Ask Linda: Work/Life Balance and Stress Management

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Excerpt from BlueFountain’s Ask Linda Column, Chapter One, Life-Work Balance, on the topic of Stress Management
Dear Linda,
I’m way to young to be so stressed about little things. What can I do about it? She-Who-Is-Too-Young-To-Be-Stressed

Dear Too,
It breaks my heart to hear people of all ages with similar pleas, but especially when it comes from someone so young. Whether you’re experiencing stress because of the heavy time demands and high expectations of day-to-day living in Silicon Valley, or whether you were born with high expectations or the tendency to fret easily, it’s easy to relate to the overwhelming feelings of stress and feel compassion for those who experience it – and they unfortunately surround us. These are some words of wisdom, which I hope that you find helpful.
1. Stress is a point of view – you could be the wealthiest, best-cared-for person around, and experience much more unhappiness and stress than those who have little but appreciate much. So check your point of view.
2. Be clear on the choices you’re making and why you’re making them, and be willing to make changes to better reflect what you want to do. It’s really easy to continue to commit to things you used to enjoy, and also very stressful to keep doing so, AND take on new things. So be sure that what you’re doing now is exactly what you WANT to do and why.
3. Know what you CAN change, and accept and work with what you CAN’T. Don’t waste your time complaining about and fighting against what you can’t change. Have the courage and initiative to change what you can and choose to have a good attitude about what you can’t.
4. Work on your own agenda, don’t try to follow that of others around you. Take the time to know yourself and what drives you and make a stand for yourself, and make choices based on who you are and who you want to become.
5. Surround yourself with people who will support you for who you are, not what you do. It will help you manage your stress level.
6. How you do one thing is how you do everything, so choose to do what you do well and focus on doing the things that you do well. With that said, follow the 80-20 rule – don’t be so perfectionistic that it limits your ability to do a lot of things well and quickly.
7. Find enjoyment and appreciation in little things. Don’t wait until you reach a destination to enjoy the journey! Choose to be happy with all the little things that go well.
8. Nobody’s perfect. Forgive yourself if you’re not, and find a way to learn and move on following every mis-step.
9. Find a way to re-set yourself when you’re feeling overwhelmed and out of balance. The people, experiences and processes you adopt to do this will help you better manage stress overall.
10. Appreciate all you are and all you have and Keep Reaching For Stars.
I hope that you find the advice above useful and welcome your suggestions and edits, and other questions.

Keep being the best YOU you can be!
Linda

About the Ask Linda Column:
BlueFountain features weekly columns addressed to Linda Holroyd’s and includes her responses to life and work questions from members of our community, shared with the permission of the requester, and intended to be informative to others with the same question. It is our hope that the advice, structured in top-ten tips and tricks will help our readers better understand the issues in question, and better address the work-life challenges most relevant to her/him, and better support and empower others in addressing these challenges.

About Linda Holroyd
Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue and BlueFountain
Serial Entrepreneur Linda launched, self-funded and grew FountainBlue which supports collaborative innovation one conversation, one leader, one organization at a time through our monthly events for early stage clean energy, high tech and life science entrepreneurs and women leaders, through our shared learnings distributed to our dynamic communities, and through our coaching services for early-stage CEOs and workshops and retreats for corporations. Through her efforts, FountainBlue has become a premier networking association in the valley, serving the entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial leaders in their early stage initiatives. Linda is a frequent writer and speaker on leadership, entrepreneurship and networking topics and is working on several e-books on these topics. Linda is married and lives with her husband and 12-year-old daughter in the Silicon Valley. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, writing, wellness and fitness, history, hiking, meeting people, and almost any board or card game.

For more information about our monthly events, and to register, visit http://www.fountainblue.biz. For more articles and information about leadership, and to see more Ask Linda articles and leadership quotes, visit our sister organization BlueFountain http://www.bluefountain.biz.

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One Response to “Ask Linda: Work/Life Balance and Stress Management”

  1. nursetom Says:

    The word “Stress” actually relates to wear and tear as when the rubber meets the road on a tire or the brake pads pressing up against the rotor in the wheel. The term as it applies to living organisms was first introduced by Hans Seyle in the 1930’s who defined it as the consequence of the failure of an organism (human or animal) to respond appropriately to emotional or physical threats, whether actual or imagined. Thus stress symptoms are the manifestation of a chronic state of responses to stress triggers that are actually benign. Even a thought can set off the same response mechanism that would be in play while standing in front of a hungry lion. Hence, Seyle’s definition still reaches to the heart of stress management; the idea of the response being inappropriate and engaging in a process of altering ones misperception of pending disaster or imminent danger.

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