7 Ways for Work From Home Parents to Manage Stress

Have you ever felt like you’re being pulled in all directions? Your child (or children) wants one thing, your partner expects another, your work/business needs a good portion of your attention, and maybe we shouldn’t even get started thinking about other responsibilities like taking care of the house or pets. Raising your family is great for your heart, and working from home can be very rewarding, but sometimes the demands of a work from home parent are so strong the stress can feel overwhelming.

If you feel tired and frustrated of the balancing act at the end of the day, take a deep breath and know that there is help!

Consider these ways to manage stress in a chaotic environment:

  1. Focus on what you can control. It’s natural for humans to feel stressed when events don’t go our way. One of the most important lessons in life is to learn to divert our focus towards what we can control.
    • For example, there will be moments when your children don’t act how you expect. Remember that you can’t control how they act, but you can control the example you set for them and the way you react to their behavior.
  2. Prioritize quality time. Think about how you spend your time each day. It’s important not to feel guilty about the time you spend away from your family while working. Instead, make sure the time you do spend with them is quality time.
    • Read to your children before bedtime.
    • Play games, sports, or toys with your children.
    • Teach them new skills, like how to prepare their favorite dish.
  3. Breathe. When you feel stressed, take a deep breath in. Breathing increases the oxygen that goes to your brain and creates a state of calmness. Intentionally taking deep breaths diverts your attention to your body and away from the situation causing you stress.
  4. Optimize your family’s time. Is there a way you and your family can plan to have more quality time together? Even if it might feel like the tasks never end, small changes can make big improvements. If everyone commits to coming together to do family activities at a specified time, you can create a mental separation between your work time and your family time.
  5. Ask for support. If you feel overwhelmed, turn to your partner, family, or a friend and ask for help. The help might be as simple as listening or taking care of the children for one afternoon. You can also hire various professional services that can be a life-saver to work from home parents.
  6. Think about the priorities in your life. If quality time with your children is most important to you, think about whether or not you actually treat it as a priority. If building your business is most important at this stage of your life, think about how you treat your work and if it’s really being prioritized.
  7. Learn to identify things that are not actually urgent. Sometimes we create urgency in our minds. What things can be set aside for a later date? Don’t confuse this with procrastination. The best way to “set aside” other things without just procrastinating is to add things to your calendar to do in the future. That way you have the peace of mind that those tasks will be completed, without having to get it all done right now.
  8. Exercise. Although it may feel difficult to integrate exercise into your busy schedule, physical activity can rejuvenate your body and mind. Even just being outdoors helps clear your thoughts. If you don’t know how to integrate exercise into your schedule, start by turning exercise into a family activity.
    • Schedule daily walks with your family.
    • Plan a daily lunch break and take your children to the park.
    • Take your family to a Zumba or dance class.
    • Pick up an active family activity like cycling or hiking.
  9. Identify your triggers. Being a work from home parent, you probably have different triggers than those who work out of the home. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and think about what triggers different emotions. What annoys you? What makes you feel anxious? When do you notice yourself getting angry? Identifying your triggers is the first step to managing the way you react to these moments. Once you do that, you can start to utilize many different methods to avoid those triggers or move past them entirely.
  10. Set boundaries. What are some recurring situations in life that unnecessarily stress you out? Think about things you need in order to be happy. Maybe you feel stressed because you receive work calls when you spend dinner with your family. Alternatively, maybe you notice you are not receiving enough time alone.
    • Set boundaries with the people around you by communicating what you need.
    • Use technology to your advantage here by using things like the automated “do not disturb” mode on your phone to keep calls from coming in at inopportune times.
    • Separate your work and personal phone numbers by utilizing Google Voice for your business phone number.

The demands of work from home parents are strong. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and as if you’re not doing enough – especially when you want to give everyone around you your world.

Taking the steps to manage your stress will help not just you, but also the ones around you. By being open with the people around you about how you feel and what you need, you will ultimately be able to give more.

 

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Improve Your Performance Through the Magic of Social Facilitation

Social facilitation is a fancy term for the tendency to perform better when we’re working alongside others or just being watched. It’s so basic that even bugs do it. Learn how the presence of others affects your behavior and harness that power to improve your performance and do everything better.

