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What Can You Do to Make Multigenerational Living Successful in Your Own Home?

Multigenerational living refers to households with members from more than two generations living under the same roof. The number of Americans living in this type of situation continues to ride as it hits a record 64 million Americans living in multigenerational households, and the reasons for doing so are many; for example, living in a multigenerational household can strengthen your finances

Like any living situation, there are things to consider or implement to ensure a smooth-running household. By taking the steps below, you can make a multigenerational household work for you and your family.

1. Set Boundaries

Boundaries are important for any shared space. For example, if you are raising your children, and your parents live in the same space, they may, intentionally or not, and in ways subtle and not-so-subtle,  undermine your own parenting. They may try to instill their own beliefs in your children and discipline your children as they did you. Even though this behavior is usually the product of good intentions, and sometimes can actually be helpful, how your children are raised is ultimately up to you. Have a conversation with other adults in the house and talk to them about what is okay to do and what is not (e.g. punishment, what the kids are allowed to do vs not do, etc.).

For a more simple and common example, If you want areas to be private, you need to set this boundary early on. When you set precedents at the beginning, it makes expectations more clear, and it helps everyone to avoid unnecessary drama later on.

2. Communicate

Communication is crucial for a functioning household, and this is especially true in a multi-generational household. It is important to plan and note chores, responsibilities, shared finances, private space, and shared space. It’s even more important to communicate such things with all of the family members living in the area to ensure that all voices are heard and that expectations are understood. Leaving thoughts or expectations unsaid can lead to resentment and overall dysfunction within the household.

Aim to set up a recurring meeting (weekly, monthly, annually) to talk about how things are going for everyone under the roof. Address any issues that people are having, and come up with compromises to help eliminate said issues.

3. Reconfigure Your Home

There are certain things that you may need to do to your home in order to make the home comfortable for all members. This could be minor changes like moving the couch or rearranging a room, but they could also be larger changes like knocking down a wall or adding an additional room. Since you are sharing a space with different age groups, you will want to consider creating an aging-accessible home.

When you are reconfiguring your home, leave downstairs rooms to older family members, and leave doorways, hallways, and walkways wide and obstacle-free. Consider things like railings, handrails, and grab bars for difficult areas like the bathroom, bedroom, or stairs. As time goes on, new issues may arise, and you may reassess the configuration of your home. Be sure to make the common areas (living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom) accessible by everyone. While it may be hard to please everyone with your home configuration, there are certain things that you can do to ensure that the household is a viable living space for all occupants.

4. Divvy Up Chores and Responsibilities

Moving in with your family can seem like an extended family vacation, but it is important to divide up chores and responsibilities. Create a list of all the different household responsibilities, and set up a time for all family members to sit down and hash out who will be responsible for what. While it could prove difficult trying to make things 100% even, you should aim to divvy up the responsibilities as evenly as you can.

It can be difficult to keep track of who has done what, so it could be helpful to create a “chores and responsibilities” chart in order to hold family members accountable. Unless your family members are okay with doing the same chores and responsibilities forever, you should attempt to change up who does what from time to time so that one person isn’t stuck doing the most difficult, dreaded, or time-consuming household responsibility.

5. Organize Your Finances

Similar to dividing up chores, you will also need to determine how you are going to handle your household finances. When you share a household, everyone should consider how the different housing expenses (rent/mortgage, insurance, utilities, food) will be split, and who is initially responsible for paying each expense.

List out all the different costs of living in the household — this should include what the rent or mortgage is, the insurance required (homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, mortgage insurance), and the different utilities the household has (water, gas, electricity, sewage, Wi-Fi, trash, telephone, cable). You should also list out when the bills are due, and how much they typically cost. Once you have a better understanding of all the financial responsibilities in the household, devise a plan for who pays what, and how to keep finances even as utilities fluctuate throughout the year.

6. Get Help with Care

One of the reasons that some choose to live in multigenerational households is so that people can be with their parents as they are aging and need assistance. This could be as simple as medication management, or comparable to what a certified nursing assistant (CNA) does daily. At first, this can seem manageable, but over time, this can be emotionally exhausting, so you may want to look into getting help with care. You can look for a caregiver, CNA, or home health aid (HHA), or you can brush up CNA skills, and become certified in order to fill in the role of a CNA for home care yourself.

7. Take Care of Your Mental Health

When you live with other people — especially family members — sharing a household can bring its fair share of challenges and stressors. It is important to take time for yourself and focus on your mental health. There are many ways to take care of your mental health — this includes:

  • Talking about your feelings;
  • Staying active;
  • Eating well;
  • Drinking sensibly;
  • Staying in touch with friends and family;
  • Seeking professional help;
  • A change of scenery;
  • Pick up hobbies.

8. Find Ways to Connect

When you live with other people, you should look for commonalities and shared interests to make living together feel less like you are just roommates. Have conversations, ask about interests or hobbies, and look for ways that you and your family members can do things outside of living together. If you both like to golf, schedule a time to go out to the driving range or play nine holes. This can help relieve stress or tension in the household.

Seniors can struggle with social isolation, so it is exceedingly important to find ways to connect and mitigate these effects.

9. Be Respectful

You should make it a priority to be a respectful, courteous roommate to your family. If you just shifted towards multigenerational living, be patient and considerate of feelings, space, and changes in routine. You should be respectful towards parenting styles, personal beliefs, and other varying personal household preferences. Staying mindful of others’ needs, feelings, and preferences is crucial for a functional family dynamic.

10. Enjoy the Experience

Although multigenerational living has its share of challenges from time to time, it is important to enjoy the experience while it lasts. Many individuals don’t get to see their extended family on a daily basis, so be sure to create unique opportunities for time together. Set up specified nights for family time, and relish in wholesome fun while living together.

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A Guide to Getting a Job in Healthcare

Whether you are entering the workforce initially, or switching career paths, navigating your way through a new industry can be challenging — especially if you are starting a new career without any experience. This is especially true for individuals attempting to enter the healthcare industry. If you are planning on beginning a career in the healthcare industry, there are some things that you can do to help ensure a smooth entry or transition.

Pursue Education

One of the most common ways to gain entry into the healthcare industry is to first pursue a healthcare education. Pursuing an education is one of many ways to increase earning potential. Since there are so many different jobs within the healthcare industry, there are jobs available at almost every level of education, as well as jobs that pay well without a degree. If you find a specific job that you are interested in, you will want to understand the different education or certification requirements for entry.

