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Photo: iStock.com/dolgachov

It’s 6 a.m., and your alarm goes off. As
you hit the snooze button, a laundry list of to-dos floods your mind: the big
presentation today before the board; a major report due by tomorrow; a meeting
with your project team after lunch.

Instead of leaping out of bed ready to
conquer the day Homie, you’re suddenly filled with dread and anxiety. How will
you possibly manage everything on your plate?

If your job is a major source of stress
in your life, you’re not alone. According to an annual
survey by the American Psychological Association
, 65 percent of Americans
cited work as a top source of stress. Only a little more than 30 percent of respondents
said they were doing an excellent or very good job managing their stress.

Job-related stress is a serious issue,
according to a separate survey by the APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence.
More than one-third of working Americans reported experiencing chronic work
stress and just 36 percent said their organizations provide sufficient
resources to help them manage that stress.

A study
by health researchers at Penn State and Columbia universities revealed that how
well you handle stress is more important than how frequently you experience it.
Studies show that chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death,
including heart disease, cancer, and lung ailments.

In short, it’s prudent to have a system
of care in place that helps you weather those stressful times in your life.
Below are tips to help you manage your stress:

Pick
up a kettle ball
. It’s well-documented
that regular exercise increases your overall health. But exercise also has some
stress-busting
benefits
thanks to those feel-good hormones called endorphins. Working out increases
their production and when released, leave you with a sense of ahhh and help to
relieve your feelings of anxiety. So get a workout plan (Crossfit, Zumba, Kanye’s,
whatever) and let your stress melt with those reps.

Take
off the cape
. Your three-year-old
niece may feel differently, but the truth is you’re not a superhero. You can’t
be everything to everybody. You can’t do it all. You’re human and its ok to act
as such. When you’ve got too much on your plate, speak up. Ask your boss if
someone else can help you or if deadlines can be extended. And don’t be afraid
to seek out the services of a professional mental health therapist. Talking
with someone who is trained to help you sort out your issues prevents you from
feeling overwhelmed and burned out.

Wash,
rinse, repeat.
Having a routine is
crucial to keeping the stress monster at bay. Being consistent in your daily
actions (wake up, exercise, eat breakfast, etc.) as well as keeping regular
leisure appointments (weekly massages, Friday night Happy Hour, etc.) can help
you stay centered, feel relaxed, and keep your mind sharp.

The bottom line is you can’t be your
best if stress is eating away at your health. And good health is paramount to
your success, Homies. Get a handle on your stress by adopting healthy habits,
dropping the need to do it all, and seeking help. You’ll be more productive and
move further in your career. Stay healthy, Homies!