General Principles Related To Social Facilitation

Try these tips to use social facilitation to your advantage:

  1. Engage in friendly comparisons. Studies show cyclists pedal faster when they bike together. It’s natural to try to keep up with the person next to you or exceed their output.
  2. Focus on effort. Observing the accomplishments of others inspires us to see new possibilities. We can see that success is based on hard work rather than being a matter of luck or a special talent.
  3. Surround yourself with reminders. There’s a good reason why many workplaces put up a list of top employees or sales figures.
    • Give yourself something to strive for by noting the benchmarks you want to surpass.
  4. Capitalize on good moods. Social facilitation works best when we’re in good spirits. Hit the gym for an early morning yoga session or use these tips to energize your workday while at the office. You’ll feel more relaxed and happy.
  5. Visualize some company. If you’re on your own, you can still take advantage of the audience effect to improve your performance. For example, imagine experts are watching you and admiring your technique as you wash your car.
  6. Encourage attentiveness. Naturally, attentive audiences have more impact than those who are dozing off. Engage your audience and be an enthusiastic observer when your time comes to cheer others on.
  7. Promote accountability. It’s hard to tell if anyone is slacking off when a lot of people are moving one piece of heavy furniture. Build in ways to measure individual performance.
  8. Understand the opposite sex effect. Audiences of the opposite gender can sometimes inhibit performance if they make people nervous or distracted. Keep that in mind if the choir at your all girl’s school sounds off-key when they first venture out.
  9. Seek solitude for the tricky stuff. In contrast, we all tend to do better at new or complicated tasks when we can rehearse in private. Practice a new card trick before you show it to your friends. Work on your backhand in between tennis lessons.

Specific Applications of Social Facilitation:

  1. Work in teams. Many workplaces encourage employees to work in teams. You can also take the initiative to ask your supervisor to let you take over the conference room to assemble meeting materials or other group tasks.
  2. Give your laptop an afternoon out. Coffee shops and libraries are usually full of people who find they get more work done in public than if they lounge around at home.
    • Even strangers can help each other out just by congregating in one place.
  3. Find a fitness buddy. Enlist a family member or friend to help you stick to your exercise regimen and other healthy lifestyle habits.
    • We’re more likely to stay on track when someone else knows what we’re doing.
  4. Sign up for group activities. Almost anything that we do can be adapted for sharing with others. Put together a weekly poker night or basketball game. If you love to read, form a book club.
  5. Throw a party. It’s easy to feel isolated in a digital world. Stay in practice for socializing and cooperating with others. Accept more party invitations or throw your own. Work on your small talk and seek out opportunities to help others.

Put the power of social facilitation to work for you. Sharing activities promotes fun and productivity. It will be easier to improve your performance and accomplish your goals if you team up with others or just imagine you’re playing to an audience.

 

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Book Launch Basics

Kudos to you for finishing your book! It’s a huge effort that is to be commended for sure, but don’t celebrate too much. There’s still work to be done. Here’s the thing about publishing: sales don’t just happen. You have to market your masterpiece and that starts with a book launch.

Start Early

The biggest mistake you can make when coordinating your book launch is waiting too long. The day you send your book to print is too late. The best book launch starts weeks or even months before your book hits the shelves.

Think about it. There are dozens of moving parts to coordinate and leaving them until the last minute is a recipe for disaster. Instead, give you and your team plenty of time and you’ll enjoy a profitable, stress-free launch.

Outsource

Now is not the time to DIY. You have enough on your plate just trying to get the book ready for publication, so let someone else handle the details. If you already have a project manager, this is a great time to put them to work. If you have a VA who can step into the role and help coordinate the rest of the team, that’s workable as well. But either way, start putting your task list together and get them scheduled:

  • Landing page creation: consider giving away the first chapter of your book before publication to build a buzz (and your mailing list).
  • Social media outreach: teasers are perfect for getting the word out about your upcoming book. Don’t be afraid to “leak” your book cover, create social graphics with quotes, and share your enthusiasm with your tribe.
  • Reviewer outreach: getting reviews on the listing is critical to your book’s success, so now is the time to reach out to beta readers with a review copy, so they have time to read it before you go live.
  • Interview scheduling: one of the best ways to get the word out about your upcoming book is to make the rounds of podcasts, blogs, and live events.
  • Blog and email: don’t neglect your own audience leading up to launch day. Be sure to let them know about your upcoming book by blogging about it and keeping them updated on progress through email.

Steady Radiance Design can help with a lot of these. Reach out to us to see how we can help with getting the word out about your new book!

Have Fun

This is by far the most important thing you can do during your book launch. Enthusiasm is contagious, and the more fun you’re having with it, the better the buzz you’ll build. Plan to step outside your comfort zone a bit too, to really get others talking.

  • Facebook events: if ever there were a good reason to schedule a Facebook event, a book launch is it. Consider setting up a live video feed the day your book launches so you can share your thoughts with your fans.
  • Book trailers: another video that’s well worth the effort is a book trailer. Just like a movie trailer, these short commercial style videos are great for getting the word out about your book.
  • Host a book signing: if you live in or near a large city, or already have a large following, consider hosting a live event. A reading, some hors d’oeuvres, and a few signed books is all it takes, and your fans will love it.

Steady Radiance Design can help with some of these too!

Of course, you don’t have to go to the trouble of launching your book formally at all. But if you do, you’ll enjoy a much better start to your new publishing career. Not only that, but done right, book launches are great fun. That’s something you certainly deserve after all your work.

 

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And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men; Colossians 3:23 AKJV