Most healthcare occupations require some sort of traditional education, certification/licensure application, and national examination — although some healthcare facilities have workshops or training for specific jobs like front desk, sterilization, or other entry-level jobs. Although requirements will vary from healthcare organization to organization, traditionally, the education levels are as follows:

  • Workshop/In-House Training: healthcare facilities offer workshops or in-house training for entry-level positions like front desk representatives or office workers. More often than not, the training involves job-specific uptraining and CPR training;
  • Certification: healthcare facilities sometimes require certification from a trade or technical college that is specialized and takes anywhere from 6 months to 18 months to complete. Positions that require certification include jobs like occupational therapists, emergency medical technicians, and phlebotomists;
  • Associates degree: healthcare facilities often require associate’s degrees for jobs like surgical technologists, lab technicians, and specialized aides/assistants. These programs generally last around two years, and they are taken at a community college or technical college;  
  • Bachelor’s degree: healthcare facilities generally require bachelor’s degrees for nurses, compliance officers, health educators, and health informatics. These programs are generally taken from a four-year college or university, and they take anywhere from 3 to 5 years to complete;
  • Master’s degree: healthcare facilities require master’s degrees for those aiming to become nursing anesthetists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, or occupational therapists. These programs generally take between 2 to 4 years to complete;
  • Doctorate degree: healthcare facilities often require doctorate degrees for those aiming to become healthcare administrators, advanced practice nurses, chiropractors, physicians, dentists, and pharmacists. These programs can take up to 8 years to complete.

It should be noted that education requirements will vary from healthcare organization to healthcare organization based on personal preference, and by national, state, or local healthcare laws. For example, you may need an associate’s degree to work as a surgical technologist for one healthcare organization, while for others you may only need to complete a certification program.

Get Experience

An alternative to pursuing education is to gain experience. This will help you expand your resume with healthcare-specific experience that can help you stand out from other applicants. In some cases, gaining hands-on healthcare experience can deliver more value in your job search than an array of academic accomplishments. It can be difficult to gain experience while in school, or just in general, but there are a couple of options:

  • Volunteer Work: doing pro-bono work in healthcare can show employers just how passionate you truly are about the healthcare industry — so much so that you are willing to work for free. Skills-based volunteer work benefits the community as well;
  • Internships: internships are common ways to gain experience. Sometimes they are paid, and in other cases, they do not offer any monetary compensation. Many degree programs require some sort of internship as well to gain experience prior to graduating;
  • Entry-Level Roles: entry-level roles are great options for expanding your healthcare experience. Although you may be overqualified, it shows that you are willing to take the time and put in the work. Many organizations prefer to promote or hire internally, and this is a great way to get your foot in the door while gaining experience.

If you are a student, talk to your academic advisor, or your professors (both clinical instructors and classroom instructors) to figure out volunteer work, internships, or entry-level role recommendation. If you are not currently in school, reach out to local healthcare organizations or government agencies to help you uncover options for gaining experience.

Start in an Entry-Level Role

As mentioned above, entry-level roles can help you gain experience and get your foot in the door. Additionally, entry-level roles can help you decide whether or not you enjoy working in that specific field, prior to going through vigorous training or completing academic requirements. Below are common entry-level roles in the healthcare industry.

Certified Nursing Assistant

A certified nursing assistant — or CNA — is a medical professional that provides various levels of care to support individuals who are unable to take care of themselves (both mentally and physically). CNAs are an important part of the healthcare industry, so the employment outlook for this specific job is high.

The salary of a CNA will vary depending on location (geographical location and what kind of facility you work in) and experience. Many CNAs advance into careers as registered nurses (RN), licensed practical nurses (LPN), nurse practitioners (NP), or home care management professionals. T

The cost of CNA training will vary depending on a variety of factors, but specifically the geographical location of where you are doing your training. You can find CNA training available by state online to help you gain your CNA certification.

Medical Assistant

A medical assistant is a medical professional that is trained to perform and assist in various administrative and clinical tasks. The occupational outlook for medical assistants is great since they make an average of just under $35,000 annually, and the number of jobs is rising at 19% (much higher than the national average) — as mentioned above, this can fluctuate depending on experience and location.

Medical assistants can progress into a variety of different career fields including (but not limited to) clinical team leadership, medical assistant management, healthcare administration, and medical records management. The cost of training will also vary, but you can find medical assistant training available by state online to help you gain your medical assistant credentials.

Home Health Aide

A home health aide — or HHA — is a medical professional that assists patients in daily living tasks. Although this may appear similar to a job as a CNA, there are differences between a CNA vs. an HHA. The occupational outlook for home health aides is encouraging since they make just over $25,000 annually, and the number of jobs available is growing at a 34% rate (much faster than the national average). On par with the rest of the jobs, these numbers can fluctuate based on a variety of factors.

Many HHAs go on to open up their own practice and, in some cases, they go on to become registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, or licensed practical nurses. The cost behind training will vary depending on the training required in your local jurisdiction, but you can find HHA training near you online.

Administrative or Support Role

Although less of a specified role, there are certain administrative or support roles available in healthcare that are generally entry-level. Some examples include front-desk customer service representatives, medical transcriptionists, administrative assistants, shift scheduler, medical billing, etc. These roles are designed to help support the rest of the healthcare facility, so it is a great way to gain experience while getting insight into the parameters of how healthcare facilities function administratively.

The job outlook and salary will vary depending on where you are located, the facility that you work for, and your prior experience. Since administrative and support roles help employees get their bearings for administrative work, a lot of these roles can easily progress into high-level administrative jobs.

Try Networking

Much like getting a job in any industry, who you know can play a large role in finding a job. If you do not have current connections in the healthcare industry, look for professional groups to join. A great way to network is to talk to any advisors you may have or by shadowing or volunteering at a healthcare facility. By creating these relationships, you may also create future opportunities.

Find a Mentor

Just like having an academic advisor makes navigating college easier, having a medical mentor in healthcare can make all aspects of working (or advancing) in healthcare simpler. Mentorship in healthcare can help you find the direction you want to go in, and help provide the stepping stones for getting there in the process. Talk to human resources (HR) or your manager about getting a mentor if a mentor is not automatically assigned to you.

