my time is better served working with my clients versus cleaning my house.

2. Grouping: I love this concept. The way it works for me is I don’t go to the bank or the post office with just one thing. I wait until I have several things to take, and then I make a trip. I was once giving a talk on achieving balance and a woman shared that she sets things on her stairs to conserve her energy. Then, when she’s making a trip upstairs, she takes it all with her. I do this in so many different areas of my life, and it’s been a huge time saver.

3. Use a Schedule: I have a great brain which supports me in so many ways. However, if I don’t write things down on my calendar it will absolutely get missed. I even use alarms to remind me to call in refills for pharmacy stuff. Whether you prefer paper calendars or electronic calendars, the result is still the same. Put everything you need to do down in writing so that you can look at it objectively.

4. Say No: I realized many years ago that I wasn’t serving anyone else well by attempting to be all things to all people. The result was that I got burned out and felt unappreciated. It’s okay to say no. Currently, my practice is if it’s something I won’t enjoy or don’t have time for, I say no. Saying no is very healthy for us and establishes that we have boundaries.

5. Be Realistic: It is neither healthy nor realistic to expect ourselves to be committed to activities 20 hours a day. It’s essential that my expectations of myself are as realistic as my expectations of other people. If I wouldn’t expect another person to be able to accomplish this, I can’t expect that of myself. I am so realistic in my scheduling of things currently that I schedule clients during my ideal functioning times.

maintain balance6. Ditch the “Shoulds”: In my experience, “should” is a very shame based concept. It implies that whatever you did somehow just wasn’t good enough. I think the best antidote to this is acceptance. Acceptance of the fact that through each and every situation, you have done the best you could. None of us are perfect, and therefore we need to create an atmosphere in which we are much more kind and gentle towards ourselves.

7. Make Sure to Have Fun: When’s the last time you really laughed? Like, from-the-belly laughed. It’s such a healing experience to laugh. I have literally watched people who were carrying with them a significant amount of stress, allow that stress to melt away by laughing. Laughing allows us to temporarily disconnect from the stress and strain of life and just let it all go.

8. Drop the Guilt: Women, specifically, struggle with unrealistic expectations of themselves in combination with superwoman syndrome. We believe that we should be all things to all people at all times. And if we can’t be all things to all people at all times, we instantaneously feel massive amounts of guilt. My recommendation is for you to ask yourself, “How is this guilt serving me?” If the answer to this question is not positive and amazing, I encourage you to release the guilt.

9. Disconnect Often: I’m a huge proponent of down time! I have begun scheduling one weekend a month to simply have downtime. No appointments, no obligations, no expectations, and I nurture myself during these weekends. Here’s the deal though: it doesn’t need to be an entire weekend. Many years ago I had a very wise woman tell me that I needed to take one night per week just to myself. And during that one night I was not allowed to clean, pay bills or do any other obligatory activity. It was time to feed my soul.

I am committed to empowering other people to achieve balance. I would love to hear from you about how you maintain balance.


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Jenn BoveeMeet the Author: Jenn Bovee

Jenn Bovee is a Psychotherapist and Intuitive Life Coach. She has specific training in both subconscious and conscious mind tools. Jenn helps people all over the world step out of their fear and doubt and into their power and knowing.


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