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••• The International Writers Magazine - 23 Years on-line - Writer's Careers

4 Ways to Be Mindful in a High-Paced Career
• Indiana Lee

According to the American Institute of Stress, 83% of U.S. workers suffer from work-related stress. While that stress can stem from different aspects of the workplace, it can be heightened when you’re in a high-paced career with a lot of pressure.

Image Source: Pexels

Fast-paced careers are often equated with success, but it’s important to weigh the cost of that success with your well-being. If you don’t take time for yourself, you could risk burning out and dealing with anxiety, depression, or sleep issues. The stress from work could also hurt your social life and eventually take its toll on your productivity.

One of the best ways to strike a better work-life balance and establish healthy boundaries around your career is to be more mindful.

Not sure how to put mindfulness into practice? Let’s cover a few ideas that can help.

1. Practice Preventative Healthcare

Being more mindful of your health will make it easier to form natural boundaries with your work. Far too often, fast-paced jobs cause people to ignore their health until there’s a problem. Unfortunately, by that time, it can take a lot of work to get back in shape or deal with any problematic ailments or illnesses.

By regularly visiting the doctor and making preventative healthcare a priority, you’ll be able to stay in top shape to do well in your demanding career. More importantly, you’ll make your priorities clear to yourself and others – your well-being is what matters most. When you choose to set that boundary with your employer, they’re more likely to respect your time and dedication to your health without piling on more work.

2. Take Regular Breaks

Most people don’t associate taking breaks with productivity. However, studies have shown that employees who regularly take breaks throughout the day are more productive overall. Taking frequent breaks can also reduce your stress levels and make it easier to avoid burnout.

How you spend your breaks is up to you. However, if you want to make the most of that stress-reducing time, consider some of the following ideas.

  1. Take a walk outside
  2. Meditate
  3. Practice deep breathing
  4. Talk to a co-worker or friend

You might be surprised to find how beneficial frequent breaks are, and how much more you can get done in a day when you choose to manage your time effectively.

3. Don’t Take Work Home

For years, the U.S. has been considered the most overworked nation in the world. Employees here work more hours, take more work home, and take fewer vacations than most people do in other countries.

If you have a high-paced career, it might sometimes feel like you have to bring work home with you to get everything done. Even if you’re not physically bringing anything through the door, how often are you thinking about work while you’re at home? How many times have you answered a work email late at night or on the weekend?

If you want to use mindfulness correctly, embrace the discomfort of getting out of these work habits. If you’re home or on a break and thoughts start to enter your head about what you could/should be doing for work, let them pass by. Let go of those worries for the time being, and focus on the present.

4. Understand the Warning Signs of Burnout

If you’ve been hustling in a fast-paced job for a long time, it can be difficult to recognize when you’re on the edge of burning out. Some of the most common signs include

  1. Reduced performance
  2. Low productivity
  3. Anxiety
  4. Detachment from your work
  5. A bad mood

Unfortunately, burnout is common for people with heavy workloads, a lack of control in the workplace, and few rewards. That’s why people in high-paced jobs like nursing often experience burnout in addition to compassion fatigue.

However, whether you work in an office setting, in public health, or even in a fast-paced factory, recognizing these signs can serve as a red flag to take a break – and not just for a few minutes.

These warning signs are strong indicators that you need to practice self-care. By being mindful of your well-being instead of your work, you can come back to your job feeling refreshed, balanced, and happier.

Self-care looks different for everyone. It might include a day at the spa or cooking your favorite meal. It could also include exercising or journaling. Find something you’re able to do that relaxes you each day, and practice mindfulness while you’re doing it. Stay in the moment, and focus on how that activity makes you feel.

Whether you want to be more mindful during the workday, at home, or in every aspect of your life, you have to commit to taking control of your thoughts and letting go of unrealistic expectations. You can still find success in a high-paced career without burning out or giving up your personal life. Use these tips to be more mindful, and you’ll enjoy the best of both worlds.

 Indiana Lee © Indiana Lee 6.23.22

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