Alternatively, if you are still a student, get to know faculty and more advanced professionals to see if you can find a mentor. Not only can this help you academically, but it may better prepare you and give you insights into career paths and other networking opportunities. A good mentor can be a resource for making decisions, keeping you on track, and developing your outlook for a future in healthcare.

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How to Embrace Skills-Based Volunteering to Improve Your Community

Skills-based volunteering is a type of volunteer work that involves the use of specialized talents, certifications, or resources. This work can take many forms, such as a handyman rebuilding damaged infrastructural damage from a flood, an artist selling their work for charity, or a lawyer offering their services pro bono. Skills-based volunteer work could also be done on one’s personal time or during work, on a local or international level, short-term or long-term. Additionally, it may involve talents or resources used in a professional or hobbyist capacity.

Who Can Pursue Skills-Based Volunteering?

As previously mentioned, skills-based volunteering can be pursued with both professional and extracurricular skills. Therefore, conceivably, anyone is capable of getting involved with skills-based volunteering.

However, some individuals may have more opportunities open to them. For example, people who have completed higher levels of formal education, or certain types of professionals such as healthcare workers, lawyers, and handymen, may have more skills that are applicable to volunteer work. Furthermore, some communities will have more need for volunteer assistance, and some people may otherwise have limited access to communities that could benefit from their help.

The Benefits of Skills-Based Volunteering

Skills-based volunteering isn’t just beneficial to the people that volunteers help; it can also be highly beneficial to the volunteers themselves. Ways that volunteers can benefit from their work and experience include:

Ideas to Find Skills-Based Volunteering Opportunities

Although finding opportunities for skills-based volunteer work is easier for some than others, there are always options available to you, regardless of what your skills are and what your general situation is. A few ways you can find opportunities are:

  • Ask friends and family;
  • Attend community events;
  • Research non-profit organizations;
  • Post an offer to lend your services online;
  • Think of individuals in your community that you already know.

However, there are a few tips that will be helpful to keep in mind when you are pursuing these opportunities, such as:

  • Proceed safely. Always be cautious of the situation, especially if you pursue it on a freelance basis.
  • Consider what your personal values are. This may help you determine what non-profit you may want to reach out to, or how you may be most invested in helping your community. Even if you are unsure how your skills may be helpful, you might be surprised if you reach out.
  • Be polite and consider the dignity of others. Some may find it embarrassing to accept help or that you think they need help. Consider this when approaching others with an offer of assistance.

Learn New Skills

Another way you can expand your opportunities for skills-based learning is to expand your skillset. Doing so can also be very beneficial for self-improvement and career opportunities. For example, you could learn a language to help refugees in your community, or you could get a CNA certification to help frontline health workers and volunteer at other local healthcare organizations. CNAs play an essential role in facilities ranging from hospitals to senior living communities, so there is a persistent need for certified individuals and volunteers to meet the range of needs for caregivers.

Develop Skills Professionally

You can also develop skills within your workplace. This is a great option because it is an opportunity to both advance your career and expand your opportunities to help others. For instance, given the previous example of CNA certification, those who already have a CNA certification could work to transition into an LPN or RN role. The associated skills will then provide you with more opportunities for volunteer work.

Reach Out to Local Organizations

As mentioned, it can be very helpful to start by choosing an organization that appeals to you, especially if they have a local branch. Once you have identified promising organizations, try reaching out to them, whether that’s through email or by personally visiting an office of operations. Let them know that you are interested in volunteering for their organization, and describe any skills that you would be willing to put at their disposal.

Search Online

The internet is a great resource for people searching for volunteering opportunities. In addition to joining local groups online, posting volunteering offers, or researching individual organizations, there are many websites that can help connect prospective volunteers with compatible organizations, such as:

Work With Your Employer

Some workplaces may be amenable to assisting your ambitions for volunteer work. Ways that you can utilize workplace resources in order to get involved in skills-based volunteer work include:

  • Asking your HR department about any current connections your company has or has had with volunteer organizations;
  • Bringing suggestions of specific volunteer opportunities to your HR department;
  • Asking coworkers about organizations they know of or are involved with.

In short, skills-based volunteer work is an opportunity that everyone has to improve themselves and the lives of others at the same time.

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7 Tips to Prepare for Your Career While Still in School

The Harvard Business Review reports that two-thirds of college graduates struggle to transition into the workforce. There are likely many factors that contribute to this phenomenon, such as changes to our economic culture, prohibitive student debt, and a general decline in job security.

However, luckily, while there are some factors that are out of your control, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of getting your career off the ground smoothly after you finish school. Although it is also certainly possible to find a good career without a degree, people who are pursuing a degree to promote their professional interests should ideally begin thinking about their post-graduate life while they are still in school.

1. Stay Focused on Your Studies

While it’s important to consider what your next step is, you still want to stay present and engaged with your current studies. Disengaging from schoolwork could lead to poor grades or other missed opportunities in the workforce. Always keep in mind that you can’t proceed to the next step in your plan until you complete the current one, and if you are already feeling disinterest in your field, it may be better to adjust your goals sooner rather than later.

2. Expand Your Knowledge

It is important to continually pursue knowledge that relates to your studies and/or professional goals outside of formal schooling. There are a few tried-and-true ways to pursue you knowledge independently, including:

  • Reading relevant news articles;
  • Finding relevant online communities;
  • Finding relevant communities on campus;
  • Finding gamified learning opportunities.

For example, someone who is learning a foreign language could read articles in that language, utilize websites like Duolingo, or find groups interested in practicing the spoken language together.

3. Get on Social Media

Being active on certain social media sites can be helpful for making professional connections, finding new opportunities, and staying informed on the goings-on in your industry or field. This is especially pertinent when it comes to profiles on social media sites that have substantial, professionally-oriented communities, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

For example, an aspiring business professional could use LinkedIn to find promising companies and connections in their field, and they could use Twitter to keep track of recent changes in their markets of interest.

4. Participate in Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities can expand your experience in a way that may later be beneficial in the course of your work, or may at least may be appealing to future employers. Additionally, it can help you begin to network in your field. Ways you can get involved in professionally-oriented extracurricular activities include:

For example, a person with an interest in social work could benefit from organizing a charity event to help families in need. Theoretically, this experience could familiarize you with others who are strongly invested in helping people, give you an idea of what your day-to-day duties and interactions might be like, and demonstrate to future employers (especially early in your career) that you are truly dedicated to your profession.

