Community Quarantine: Working from Home During These Times

Two key focuses of my blog are Career Discussions and Current Events. The Coronavirus/Covid-19 Pandemic has at least temporarily changed workplace conditions around the world. While working at home sounds like a win-win, there are some caveats to it, especially if you aren’t used to it. The following guest post is entitled, Community Quarantine: Working from Home During These Times.

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Now that the country is under quarantine, with Luzon on enhanced community quarantine, working from home is now being implemented by the government and most companies in the private business sector.

Under the threat of the COVID-19 disease, the Philippine government is encouraging private companies to make adjustments to its processes and put in place a work-from-home structure. If you’re new to this scenario, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your time at home:

5 Ways to Be Productive as You Work from Home

1. Treat it as you would any normal workday at the office.

Simply because you’re working from home now doesn’t mean you need to make major adjustments in life. You still need to go about it as you would any normal day at the workplace.

Wake up early. Take a bath. Prepare your work station. Clock in at a certain time to start your workday. Focus on the day’s tasks and deliverables.

It will still pretty much be the same thing you do at work. The only difference is you’re getting all your work done from home. Establish a routine to maintain or even enhance your productivity.

2. Prioritize.

Take a look at your day-to-day tasks and prioritize them according to importance or degree of difficulty. If you are uncertain which ones are needed the most at the end of the day, give your supervisor or boss a call. Sure, you don’t have access to your PBX business phone systems but a text message or an email should do the trick. Knowing which tasks are priority helps determine how your day will go.

3. Organize your schedule and try to stick to it.

Once you have already identified which deliverables are urgent and which ones can wait, plot down your schedule according to these tasks.

Writing down your daily or weekly schedule helps establish the rhythm that you need to keep you on track. Working from home can give you plenty of distractions. You need something tangible to help keep you from getting off-course and keep you goal-oriented throughout the day and week.

4. Take breaks.

One of the things some people tend to take for granted is taking breaks. Breaks are essential to a person’s productivity. These help you recharge and refocus after lengthy periods. Taking a break is not exactly a luxury, but it is a necessity for any worker.

When you take breaks, it is recommended to step away from your workstation. Stand up, stretch a bit, walk around to get the blood flowing in your system, and enjoy a cup of coffee or a sandwich. Do whatever normal people would do at the office when on break.

5. Stop at the end of the day.

Like any other workday, you should stop at a certain time. One of the downsides of working from home is some people can no longer differentiate time for work and time away from it.

Clock out at the end of your day. Once you have already completed your eight hours, step away from your work station and move on to the finer things in life like spending time with your family or taking your well-deserved rest.

Working from home is a privilege. Do not take it for granted. Work when you need to work, stop when you should stop. Learn how to properly balance work and life. Learning how to manage that will make you more productive in the end.

How To Come Back From A Forced Change In Career

Two of the focuses of my blog are Career Discussions and General Education. As some point, there are inevitable changes in our careers. Many workers are not prepared for changes, though they must figure out how to move forward. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Come Back From A Forced Change In Career.

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There are times where we suddenly take a change of course in our career for one reason or another. Sometimes it’s a decision that we make, and sometimes it isn’t. When that change of career is forced upon us, due to a lack of demand for your current role, redundancy, a drop in sales, or something bigger, there are things you can do to help ease into the transition, from one career to another. Here are some ideas from people who have been there before, and ways in which you can prevent the changes impacting you significantly.

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

Try something you enjoy
There may be a franchise out there for you, that you have always wanted to try, having a look at the Franchise Direct, might find the right one that you’ve always been looking for, or there may be a hobby that you currently have that you can turn into a career. There are many big business owners, who will tell you that doing what you enjoy will help you in your success. There is some psychology behind this because we always work harder when we want to, and if we are doing something that we enjoy doing, then we will, of course, want to. But finding out what this does take time, so if you aren’t lucky enough to have time to change your mind, then thinking back about all the roles that you have taken in the past, and which ones you enjoyed the most, may point you in the right direction.

