Tips and Resources to Help Cope with Emotionally Draining Careers

Tips and Resources to Help Cope with Emotionally Draining Careers

It is safe to say that most everyone hits a point in their lives when things can become overwhelming in life. Financial stresses, a lost loved one, and medical complications are just a few of the many ways in which human beings can become quickly stressed, but what many people may not be as ready to admit is how emotionally taxing their jobs can be.

There is something about toughening up, pushing through, or altogether stuffing what we are feeling that appears to be very commonplace in society. Locating the roots of these behaviors would be quite the task considering that such an undertaking would involve forays into psychology, sociology, and economics to say the least.

Regardless of why so many people feel they need to often ignore or fight through the stresses of the workplace— whether in healthcare, education, or social workers serving in mental health fields — it is a very high likelihood that coming to a point of high stress in one’s career is going to happen. More than once. The good news is that, ironically in part to the incredible strains placed upon the collective human psyche during the pandemic, human beings seem to have woken up in large part to how important managing mental health is.

The result is that there are more tools, tips, and resources to help cope with any number of emotional stressors in life. Here are a few for those in emotionally draining careers.

Tips to Help Cope

Self-Care

Some people may roll their eyes when they hear someone talking about “self-care” again. While this might be an understandable reaction considering the frequency and consistency of the topics interjection into dialogues, the point is still firm: self-care practices are a vital set of skills and resources to managing mental and emotional health. There are so many different ways in which someone can practice self-care— yoga, meditation, deep breathing, exercise, eating right, getting quality sleep— everyone can find at least one approach to better managing their mental, emotional, and physical health.

These tips should be considered a front-line defense for any careers that are stressful. Their implementation can do wonders, sometimes in just minutes, to help rebalance and redirect the negative experiences into a state that is much more manageable. The thing to remember is that these areas are meant to be practiced consistently, not just as a last resort when things are out of control.

Maintaining such practices will be a source of strength and wisdom for how to proceed respectfully but should never be a long-term solution to what is ultimately a toxic situation.

Boundaries

Since the invention and influx of new communication technologies in the last century the world has been gradually getting smaller. People are much more reachable. Emails, cell phones, social media, there are a slew of ways to connect and stay connected. While this can be enjoyable and satisfying at times, the pressure to stay in touch with the office and its responsibilities is not only easier but sometimes more of a demand. That’s where boundaries come into play.

Everyone needs to learn how to say, “No”, to people and their demands whether they are innocent or loaded. Sometimes others just don’t have any clue how close to burnout another person is and so, even with an innocent enough request, maybe too much to handle right then. This is why learning self-awareness and practicing the maintenance of healthy work/life balances becomes necessary to managing stressful careers.

Maybe It’s Time for a Vacation

It may be a commonly cited bit of trivia nowadays that Americans are particularly bad at taking their vacation days. In 2019, the U.S Travel Association reported that a collective 768 million days   of vacation time went unused. That, in comparison to the number of paid holidays and vacation days that other countries offer— like France, Austria, Spain, and New Zealand— it is almost no wonder that Americans are stressed out at work.

Of course, the reasons for this entail far more than just not taking vacation days, but it brings to mind the most obvious conclusion: maybe tapping into more of that time off might help everyone’s stress levels. At the very least, it can do wonders for managing a draining career.

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