5. Find a Job or Internship

A stepping stone job or internship is often the best way to break into the career you want, and to find a suitable intermediary job, it will be in your best interest to start looking early. For example, nurses can become certified as a CNA within a short period of time, and then work as a CNA while still in school. This can allow students to afford school as well as get practical experience and skills while they pursue an advanced certification. This could even help them transition to becoming a registered nurse or to pursue a different specialization or certification that much faster.

6. Volunteer

Volunteering is a highly beneficial way to gain professional experience, whether you have a particular career path in mind or not. Some professional benefits that can be gleaned from volunteer work include:

  • Hands-on experience in your field;
  • Networking opportunities with other professionals in your field;
  • Networking opportunities with potential clients;
  • Opportunities to expand your professional portfolio and resume;
  • Opportunities to improve your professional reputation;
  • A chance to increase your future earning potential;
  • A chance to determine whether you will really enjoy the work.

In fact, work with non-profit organizations can be a great way to break into a career with no other previous experience.

7. Start Looking

Looking for a job is a crucial element in preparation for post-graduate life. You don’t necessarily need to start seriously looking into jobs, but it is helpful to get an idea of the professional landscape, discover promising companies, and reach out to people within the industry.

For example, someone interested in a career in IT work might tentatively look into IT companies in their area and highly successful companies in the industry at large. This may not only give you an idea of specific companies you may like to work for in the future, but maybe even just the type of company you would like to work for and what your expectations should be.

Furthermore, this search may show you what innovators in the industry are doing to put their companies ahead of the curve, which could expand your professional knowledge, and impress future employers. In fact, it may even be beneficial to politely reach out to a company to learn more about career opportunities. In addition to providing you with further knowledge about that specific company and general career expectations in the industry, the people you reach out to may be impressed by your tenacity and could become valuable future contacts.

In short, it is never too early to start thinking about how you are going to turn your skills into a career.

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The Decline of Job Security: What Can You Do About It?

Job security is a topic seldom discussed among both new hires and seasoned employees, despite the fact that it is on a steady decline. According to Labor in New Economy, “the perceived low quality of many newly created jobs fuels the concern that the nature of the employment relationship in the United States is changing from one based on long-term, full-time employment to one based on more short-term and casual employment.”

This mainly goes to show that the decrease in job security is mainly for those with temporary or part-time jobs and that “the public’s concern arises from the belief that these changes result in lower-quality (lower-paying and less-secure) jobs for the average worker.” However, this doesn’t mean that just because you have been employed a short period of time at a “lower-quality” job that you are going to be let go. Instead, what these statements should do is encourage you to obtain a better understanding of the importance of achieving greater job security and what you can do to get there.

Be Proactive

Being proactive and changing to a more positive, goal-oriented mindset is beneficial not only because it improves your overall outlook on life, but it also the way in which you approach work as well. Longevity and turnover might be good topics for you to ask prospective employers about during the initial job interview. To increase your chances of job security, you should evaluate the way you look at your job. If you think of it as just that, then you might treat getting up and going to work as a chore. But if you view it as something you look forward to, it can change your entire attitude, allowing you to be more proactive in the workplace.

Provide Process Improvement Ideas

Proactively communicating potential ideas to improve processes within your company can demonstrate your ability to think critically and shows your commitment to the company’s well-being. In order to do so, you should conduct an evaluation of your business to find its strengths and weaknesses — what processes should remain, and what needs to be improved. To ease the evaluation process, you can:

  • Listen and Observe: Listen to what your coworkers are saying around you. What concerns are being brought up? How are their attitudes towards the company? Are they major or minor issues?
  • Research the Competition: It can help to research your competition to see what they do that works well for them. This can include basic daily operations, employee engagement/appreciation tactics, and their goods and services they offer. Compare and contrast against your current employer.
  • Review Workplace Policies: Does the company enforce its rules and regulations? Are these rules and regulations up to date with current industry trends?

Communicate With Management

Talking to those in management positions can be intimidating, but it’s important to do so, especially when discussing obstacles that may be preventing you from completing your work. Prior to the conversation, think about what type of relationship you and your manager have. Are they approachable? Do you feel like they will listen to your concerns? If not, then this may require you to begin rebuilding your relationship. But if so, then it is a good time to talk to your boss about your performance and the state of your job security. During this conversation:

  • Own up to your underperformance;
  • Think about your performance from your boss’s perspective;
  • Be straightforward and direct;
  • Offer ideas and suggestions on how you can improve;
  • Be willing to listen to new ideas and suggestions;
  • Ask for advice;
  • Think long term;
  • Resist any overly optimistic impulses.

Improve Your Skill Set

Becoming a lifelong learner and embracing opportunities to advance in your field is just one way to help you keep your recurrent job and open new job opportunities. To improve your skillset includes staying up to date on product knowledge, company policy, and basic job skills (i.e. customer service, computer skills, damage control, etc.). Some career fields, such as certified nursing assisting (CNA’s), may even require you to maintain your skills by having you recertify and take training courses on different guideline procedures.

Continuously working on your skills not only increases your odds of job retention but can help you increase your earning potential as well.

Take Continuing Education Courses

Enrolling in continuing education courses — whether you’re actively seeking employment or have a current job — can improve your employability and help you add to your current skill set. Not all education courses will be presented to you, in fact, you may have to search for them yourself. Some may be free to attend, while others, such as CNA training, may require payment. The nursing field is a great example of an industry that often requires continuing education.  

Get New Professional Certifications

Depending on your field of expertise, you may be able to get new professional certification. These new certifications can help employees increase their odds of landing a secure job while providing them with a new professional title. For example, current CNA’s may choose to continue their education and certify as an RN, or change their area of expertise from in-home nursing to a CNA in the operating room. This not only provides them with more learning opportunities but increases their employability as well.