Back to basics
Going back to basics, whether that is starting a course on a new subject, going back to school, or rebooting your existing business, there is a world of opportunity At your feet, and there is plenty that you are able to do in the opportunities you have been given. Going back to basics can actually mean many things, but if there is something that you’ve always wanted to learn, it may be a great opportunity to try now. Taking your time and really discovering what the intentions of your learning is, and making sure that you do your best along the way, will have you coming out the other end feeling great about it. And learning a new skill can boost your career in ways you may never have imagined before.

Stay calm
If you’re changing career isn’t necessarily your choice, then it may be a bit of a shock to your system, and might be a stressful time for you. But nobody is productive whilst they are panicking, so making sure that you have a plan, are keen to ensure that you fix the problems ahead, and do your very best, then there’s no point worrying about anything else. A calm mind is a productive mind, and you will find yourself in a much better position if you look after your mental health through this time.

So even though change isn’t always easy, it can be as good as a rest and may bring opportunities that you could not have imagined before. So taking care that you calmly look at your options, and make the right decisions for you is important.

Challenges Facing The STEM Sector

Two key focuses of my blog are Career Discussions and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). While we’re encouraging participation in the STEMs today, there are potential challenges in the sector going forward which we must also be aware of. The following contributed post is entitled, Challenges Facing The STEM Sector.

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Without a thriving STEM sector, it is hard for a nation to rise and meet its obligations and challenges for the future. Considering that STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, it’s easy to see just how much of what goes into building a country falls under that banner. Then, consider that (before Coronavirus hit, throwing all future plans into chaos), the USA is on target to have 2million STEM jobs unfilled from the 3.5million that it needs to source by 2025. America needs to work on its STEM shortage; so what can be done?

It seems clear that something needs to be done. 2025 isn’t some mythical far-off future; it’s five years away. STEM, by any reckoning, is a field from which we get doctors, pharmacists, engineers of all kinds and programmers, along with a great many other occupations. If there is a reluctance among younger people to focus on STEM subjects, and a lack of aspiration towards careers in the sector, what does the future hold for all of these industries?

There is a significant gender gap in STEM industries

It is easy to point fingers and find explanations for a shortfall of women in the STEM workforce, and yet… the key fact is that the industries are not attracting anywhere near as many young women as they need to be. At the crucial ages of 15-16 – just as they are starting to focus closely on what they’ll be doing at college – just 20% of girls have a positive impression of engineering jobs. Other numbers suggest that as many as three-quarters of school-age kids don’t understand what STEM careers entail – so creating the conditions to change this is an essential first step.

Concerningly, the reputation of science fields at academic institutions is not great from an equalities point of view, with women on campus reporting a pervasive culture of sexual harassment.

Less inward immigration means fewer overseas experts

Regardless of one’s political standpoint, it is necessary to point out that you can either have a world-leading STEM sector at all levels or a country that applies harsh limits on immigration. You cannot have both, and the numbers of H-1B visas being issued is trending downwards in all sectors – including to STEM graduates. This, according to experts in the field, is inevitably handing advantages to other countries – notably China which is home to 4.7 million graduates in the field, compared to America’s 560,000 as of 2016.

The term STEM is often poorly-defined

Who works in STEM, in your opinion? A few occupations were named above and, for sure, doctors and engineers are certainly STEM experts. Anyone getting in touch with LOC Scientific for essential lab equipment, or researching potential cures for illnesses like the one sweeping the planet right now is also a STEM worker. So, too, is any architect or therapist – and the lack of clarity over the definition of such a vital term could be overall off-putting for people who think about the whole sector as having to do with bubbling flasks and test-tubes. Perhaps, more than anything else, what STEM needs in the next five years is a rebrand.

How to Cultivate Successful Employer-Employee Relationships

Two key focuses of my blog are Career Discussions and Professional Development/Skills. In any workplace, employer-employee relations are absolutely critical and are the lifeblood to achieving the mission. The following contributed post is entitled, How to Cultivate Successful Employer-Employee Relationships.

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Image Credit – Pixabay

In any business, human relationships are key. Whether you are working in a small start-up environment, or in a multinational conglomerate, personal relationships will always have an effect on the mood of the office, staff morale, and productivity. When thinking about business, it is often too tempting to boil it down to numbers and cold hard facts – and forget the humans who will be processing and creating all that data. This is a mistake, and it is only by considering a business holistically that you can start to truly understand and perfect how it operates.

