Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ways to Reduce Stress at Work

stressed business woman at work
Work can be stressful. Utilize some of these stress-reducing strategies to get things back under control.
Image: Shutterstock

Work can be stressful, no matter what you do or what industry you’re in. There are deadlines, expectations, and a lot of things to get done. We all are pushing ourselves more and more each day, doing things like responding to the never ending emails, helping clients and customers, and always having the right answer. When confronted with all of these daily tasks, how does one remain stress-free? Here are some stress-busting solutions:

First off, stop killing yourself over made up deadlines. If you are the deadline maker, give people some breathing room so when those really urgent tasks come (or things don’t go as planned), you are able to get things done without having to pull an all-nighter. Set realistic deadlines for others and yourself, and make sure those deadlines are clearly stated so everyone is on the same page. Remember that the world won’t end if you don’t get that final email off at 2 a.m.—and likely no one will respond until morning anyway.  

list of tips for reducing stress at work
Use these handy tips to reduce stress at work!
Image: Shutterstock (text added)
Second, learn to prioritize. As you go through your day, there may be many different people coming at you with different needs. If you create checklists and to-do lists comprised of these items in order of high to low priority, it can make everything seem much more manageable. This way, you aren’t missing anything and know when you need to have everything out the door. Prioritization doesn’t have to be difficult, but you do have to make time for it. On Monday morning, take time to plan out your week—roughly—so that you know what to expect. You can (and should) review that list each morning and reorganize things if needed. The important thing is that it exists and you pay attention to it!

Third, remember to breathe. Work should not always be thecenter of your life. You do it to make a living and to continue growing and learning each day, but it doesn’t have to be everything. Work out, read a book, have a hobby. Don’t let work consume you because that can lead to losing your sense of self. Also remember that often times, you’re not the only one who is stressed out – far from it. Take stock of the expectations you have set for yourself and others, and know that you can only accomplish so much in a day.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Best Workouts For Variety and Intensity

A woman in a spinning class at the gym
Like intense workouts? Try a spinning class to get your sweat on!
Image: Shutterstock
There are so many workouts out there nowadays, sometimes it’s hard to decide which one is best for you. Do I take a class or join a gym? If so, where? What if I just want to try them all? Below is a general guide to popular workouts that are ideal for both intensity and variety.

Traditional Gym – Variety

A traditional gym like Equinox or Gold’s Gym provides you with plenty of options, and sometimes the fee you pay for your membership will allow you to take all the classes you want for free. There are many machines to try out, and classes you can take at times that are flexible for most schedules. Traditional gyms work best for individuals who are self-motivated and like their workouts to sometimes be intense in either a class or individual weightlifting scenario. Traditional gyms don’t seem to be as social as alternative workouts, as most people either come with workout friends or tend to work out alone.

Spin Classes – Intensity (Cardio)

Spin classes are a great way to get in some sweat-dripping cardio. The classes are filled with fast moving legs and beat pumping tunes. Usually 45 minutes to an hour, the class goes through cycles of speed and power on an indoor bike. You’ll never leave NOT drenched in sweat and ready for the day. Though intense, classes like this are often a bit more social than a traditional gym setting, as many people go to the same class times on a regular basis—so you get to know others. You can find this great workout at places like SoulCycle or FlyWheel.

Crossfit – Variety and Intensity

Crossfit is seen as the most intense of all workouts these days. The classes are a combination of gymnastics skills, weight lifting and cardio. Most Crossfit gyms require a week of training to teach new members how to properly weightlift and correct their form. Often referred to as something of a “cult,” Crossfit gyms are also very social in nature. A lot of the workouts require partners or “spotters,” so you get to know those around you very well. Each class, coaches customize the workouts making every workout different and ideal of those who like variety.  Some great locations in Seattle include The LAB or Crossfit Seattle, but Crossfit gyms can be found all across the country.

Stay tuned for another guide to more specific workout options coming soon!