Form Professional Relationships

Networking with others in your scope of practice can be beneficial for numerous reasons. When you share a common belief, it can help create a topic of discussion that acts as a bridge between job titles. It provides opportunities to interact with everyone in your field. Building these professional relationships can also boost your morale and build a good rapport among coworkers, which can even lead to new employment opportunities if they were to arise. You can build professional relationships similarly to how you would build most social relationships. For instance:

  • Avoid gossip;
  • Be a good listener;
  • Make an effort to talk to others;
  • Show interest in what others are saying;
  • Use your manners.

Find a Mentor

While building professional relationships, you may find yourself following the advice of one person more than others. This could potentially lead to you deeming this individual as your mentor. A mentor is someone that has more experience than you do and who is willing to guide you down a path of success. A mentor is essentially going to be your go-to whenever a question needs to be answered. However, finding a mentor isn’t always as easy as having a conversation with an individual in your field. To help yourself find a mentor ask the following questions:

  • What are your short term and long term goals that your mentor would be helping you with?
  • Who do you look up to?
  • How did that person get to where they are today?
  • How are you going to ask them to be your mentor?
  • Are you sure they are the right fit?

Social Networking

Social networking, when done properly, can be beneficial for those trying to increase their job security. Similarly to why you want to branch out to form professional relationships, you will want to create a vast social network to allow yourself to interact with those who share your interests. A few benefits of social networking include:

  • The ability to stay connected with friends and coworkers;
  • Staying up to date on company news;
  • Allowing others to see what your skills are;
  • Maintaining business connections.

Join Professional Associations in Your Field

If you are employed in a field that has multiple professional associations (i.e. the medical field, finance, arts, etc.) then there is no reason as to why you shouldn’t be a part of one. Just like how having extracurriculars on your resume can increase the chance of you getting a job — being a part of a professional association can help you keep one. Still using nursing as an illustrative example, one of the pros of being a CNA is the number of professional associations and organizations that are available to be a part of like the National Association of Health Care Assistants or the Academy of Neonatal Nursing, to name a few.

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What Is Emotional Exhaustion, and How Can You Address It?

Emotional exhaustion is the state in which an individual feels mentally drained or overwhelmed and is often the result of physical and emotional stress. Victims of emotional exhaustion oftentimes include those who regularly perform emotionally taxing work i.e. social workers, teachers, first responders, and other healthcare workers. Working while emotionally drained could lead to burnout and other health-related issues. For example, CNAs and other nurses may be at risk for burnout due to their heavy workload and a lack of time to care for themselves. This could be harmful to their career because one of the CNA Code of Ethics states that “a CNA cannot properly care for patients if they do not properly take care of themselves.” Unfortunately, statistics show that:

  • 50% of nurses feel tired all the time;
  • 35% experience sleepless nights;
  • 33% show signs of weight gain;
  • 32% have anxiety, aches, and pains;
  • 19% have depression.

Despite the importance of CNAs and other frontline caregivers, they remain at high risk for emotional exhaustion when they lack adequate support and self-care skills.

Aside from internal side effects such as burnout and increased stress levels, emotional exhaustion can also take a toll on one’s job performance. This article will help individuals identify signs of emotional exhaustion and how to recover.

What Causes Emotional Exhaustion?

There is no single cause of emotional exhaustion. Instead, it can be triggered by various factors. The difference between daily stress and emotional exhaustion is that emotional exhaustion occurs over time when the daily stress increases and is too much to handle — potentially leading to persistent emotional and mental concerns like physical illness and poor job performance. Other potential causes of emotional exhaustion include:

  • Acting as a caregiver for a loved one;
  • Balancing all aspects of life (work, school, and personal life);
  • Emotionally-taxing/high-empathy job roles (i.e. hospice CNAs, RNs, and physicians);
  • Handling major life events (i.e. divorce, death, new career);
  • Homelessness;
  • Preexisting mental illness or physical injury;
  • Raising a family;
  • Stressing over finances, like how to pay for housing, food, and other essentials;
  • Working at high-pressure jobs;
  • Working long hours.

Signs of Emotional Exhaustion

Everyone that experiences emotional exhaustion does so differently. For some, they show less noticeable, while in others they’re more prominent. Common symptoms of emotional exhaustion to be aware of in both yourself and those around you include:

  • Anxiety: This can come across as a constant state of worry, frequent panic attacks, and even obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Depression: An individual may show a loss of interest in activities or seem to be down/in a bad mood a majority of the time.
  • Fatigue: Fatigue can cause someone to constantly feel tired or have low energy, both of which can put a damper on one’s daily routine.
  • Feeling hopeless/feel like giving up: Emotional exhaustion can cause people to lose all motivation.
  • Frequent headaches: Headaches can be caused by an overabundance of stress and anxiety.
  • Inability to fall asleep/stay asleep: Emotional exhaustion has a way of keeping people awake by essentially consuming their thoughts and not allowing them to relax.
  • Irritability: Signs of irritability could include an individual getting mad or annoyed at the smallest of inconveniences.
  • Loss of appetite: For some, loss of appetite can happen when they feel overwhelmed or anxious.
  • Nervousness: They may hesitate to try anything new or constantly think about the worst-case scenario, making them too nervous to accomplish everyday tasks.

These symptoms can result in an overall lack of productivity, an inability to meet deadlines, and absenteeism.

What to Do When You Are Emotionally Drained

It’s important to be able to identify the signs of emotional exhaustion and how to address them. Some of the symptoms listed above can be mitigated by taking the time to practice self-care, while others require an individual to seek additional help. Listed below are resources to utilize when you are emotionally exhausted.

Seek Help in Emergencies

Experiencing emotional exhaustion for too long without access to adequate resources can lead to severe cases of depression, substance abuse, thoughts of self-harm, or even suicide. If you or someone you know has mental health problems such as these extremes, seek 24/7 emergency help by contacting the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357).

Practice Mindfulness

According to the Mayo Clinic, “mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment.” Practicing mindfulness is beneficial in many ways. It can help you reduce your stress levels, collect your thoughts, decrease job burnout, and improve your attention span. Exercises you can perform to begin practicing mindfulness include:

  • Accepting yourself by treating yourself the way you would treat a good friend;
  • Focusing on your breathing;
  • Living in the moment;
  • Meditating (body scan meditation, sitting meditation, walking meditation);
  • Slowing down and taking notice of everything around you.

Reduce Stressors

Emotional exhaustion can be addressed by identifying and reducing the root stressors causing the symptoms. The following are ways you can reduce common stressors.