The most important, and perhaps most tricky, relationship to manage is that of the boss or line-manager, and their employee. There is a thin line to tread between resentment, mutual respect, and an over-friendliness that can damage objectivity. However, there are standards and cultures you can implement in any setting that will help create successful and productive relationships.

Honesty

Honesty is key. Without it, relationships can fester and stagnate – as true in a business setting as it may be in a romantic context. If any problems do arise between managers and their staff, it is important that both feel able to immediately express this in a calm and productive manner. You can help this along by implementing clear structures for performance management, including consistent feedback and reviews.

Team-Building

It may seem frivolous to some, but team-building exercises can be fundamental in building a feeling of camaraderie around an office, and levelling the ground between supervisors and workers. Consider taking a group of employees who may need to work closely together to a team building day out. If this is unfeasible, put together a smaller package of activities you can introduce for an hour in the office. This will increase morale, help your staff feel motivated and appreciated, and encourage honesty and team-work across other areas of the workplace.

Lines of Responsibility

Whilst keeping everyone feeling like a team working on the same level is helpful, it is also important to have clearly delineated lines of responsibility. Often, feelings of resentment can spring from people suspecting others are ‘treading on their toes’, micromanaging or interfering unnecessarily in their work, creating an atmosphere of distrust. This can be solved by ensuring everyone knows clearly what their roles and responsibilities are, drawing clear lines that can be adhered to, and avoiding the muddy waters that can cause tension.

Respect

Perhaps the most important aspect of the supervisor-supervisee relationship to cultivate is that of mutual respect. It is also the hardest to create and quantify. Mutual respect will allow employees to disagree, debate and even discipline each other, whilst remaining in a productive headspace free from resentment or anger. Through team-building and clearly drawn lines of responsibility and feedback, a culture of respect can be created in your workplace.

Reward

If discipline is to be effective, there must be a carrot as well as a stick. Workplace rewards are a great way for employers and their managers to signal appreciation for each others’ hard work in a way that is professional and within company policy. By introducing systems of peer-to-peer recognition, and appreciation that can move up the hierarchy as well as down, you are helping to create an environment where everyone will want to work for each other as well as for themselves.

Following a Passion And Making Money From It

Three of the focuses of my blog are Career Discussions, Financial Literacy/Money, and Business/Entrepreneurship. Many employees eventually get to a point where they have to weigh staying in their career versus pursuing their passion. If one is to pursue their passion full-time, the economics have to be thought out. The following contributed post is entitled, Following a Passion And Making Money From It.

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Following a passion can be a risky move for a lot of people. This is what causes most to avoid embracing their dream, and instead, staying in their current position. Despite this, there are success stories when it comes to following a passion, which is why people continue to do so.

However, you can’t just chase your passion because you’re tired of your current job. It doesn’t work like that. You also need to put in a lot of effort and energy with plenty of planning and dedication to ensure that you understand what you are getting into. To ensure you can make this possible, these are the tips you need to remember.

Have a Plan

Having a plan before starting anything is always recommended, so it doesn’t matter if you’re starting an East Coast Wings & Grill Franchise to get some business-ownership experience or quitting your job to create art full-time, you need to understand every step from the first day to the last.

Making plans is not fun, and it can be tricky to make a proper plan without any experience. However, knowing where you want to be in a year, five years, or ten years will help you deal with each stage of the process.

Have Patience

Making money by following a passion is not something that will happen overnight, and even those who seem to sprout up out of nowhere and become famous instantly still put in plenty of work to get them to where they are.

It’s vital to keep this in mind when following a passion. You may expect to hit the heights immediately, but the reality is that it could take weeks, months, or even years before you start to reap the benefits.

Expect Challenges

There will be challenges every minute of every day when you are following your passion and trying to make money from it. You will face people who don’t believe in you; you will have times where you are told you can’t do this, by both friends and industry experts. However, if you really care about making this a success, it’s vital to keep going.

Put Enough Into It

You cannot achieve your dream half-heartedly, and if you want to make something of yourself by following your passion, you need to put enough into it that you find the success you crave.

This means plenty of hours working out your next steps. It means ensuring that everything you submit and propose is perfect. It means sacrificing hanging out with friends and even saving money to help you launch your business when it is finally ready.

