Taking Control of Your Day

Between the duties of work and home, you may have more to do than time to get it done.

Some levels of stress are healthy because they can make you more focused, productive and emotionally stronger. But chronic, overwhelming stress is not healthy for you, your coworkers or your family. To find your balance, take steps to understand stress and know how to ask for help.

How Do You Respond?

People typically respond to stressful circumstances in one of four ways. Self-awareness in terms of how you respond is the first step
toward identifying ways to adapt. Which of these four stress management behaviors do you practice most often?

1. Avoid—If you tend to distract yourself or put things off (procrastinate), try to stay more engaged with your stressors. Make a list of ideas to help you do this.
2. Complain—If you externalize stress and share your negative emotions with others, this can adversely impact them. Try to look at the situation more objectively. Try putting yourself in someone else’s position and imagine how that person would respond.
3. Obsess—If you focus all of your time and energy on whatever is causing you stress, give yourself a break. When you return to addressing the responsibilities at hand, you will have a fresh perspective.
4. Internalize—If you have self-doubt or a tendency to take on blame, practice self-care and forgiveness to get some perspective on the situation.

Do you need help managing your stress? The CHI Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can assist employees with stress management, relationships, work/life balance, legal concerns, financial issues, and grief ? and loss. Call EAP at 877.679.3819.

Speak Up

Once you identify your natural response to stress, look for actions you can take to address the situation and create an environment of calmness. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. When asking for help, consider what you need:

» Tools and resources—At work, you may need extra time, a hand from a coworker, additional technology, templates or collaboration with other experts or departments. At home, you may need physical or financial support from family members to help you do things better or more efficiently.
» Information—In the office, you may need more expertise, facts, feedback, training or buy-in. It’s hard to correctly solve an issue without the right information. At home, you may need assistance with internet research or making phone calls to experts.
» Emotional support—In the workplace and at home, a trusted confidante who listens and offers advice or a bit of comic relief can be an indispensable resource. Look for a family member or friend who will let you productively vent about the situation, provide humor or perspective, or even offer some good advice.