  • Assert yourself;
  • Eat and drink as healthy as you can — nourishing your body means nourishing your mind;
  • Eliminate bad habits from your daily routine;
  • Exercise regularly;
  • Pace yourself;
  • Practice effective time management skills;
  • Set your priorities;
  • Take responsibility for your actions;
  • Take the time for self-care.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Living a healthy lifestyle is another great and effective way to reduce and prevent emotional exhaustion. Listed below are basic tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

  • Continue to write down your goals;
  • Create an exercise routine you actually like;
  • Eat a healthy diet;
  • Get a full night’s rest;
  • Increase water consumption;
  • Track your progress.

Understanding the impact of emotional exhaustion can be confusing for those who are fortunate enough to live without it. And for those who do find themselves emotionally exhausted, it can be difficult to address it. While the symptoms may manifest in a variety of ways, the preventive measures stay the same. By implementing the tips above, you can ultimately reduce your emotional exhaustion and get back on track to a healthy and mentally stable lifestyle.

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5 Ways to Increase Your Earning Potential

Not earning enough money can have serious implications on one’s life. When you’re strapped for cash, you may be unable to afford major life milestones like a car or a house, or may even struggle to afford basic necessities such as food and shelter. What’s more, income inequality in the U.S. continues to widen. While the rich get richer, low and mid-income households remain stagnant. A decline in job security is another reality for workers in easily replaceable jobs, such as those that can be automated.

For this reason, you may be looking for ways to increase your earning potential. Thankfully, there are a few different options to consider. Below are 5 ways to make more money in your career:

1. Explore Advancement Opportunities

Don’t just ask for a raise — look for ways to advance your position and influence. If you’ve been in the same position at your company year after year, it may be time to look for new opportunities within that company. That could mean taking on new work or even taking on a new position.

What you need to do is decide what you want out of your career. Once you have a clear direction, set your sights on key positions and develop the skills necessary to open those doors — if you haven’t already. You may even decide that furthering your education or acquiring applicable certifications is the best step in your career path.

Actively pushing yourself to perform your job better, in and outside of work, will show management that you’re serious about your role in the company.

2. Switch to a New Employer

If there aren’t any advancement opportunities at your company, you may wish to switch to a new employer. Make sure you have no contractual obligations and then start looking. You don’t have to up and switch employers immediately, but it is a good idea to begin your job search.

You’ll know it’s time to switch employers when you’ve gone a while feeling undervalued, like you’re wasting your time, or that you’re more unhappy than happy. You may even notice changes in your behavior, uncontrolled stress, or a physical ailment as a result of the stress. These are warning signs that you may be in a stagnant position with your current employer.  

It’s important, however, to recognize whether these are recurring feelings or merely temporary episodes. Everybody has a bad week at work now and then. Determine whether or not you’ve been unhappy with your current employer for quite some time now or if it’s a passing feeling.  

3. Relocate

The reason you aren’t earning enough may be bigger than just what company you’re at or what position you’re in. As you probably already know: where you live has a big impact on your earnings. Relocating could be your best option.

According to the Brookings Institute, “workers in the top 30 locations earn an average of 20 percent more than the median worker in the United States and 37 percent more than workers in the bottom 30 locations.” While you still have to take into account educational requirements and attainment, among other factors, it is clear that geography does matter. The average salary of a position is also relative to where you live. For instance, nursing may pay a lot in one city, but not so much in another.

It’s important to remember, however, that cities with higher average salaries may have higher costs of living. Before relocating determine the average cost of living in addition to the average salary of the city or town you are considering.  

4. Start a Side Hustle

Another way to earn more money is to start a side hustle. In other words, you could get a job that you work in the off-hours of your day. There are many potential side hustles to pursue and the growing gig economy welcomes that kind of work. Below are a few side hustles to consider:

  • Sell items on eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace: If you have furniture, clothing, or any miscellaneous items, there are a bunch of places to sell them. You could also check out local consignment stores and see if they’re paying for used items.
  • Sell items on Etsy: If you are artsy, you could always sell homemade crafts on Etsy. The site boasts tons of hand-crafted artwork from paintings and sculptures to clothing designs and jewelry.
  • Become a rideshare driver: Driving for rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are good for people needing flexible side hustles. For services like these, you decide when and where you’re driving.
  • Deliver with Postmates, Instacart, or Shipt: For delivery services such as these, you’ll act as someone’s personal shopper. You could pick up anything from groceries to clothing for them. Similar to rideshare services, these delivery services let you work your own hours.
  • Rent a spare room on Airbnb: If you have a spare bedroom and are comfortable renting it out, Airbnb is a potential site to use.
  • Provide lessons: Whether you have a talent in piano or in tennis, you could provide lessons. You could also tutor if you have strengths in a certain subject.
  • Take online surveys: Lastly, get paid to take online surveys. Although it is not the most lucrative way to earn money on the side, it is one of the quickest and easiest ways to do so. Companies want feedback and you can give it through sites like Survey Junkie.

5. Consider a Career Change

Some career fields will naturally have lower pay and fewer advancement opportunities. Think about all the careers being replaced by technology — mail carriers, newspaper reporters, flight attendants, and librarians, for instance. Those are a few examples of careers that are disappearing due to innovations in technology. While flight attendants are being replaced by personal video screens with safety instructions, librarians are being replaced by search engines and online databases.

If your job is similar to these, changing careers may be a necessary requirement for earning more money. Entering a field such as technology or healthcare, for instance, is a great idea for those looking for a career change. Healthcare is a field that is likely to always need people — and it pays well. You can get your foot in the door by becoming a CNA. Completing CNA training and getting certified can be done in less than a year depending on how you go about it, and it opens the door for many different careers in healthcare. From there you could go on to become a registered nurse, doctor, or nurse educator, among other positions.

A career in technology, on the other hand, is another platform for you to increase salary potential and open the door to many different fields and specializations. Coding, in particular, is in demand, while software engineering, cloud engineering, and app development are other high-paying tech careers to consider.

Charting Your Career Path

The most important thing in charting your career path is finding one that leaves you happy and healthy — not necessarily one that provides you the biggest paycheck. Of course, money is essential, and paying bills an unavoidable part of life. But finding a job you enjoy is just as critical. Think about what you want in life, whether you’re balancing work with parenting, and where your career may take you.