Transforming a Hobby Into Something More

Many people dream of doing something with their hobby and making money from it, but there’s a reason that not everyone is successful in doing so. Following your passion takes guts and dedication, so if you feel like you have what it takes to make these changes in your life, remember these essential tips for following a passion and making money from it.

5 Ways to Enrich Your Life While Working 9 to 5

Three focuses of my blog are Career Discussions, Health/Wellness and Professional Development/Skills. Many people stagnate once setting into a 9 to 5 career/job while others continue to grow and thrive. There are ways to continue thriving both personally and professionally while working your 9 to 5. The following guest post is entitled, 5 Ways to Enrich Your Life While Working 9 to 5.

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Time is a precious resource not everyone has. This becomes especially relevant when you reach your adulthood. The typical set-up for most working adults is a 9-5 job. Some work for as long as 10 hours, or work during nighttime. You might be cursed with daily 3-hour commutes. Much of your adulthood will be spent on earning a living and a lot of times you won’t have a weekend well spent aside from lounging around.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t live your life to the fullest while working hard. There are many ways you can enrich your life and get the most out of every situation-if you make time for them. Here are some ways you can step out of your 9-5 box and enrich the moments in your life:

Learn New Skills

The advent of new technologies like the Internet and smartphones paved the way for easier access to things you might not know yet. More often than not, if you don’t know something, you Google it. You can go to online schools and open universities to learn something new. Better yet, you can even learn new skills from YouTube, like learning how to cook or fix the sink.

Also, if you can manage your time, you can try to go to take vocational courses from accredited institutions or continue your education and take a graduate degree. All these can add something new or further hone your skillset, which can help you in the long run.

Declutter Your Life

Take a page from Marie Kondo’s minimalistic way of living and declutter your life. Fill your life with things that spark you joy; get rid of things that don’t make you happy or you have no use of anymore. You can donate old clothes, recycle your stack of papers, or even cut contact with someone toxic from your life. When it comes to work, categorize and sort everything. Make everything in your life valuable and it’ll help you in the long run.

Practice Mindfulness

Become more self-aware. Mindfulness brings you to the forefront of your very situation instead of being stuck in the past. You can do this kind of meditation whenever you’re feeling pressured with your work, or with making a very important decision. You can do things with a clear mind. It lets you become objective; you attune to what’s happening right now, regulating your emotions.

Apart from being a good stress reliever, you gain control that otherwise would’ve been lost when you panic or freeze.

Don’t Forget to Relax

When you have no plans for the weekend, sometimes you might be thinking to yourself: “How do I make the most of my weekend?” Well, there’s more to life than doing a Netflix binge, so do whatever relaxes you. If it’s reading by a warm fireplace, then do that. If you’re more of an extrovert, try doing volunteer work. Be creative, express yourself.

Take Control of Your Narrative

“Live your life so it’s a story to tell,” says one lifehack. Sometimes, there are things that hold you back from achieving great heights. Although, other times, it’s you who’s holding you back. You need to gain the courage and confidence to step up and take a leap of faith. You know yourself well; you know well what you can do.

You don’t have to leave your 9 to 5 to do anything rewarding for your life. Go in headfirst with no regrets. If you stumble along the way or get to the finish line in the end, it’ll be a rewarding, learning experience for you.

How To Make The Most Of Your Car Commute

A key focus of my blog is Career Discussions. Many of us spend significant amounts of time every week commuting to and from work. That time can actually be used constructively if properly planned for. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Make The Most Of Your Car Commute.

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Some of us spend hours a week commuting to work. This can often feel like time wasted – especially for those of us who drive to work. While those using public transport may be able to read a book or play on their phone or even get work done on a laptop, you can’t do this while driving a car. Fortunately, there are still ways in which you can occupy your time and be productive without taking your concentration off the road. Here are just a few ways to make the most of your car commute.

Entertain and educate yourself with audiobooks

While listening to music is a reliable way to occupy a car journey, audiobooks could be an alternative way to pass the time. These could be audiobooks as a form of entertainment such as novels or autobiographies – or they could be educational audio-guides such as language learning audiobooks. There are lots of platforms from which you can download and stream audiobooks. There are even places where you can download free audiobooks as listed at this site Book Riot. Not everyone is able to concentrate on audiobooks while driving, but for many it can be a relaxing way to pass the time.

