We all have the little things in life that bring us great joy. One of those things for me is having a good journal. I start my day each and every morning with a good cup of coffee and my journal. More and more thought leaders around the word are highlighting the importance of making journaling part of your daily routine. Why has this childhood writing activity become so popular? What are the benefits? Here is a quick an easy list to motivate you to continue or start this habit today.
In an ideal world each and every one of us would be educated in a way that would lead us to the career of our choice and that career would remain exciting for the rest of our ‘working’ years. This is rarely the case in the 21st Century. Although some of us may change careers by choice, with unstable economies and changing needs and demands of the society, it isn’t uncommon to be driven to change your career in order to make ends meet. How can we prepare for this? Is it possible to set a plan B without knowing what the future holds?
Shifting career goals and pursuing a ‘career plan b’ can be overwhelming. In addition to the stress and anxiety that may come with changing careers, there is also a fair bit of uncertainty. Although you cannot control the uncertainty, if you are faced with a career change, whether expected or unexpected, there are a few things to keep in mind to help with the transition.
1. Take stock of your likes and dislikes. When looking to make a career change it is worth taking a long look at what you like and what you don’t like. What types of tasks interest you? What type of tasks are laborious to you? These likes and dislikes will also lead you to think about your passion. When we can work in the areas that we are passionate, work feels a lot less like ‘work’ and we feel a lot more fulfilled.
2. Make a list of your skills. Many of us have skills in one field that are transferable to another field. Take the time to make a list of what you think your best skills are and do some research on which fields your skills are in high demand.
3. Check out local resources. Be sure to see whether there is a job placement center or any community or government programs that support career changers. Some regions have services that help individuals transfer from their current fields to high demand fields. Job placement centers, or other similar resources, can also offer career assessments that can help to guide you towards careers that fit your skills and that you may enjoy.
4. Pursue further training or education. Whether it’s self-directed learning or enrolling in courses, if you see an area where your skills can use sharpening, or where you have an interest and would like to learn more, look for opportunities to educate yourself. Increasing your knowledge in an area you are seeking to enter can only make you more marketable.
5. Don’t forget to network. Networking is an essential part of today’s society. Whether it is at a continuing education class, an evening cocktail party, or at your child’s PTA meeting, take the time to speak with others about what they are up to, and your interest.
The reality is that it is very difficult to plan for the unknown. It’s impossible for us to know what the future holds, but if you are faced with having to make a career change, try your best not to panic. In addition to the aforementioned tips, one of the most important qualities during times of transition is the ability to be flexible. Being flexible and open to risk and new opportunities can open a world of possibilities.
The modern mom, whether working as a mom at home, or in the workforce, juggles many things. As a mother of three and a business owner, I feel as though I constantly have several tabs open in my brain and managing these tabs is essential to avoid the freezing or crashing of the ‘Robinson Home Management System’ or my company.
Stress, whether positive or negative, is inevitable. No matter how organized we are, or how much we try and mitigate situations prior to them occurring, stress will always be a part of life. We cannot control this. What we do have control over is the way that we approach and deal with stress. We have many tools that we can have ready for use, as well as a few lifestyle choices that put us in a better position to deal with daily stresses.
The foundation of a low-stress lifestyle involves 3 essential building blocks: diet, sleep and exercise. Take some time to evaluate your diet. Is it balanced? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you ensuring that you are getting exercise daily? No stress reduction program will be successful in the long term unless you have this solid foundation.
Mindfulness is a topic that has been a growing trend in research and in popular media. What we know about mindfulness is that it is a big part of the happiness equation. Individuals that are intentional about being mindful, tend to be less consumed by daily stresses. Meditating daily or adding an active practice of gratitude to your morning routine can do wonders in guiding you to be present in each moment and helping you to see the ordinary magic that is occurring around you daily.
The key to stress management is being able to identify your stressors and choose an approach to help you manage these stressors. Since stress is different for everyone, your approach must be personalized.
Ask yourself what your stress indicators are. Some people begin to feel anxious, some get neck pain, headaches or backaches. Your symptoms will help you identify exactly what it is that is stressing you out. Once you identify your stressors, you can start to look at how to manage them.
Identifying the cause of stress can help you reduce the number and impact of stressors in your life, and it can help you manage the stress that does occur. If you are having difficulty identifying your stressors, you can always create a stress log. Not only can a stress log help you identify your major stressors, but it can also help you identify trends in those stressors and give you clues as to the best way to manage your stress.
Once you have identified your stressors, you must remind yourself that you have a choice in how you will approach it. You can choose from the three A’s
Once you have chosen the A that is appropriate for the situation, having a plan can make a world of difference in your levels of stress. Additional tools that can help you manage during stressful times include: listening to music, having a sense of humor, soothing stretches, deep breathing, meditation and prayer.
Remember, stress is inevitable. We have both positive and negative stressors that come into our lives daily and that need to be managed. Be intentional about your lifestyle choices and how you approach stress when it arises.
Shifting Perspectives is a weekly conversation with Yolande. Yolande, a Canadian of Caribbean descent, now calls the Turks and Caicos Islands home and in this podcast challenges Caribbean woman worldwide to fuel themselves with diversity in the way they think, the way they work, the way they parent and the way they live.