Tagged With stress

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The point of a holiday, however long, is to help you de-stress. And sometimes that means doing something instead of lounging around doing nothing. If you have a pile of personal to-dos that are weighing you down, using a leave day to get to those things you never seem to have time for can go a long way for your well-being.

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Most of us suffer from work-related stress from time to time -- it's part of the human condition. While most instances of stress are manageable, others can seriously affect your overall health and well-being. This comprehensive flowchart breaks down all the things that contribute to stress; from sleeping habits to work deadlines.

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High school and university students are suffering from unprecedented levels of anxiety, and anyone raising teenagers these days knows they're coping with huge amounts of stress. This goes double for girls, who have what Rachel Simmons calls "role overload" in her book Enough as She Is: How to Help Girls Move Beyond Impossible Standards of Success to Live Healthy, Happy and Fulfilling Lives. Girls have to be smart and beautiful and athletic and ... they have to look as though playing all these roles takes no effort at all.

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Parents today are stressed. They have lost old friends. They miss their old hobbies. They're too tired for sex. They feel judged. A few years ago, one study reported that the drop in happiness after having a first kid was larger than when experiencing unemployment, divorce or the death of a partner. Yes, unemployment, divorce or the death of a partner. A lot of factors play into the struggle - economics, social media, the dissolution of the parenting village - but a big one has got to be this: We care a whole lot about fulfilling the wishes of our kids.

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Everyone gets stressed, be it from their job, their partner, or even just reading the news. For me, my typical solution to a stressful situation is to go on a walk and think about something else. When I get back to my desk or that fight with my boyfriend everything doesn't seem quite as bad as it did before I went on that stroll.

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On Saturdays and Sundays, I don't look at any media, social or otherwise. Those are nice days! It's like a spa treatment for the brain. But unfortunately, my brain is addicted to social media, so come Monday I'm clicking and swiping and freaking out at every piece of horrifying information that comes across my newsfeed. Wouldn't it be nice if there were a way to keep up with family and friends, and even a bare minimum of news, without being forced to see every dreadful thing that the Facebook sidebar throws in your face?

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I know, you're busy and you have work to do, but you also need to take some time off to recharge those batteries. So, should you plan one big holiday for the year? Or should you sparse out your days for multiple holidays throughout? Quantity can sometimes beat quality.

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Last week I went to see author John Green while he was on his book tour for Turtles All the Way Down. It was a fun night of emotional speeches, lectures from his brother Hank dressed as a turtle professor (really), dubious advice, and even music, but there was something Green said that really stuck with me.

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There are many ways to manage and reduce daily stress. Unfortunately, most of them require a significant time commitment. If you're already overworked and struggling to keep on top of things, all that "wasted" time will leave you feeling more haggard than before. With that in mind, here are eight de-stressing techniques that only take around 15 minutes to pull off.

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If you're on a budget and you're looking for some great ways to relax and unwind beyond just going for a walk or taking a nap, this graphic has about fifty of them, all of which may take a little time, but never any money. Best of all, it's organised chronologically, so you can try them at different parts of the day.

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In the months after my kids were born, the news cycle would send me into tailspins of anxiety and fear. The Penn State sex-abuse scandal and the Newtown shootings paralysed me for days -- I wept while changing nappies, wept in the bathtub, wept while pushing the stroller down the street. What might have been (merely!) horrifying pre-kids was now incapacitating. For my own mental health, I had to stop reading the news and looking at social media.

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For some reason, I'm able to get my work done quicker and more efficiently if I'm on a tight deadline. If I'm writing a blog post, for example, the words seem to flow faster and more easily when I know I only have a couple of hours to turn it in. Entrepreneur Dan Martell calls this a "forcing function" and explains how you can use it to your advantage.

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I don't know about you, but my world has been a little more stressful since... say, last November. Even without the continuous news updates -- and the time I spend reading them, along with the various Twitter threads that try to game theorise them -- I've got a lot to manage and balance in my life: I work part-time as an editor, my debut novel comes out this May, I'm completing assignments for a number of freelance writing clients, I teach writing classes and I'm a volunteer tutor. (And that's just the work stuff.)

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There is only one place on the internet that is nice. There is only one place that does not add to my anxiety and actually alleviates the low level dread that comes with the ubiquitous awareness of being online all of the time. That place is Instagram.