Take advantage of voice command and smart technology

Using a smartphone while driving is dangerous and in most cases illegal. However, voice command and smart technology have made it possible to use many phone functions safely and legally. Many modern cars are able to be linked up via Bluetooth to your phone – using voice command you can then do everything from making calls to setting calendar reminders to even dictating texts hands-free. Even if your car doesn’t have this technology, you may be able to use wearable tech such as Amazon Echo glasses to link to your phone. In fact, you can also link up this technology to other smart devices that you own. This could include your home’s heating or even your home’s garage door – using voice command, you could turn on the heating remotely while driving back home so that you get back to a warm home, as well as using voice command to open your garage door as you pull up so that you don’t have to get out your car or press any buttons.

Buy yourself a thermal flask

Being able to drink coffee on your way to work could help you to stay energised and offer some comfort. With a thermal flask, you can keep your coffee warm for the whole journey. Of course, coffee isn’t the only thing you can put in a flask – you could also put soup in here or even porridge. Take some time shopping around for the most decent flask you can find and consider buying a clip-on cupholder if your car doesn’t already have one (this will ensure your flask doesn’t spill and that you can easily access it while driving).

4 Careers To Consider That Will Keep You On Your Feet

Two key focuses of my blog are Career Discussions and Professional Development/Skills. For some individuals, there comes a time for a career change. There numerous exhilarating careers which take place outside of the office and require small or large-scale movement. The following contributed post is entitled, 4 Careers To Consider That Will Keep You On Your Feet.

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Are you looking for a different type of job? It’s possible that you’re not suited for a career where you’re going to be stuck behind a desk. Not everyone is a match for these types of positions and that’s okay. Does it mean that you’re going to be stuck in a dead-end position or that you are not going to be fulfilled on your professional journey? While it is going to depend on the position you choose, in most cases, an active position can be just as rewarding as those where you spend most of your time in the office.

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Law Enforcement

You might want to consider working in law enforcement. This will be the perfect career for you if you have a passion for justice and are keen to help serve your local community. Pay levels can be strong too, particularly as you rise through the ranks. It is important that you receive the right training for this type of position. However, police training is available from numerous companies and can easily be arranged before or during your career path.

Fitness Instructor

Of course, if you want a lighter career path that has a little less pressure and stress attached to the role then becoming a fitness instructor could be a great choice for you. As a fitness instructor, you will be able to push your body to reach its max potential and encourage other people to do the same. You will also be able to stay on your feet for most of the day and thus remain in fantastic shape. It’s a tiring career but it is one that can provide tremendous benefits. Particularly, when you start to think about setting up your own brand or running your own full fitness business. You can branch out too, providing online support as well as gym sessions.

Travel Wonder

If you’re looking for one of the best and most fulfilling active careers, then you should definitely consider a life traveling to places unknown. Now, you’re probably wondering whether you can earn money while traveling. You definitely can but it won’t work for everyone. There is an element of luck involved and yes, it does help if you are conventionally attractive. However, more than this, you need to have a great personality or charm that people can connect with. They have to want to follow you on your journey. This will earn you online followers and will lead to money-making opportunities.

Journalist

Finally, you might think that journalism is precisely the type of career that is going to keep you behind the desk. But this is not the case. The reality is that you will be out in the real world, talking to people, connecting with people and running interviews. You will actually only spend a few hours in the office at any given time in most journalism roles. It provides a lot of the freedom that people often seek when pursuing a different type of career.

We hope this helps you find the perfect active career for you.

3 Ways You Can Become a Better Boss

Two of the focuses of my blog are Career Discussions and Professional Development/Skills. Many individuals want to be the boss, but it comes with a great deal of responsibility and risk. In many instances it requires constant learning and evolution. The following contributed post is entitled, 3 Ways You Can Become a Better Boss.

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Looking after your workforce can have many benefits for your business. If you have a high turnover rate, this could possibly mean that staff morale could be low due to the frequent number of employees that have been replaced amongst other things.