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How to Help a Loved One With Medication Management

Taking medications is more or less a part of life. Children, adults, and seniors alike may have prescriptions they take on a regular basis. When it comes to seniors especially, taking medications is essentially the norm. Medication management, however, can be tricky. While a home health nursing assistant may be there to assist in managing a loved one’s medications, it’s important that family and friends know what to do as well. There are dosages to be aware of, times at which medication needs to be taken, and side effects to watch for. Helping a loved one manage their medications can be a great stress relief to family, friends, and seniors alike.

How to Organize Medications

The first thing you’ll want to do is help your loved one organize their medication. Poor medication management can lead to incorrect dosages, taking the same medication twice, or entirely forgetting to take medications — all of which can have dire consequences.

Below are some tips on organizing medications:

  • Make a list of all the medications: Make a list of all your loved one’s medications, including the names, dosages, frequency, and side effects. Have several copies of this on paper, as well as on the computer, to bring to a doctor’s, pharmacist’s, or any other type of appointment.
  • Read the bottles’ labels: Before sorting your loved one’s medications, take some time to read through each bottle’s label. Make sure they’ve been prescribed the correct medication and dosage. More information about reading labels will be included further below.
  • Use a pill organizer: Use a pill organizer to sort out what medication needs to be taken each day.
  • Create a dosing schedule chart: It also helps to create a dosing schedule chart. Here you can map out which medication needs to be taken when. You could do this on a computer with a spreadsheet or use a dry erase board. Each time a medication is taken, it can be checked off either by filling in the spreadsheet or by using a dry erase marker.
  • Set an alarm or use an app: Lastly, set a recurring alarm or use an app to help your loved one remember when it’s time to take their medication.

Medication Storage Options

Medication can be stored in a dresser drawer, a kitchen cabinet away from the sink, or a storage drawer. You could also use smaller plastic bins to organize medications inside that drawer. However you decide to store your loved one’s medications, remember to prevent heat, moisture, air, or light from damaging them. Ideally, you want to keep medications in their original container and store them in a dry, cool location.

Following Guidelines: How to Read Medication Labels

As previously mentioned, reading medication labels and following guidelines is critical. Not doing so could present harmful side effects. Medication labels can be tricky though, so it’s important to break down how to read them. Essentially, each bottle features a white panel that states: how to take the medication, what’s in it, and how it may make you feel.

Below are the sections of any given medication bottle:

  • Active Ingredients and Purpose: You’ll want to look at the active ingredients in any given medication and make sure that it’s the same that’s been prescribed, as well as whether any other drugs contain that same ingredient. This is to avoid taking too much of a certain ingredient.
  • Uses: The uses part of the label tells you what the drug treats. Check this to confirm that a given medication will do what you need it to.
  • Warnings: The warnings section informs you of any possible side effects of taking the drug, as well as anybody who should not be taking the drug. For over-the-counter medications, for instance, people who are pregnant or have a health condition are often advised to speak to their doctor first. This section will also tell you when you should stop taking it and when to call your doctor, in the event that you experience adverse side effects.
  • Directions: The direction’s section tells you how much to take and when. Always follow the directions.
  • Other Information: The other information section states what temperature to store medication in and how to see if a bottle has been tampered with.
  • Inactive Ingredients: Inactive ingredients may include dyes, preservatives, or flavorings. Remember to check this section if your loved one has any food allergies.

Medication Reminder Options

Innovations in digital healthcare have provided several useful apps for seniors — namely, medication reminder apps. The MedMinder pill dispenser and the Reminder Rosie alarm clock are two medication reminder apps to consider.

Integrating New Prescriptions

Integrating a new prescription into a senior’s day can be tough as habits are hard to form for anybody. Thankfully, there are medication reminder apps that can help, such as the ones mentioned above. Make sure however that a given medication does not have special storage instructions that advise not taking it out of its original container.

Stay Aware of Side Effects and Drug Interactions

When integrating a new prescription into a loved one’s life, it is also important to be on the lookout for side effects. Such side effects may occur simply from the drug itself or from interactions with other prescriptions a senior is already taking. Certain drugs may also cause unfavorable side effects when taken with certain food or drinks. Mixing alcohol, for instance, with some drugs may lead to drowsiness or slowed reaction time.

The same caution needs to be taken when integrating over-the-counter drugs that contain active ingredients. Loved ones may want to look up what it takes to be a hospice nursing aide. While this is not a job, caring for your senior is a lot like being a hospice aide — with administering medication being one of the biggest responsibilities.  

When to Seek Help

Always keep in touch with your loved one’s doctor and report side effects to them as soon as they occur. Keeping in contact with a doctor helps keep prescriptions up-to-date and stay on track with taking multiple medications.

Resources to have on hand in the event of an emergency:

  • Poison Control: Contact Poison Control immediately if your loved one has taken too much a given medication.
  • Call 911: If adverse side effects are already appearing, call 911 immediately. Make sure to inform operators and first responders what medications your loved one has taken or is currently on.

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4 Trends in Digital Healthcare That Are Transforming Patient Care

The digital healthcare market has seen rapid growth in recent years and is only expected to expand. But what exactly is digital healthcare? The definition is broad considering the vast amount of categories it includes, such as mobile health (mHealth), telehealth, health informatics, and eHealth. These categories then bring numerous applications to digital healthcare, which will be narrowed down and focused on here.

Each of the following four trends mentioned below provides significant benefits to patients. Increased access to healthcare, greater affordability, and better patient outcomes are just a few of those benefits.

1. Big Data Applications in Patient Care

A massive amount of data is amassed in the field of healthcare. From electronic health records and patient portals to payer records and search engine data, there is a lot of information to be sifted through. Big data applications streamline the process of collecting and synthesizing such copious amounts of information.

The result of big data applications is predictive analytics, which refers to the ability to make informed predictions about the future from data that is collected and organized. In the field of healthcare, predictive analytics allows care to be improved and individualized. The practice can take into account a patient’s medical history, demographic information, and more to then be used to influence administered care. In this way, doctors, nurses, and CNAs alike can benefit from the practice just as much as patients can.  


One significant use case for big data applications in patient care is keeping patients healthy. Through wearable devices, for instance, data is collected and may be sent to healthcare providers. These providers can then use information regarding one’s physical activity levels to create a personalized treatment plan. Someone with prediabetes, for example, may want to be monitored in an effort to manage their condition through exercise and healthy eating. Wearable technology allows that to be done with ease and simplicity.

