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Lord St John on Effectively Managing Stress When You Work in Politics

How can you manage stress when working in public office?

Working in politics is one of the most stressful career paths in the world. And while there isn’t much that can be done to reduce the stressful nature of the job, it is possible to develop habits to manage personal stress and avoid burnout. Here are some of the best ways to manage your stress levels when you work in politics.

  • Exercise Daily

One of the best things you can do to manage work-related stress is exercise. Daily physical activity releases endorphins, the body’s “feel-good chemical.” Endorphins contribute to increased optimism and work as natural painkillers. Exercise also reduces adrenaline and cortisol, which are the body’s stress hormones. Furthermore, a daily workout can become a pleasant escape from the pressure and demands of work. 

  • Recharge as Needed

In a political career (or almost any career today), you will likely feel pressure to be available at all times. It’s critical, however, that you take time off to recover from stress. During your recovery time, avoid all work-related activities and try not to think about work as much as possible. If you take the proper time to recover, you will be able to return to work feeling recharged and more effective than if you attempt to push through stressful times without rest.

  • Keep a Journal

Another effective way to reduce work-related stress is to keep a journal. Studies have found that there are numerous benefits of journaling for stress management. For example, one study found that journaling has a positive correlation to “decreased mental distress and increased well-being.” Whenever you’re feeling stressed or anxious, try writing down how you’re feeling. The act of writing down your feelings helps you feel less overwhelmed and relieves tension. If you’re concerned about someone reading your thoughts, you can always discard what you’ve written when you’re done. 

  • Manage Your Time

Managing your time effectively is key to keeping stress levels under control. If you learn to manage your time well, you will have more time to spend with family and friends, to enjoy hobbies, and to rest. Learn to delegate and trust others with tasks that don’t need to be completed by you.

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