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As the owner of the business, the last thing you want is for this to reflect badly on your company. For this reason, you will need to be proactive in making sure you are giving your employees what they need to be able to the job well. And also enjoy the job they are being employe to do and want to stick with you.

A happy workforce has the potential to totally change your company’s fortune. After all, chances are, if you have people working for you, you realistically can’t do this all yourself. So what can you do to change the fortunes of your company by focussing on your employee’s needs?

Staff Training

Are you taking the time to properly train employees when they start work with your company? It can be tempting to rush training, especially if you need to replace employees quickly to keep things ticking over. But in short, this could harm you in the longer-term rather than help you.

Sending an under-qualified, under-trained member of staff to do something they are confident doing could have a detrimental effect on your company. Resulting in poor customer service, flouting of health and safety regulation and again, poor staff morale. Invest in their future with you and make sure they have been thoroughly trained to help them do what they need to do well.

Look After Their Emotional and Physical Well Being

Have you taken the time to get to know your employees and what they require to be able to work? A lot of people have different physical requirements to help them be able to do their jobs. Being able to accommodate this or make allowances or adaptations will make you feel that you care about them and have their best interests at heart.

Contracting a company such as Jobfit Health Group can help you provide healthcare for your staff including pre-hiring checks and workplace injury assessments. Making the health of your staff a priority will instil trust throughout your workforce.

Provide the Correct Equipment

Sure training the team is highly important, but so is making sure they have the correct tools for the job too. Employees can’t expect to do their jobs well without the correct equipment for what they need to. From the right, suitable safety clothing, to stationery, or even company cars to keep in touch with clients. People work better when they have everything they need to do their job easily. Unsure of what they need? Ask them! After all, they are the ones performing the job day after day, they will know what will make things easier for them.

At the same time, if what they need is more flexibility, can you see how you can offer this to. From the working parents who need to start at slightly altered working hours or even the option to work from home to reduce days taken off sick to those with health issues who struggle to do things able-bodied people take for granted.

How to Relax after you Have Had a Manic Week at Work

Two of the focuses of my blog are Career Discussion and Health/Wellness. While we all have to make a living, sometimes our work weeks can exact heavy tolls on our qualities of life. As such it’s important to understand how to manage your health under such circumstances. The following contributed post is entitled, How to Relax after you Have Had a Manic Week at Work.

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If you feel as though things are just getting too much at work, then this may show that you need to spend some time relaxing. If you don’t then you may find that the stress gets worse and that you are unable to deal with it as well as you once could. If you want to get around this then you need to focus on giving yourself some downtime now and again.

Schedule Downtime

The first thing that you need to do is make downtime a specific goal. Schedule it into your daily schedule and also make sure that you give yourself 5 minutes from time to time. At the end of the week, you might also want to have a date night as well. Little things like this can really help you to achieve a true state of relaxation and you would be surprised at how much it could help you in the long-run. If there’s a show coming up, why not book no service fee tickets?

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Disconnect

It doesn’t matter how you choose to unwind because it can be difficult for you to truly relax if you are constantly thinking about work. The first thing that you have to do whenever you leave the office is turn your phone off. You also need to make sure that you avoid bringing work home with you as well. After all, you deserve to have some “you” time and there is only so much you can put work first.

Take a Hot Shower

The best and easiest way for you to leave work behind you would be for you to have a shower or a hot bath. When you have a hot shower you can easily wash the tension away from your body. Water is known for having a calming effect on both the mind and the soul. If you want to get the best result out of your soak, then try and splash some cool water on your face afterwards. This will energise the cells in your body. If you are having a bath then light some aromatic candles.

Exercise or Take Part in Team Sports

Working off stress is always a good thing. Exercise will release endorphins and you cannot argue with science. Regular exercise will help you to feel more energetic and it will also help you to feel better about yourself too. The best thing about team sports is that they have a huge social element to them. If you prefer to exercise alone then a good playlist can always work in your favour.

Get out of the House

Being out in the open after being cooped up all day will really help you to relax and it will also better your mental health. When the weather is fine, you need to try and seek out nature. You don’t have to go much further than your garden either. A bit of fresh air will help you to unwind and it can work wonders for your overall stress levels. So when the sun is out, get a chair and put your feet up.