2. Innovations in Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence enables computers to act in a more “human” way. This is made possible through algorithms that are programmed to catch patterns or discrepancies in data. AI offers a plethora of advantages to patients. What’s more, AI encompasses a range of technologies. Robotics and machine learning are just two types of AI shown to be transforming healthcare. The numerous forms of AI mean a greater ability to innovate healthcare services and improve the overall patient experience.

With its ability to mimic humans, AI can complete tasks usually performed by humans both faster and safer. In healthcare, AI can help with medication management, provide diagnostics, guide population-level disease prevention, and even assist in surgery.  


Diagnostics is one area in particular where AI shows a lot of promise. Already we are seeing AI with diagnostic skills on par with human experts. AI technologies are able to interpret medical images through deep learning, a subset of machine learning that uses algorithms to organize information. If AI is to outperform humans when it comes to diagnosing illnesses, we could see quicker testing results, more individualized treatment plans, and better pinpointing of health concerns.

3. On-Demand Healthcare

On-demand healthcare connects patients with healthcare services right when they’re needed. Such services can be brought to patients through technology or in-person through home healthcare, depending on an individual patient’s needs. With technology, patients can be connected with a certified healthcare professional in real-time over the phone or via video chat. With home healthcare services, certified healthcare professionals conduct their appointments in the comfort of the patient’s own home.

Services like this are essential to curbing long wait times. According to a 2017 Merrit Hawkins survey, the average time a patient spends waiting to see a physician is 24 days. In some cases, patients can’t go that long without seeing a doctor — and urgent care facilities or emergency room visits can become costly.


On-demand services are disrupting many different industries. While Uber and Lyft transform modern-day taxi services, apps like Instacart and Shipt alter the traditional shopping experience. The transformations in these industries are occurring in a similar fashion to the healthcare realm: through mobile apps. Mobile app technology gives doctors and patients alike quick access to medical records, tests, and other important documents at the touch of a finger. Such an app can be used by doctors to offer instant treatment plans to patients, send out medication reminders, or manage patients’ recovery from a surgery or injury.

4. Virtual Reality

Virtual reality, or VR for short, uses computer technology to create a simulated experience. Experiences can be similar to the real world or completely different. While VR may be most associated with video games, it has its use in healthcare as well. Its ability to simulate an environment can greatly help patients who are spending time in the hospital. VR, however, does not only benefit patients. Surgeons can use VR to better perform operations, as well as train medical school residents.


At Stanford University VR is being used to provide surgeons and residents a three-dimensional model of the brain. Patients can see the model too, which some may find to be reassuring during a procedure.

Another example of VR in healthcare has to do with haptic feedback. Also known as kinaesthetic communication or 3D touch, haptic feedback is the use of touch to communicate via technology. Doctors, or more importantly medical school residents, use haptic feedback to enable a realistic training experience. They wear a special headset to mimic performing operations, which of course helps them further down the road when in an actual operating room.

VR, on-demand healthcare, AI, and big data are only a slice of the vast amount of innovations being made in healthcare, and the field will likely continue to grow and see new technological developments designed to improve patient care. New applicants to healthcare positions can increasingly expect to be asked questions about using technology and working with digital tools when applying for jobs, and should accordingly view technological literacy as an essential skill for a successful caregiving career.

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The Importance of Learning Self-Care in the Workplace Before Starting a New Job

The World Health Organization defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.” It’s a powerful tool that can help you manage stress in your everyday life — including stress in the workplace. If you’re starting a new job, or if you’re feeling stuck or stagnant at your current job, then it may be time for you to learn how to practice self-care at work.

Why Should You Practice Self-Care at Work?

Practicing self-care has many benefits for physical health, mental health, and even work performance. The benefits of self-care at work can include:

  • Reduced stress;
  • Improved mood;
  • Improved concentration;
  • Preventing burnout;
  • Improved energy levels;
  • Decreases in physical fatigue, such as muscle stress and headaches.

These benefits can positively influence not only your work performance, but also your attitude about your job. This can be especially beneficial for CNAs and other nurses because of their personal interactions with their patients.

Who Should Practice Self-Care at Work?

Whether you’re a certified CNA, a taxi driver, or a full-time candy maker, everyone experiences work-related stress and can benefit from practicing self-care at work. In fact, in a study done by Science Direct, it was shown that health care professionals tend to experience higher rates of distress in the workplace. This becomes especially true during widespread medical crises, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic, which put a strain on an already high-stress workforce.

Despite higher rates of distress, health care professionals have shown to be less likely to seek out professional mental help due to stigma, as well as licensing concerns. These factors combined make it absolutely crucial for all health care professionals to integrate self-care practices into their work routine, to be able to address and manage the inherent stresses of the industry.

Ideas for Self-Care Activities at Work

If you’re entering a new career, or currently enrolled in a training program, you can set your intentions off on the right foot by practicing these self-care activities in the workplace:

  • Stretch  —  stretching can relieve muscle tension as well as give our brains a break. You can stand from your workspace and stretch if you’re comfortable doing so, or there are specific desk stretches that you can do without having to leave your station.
  • Drink more water —  dehydration can cause irritability, fatigue, and dizziness throughout the day. Keeping a water bottle readily accessible is an easy way to reduce feelings of tiredness and improve your mood.
  • Keep your workspace free of clutter — clutter can create feelings of stress, encourage procrastination, and increase the amount of time you have to spend on simple tasks. Having an organized workspace allows you to streamline easy tasks, such as finding a chart or record, and can inspire increased creativity and productivity.
  • Variate tasks —  performing a single task for an extended period of time can lead to feelings of frustration, ineffectiveness, and boredom, which can affect your entire workday or longer, depending on the project length. It’s important to, when possible, variate the tasks you’re doing throughout the day so that you feel stimulated and productive your whole workday.
  • Take breaks when you need them — if you feel like you need a break, you shouldn’t feel guilty about taking one. These breaks can be as simple as walking the length of the hall, offering to grab coffee or lunch for your team, or even taking a second to walk outside. Denying yourself a moment to breathe and reset because it’s “not productive” can actually vastly reduce your productivity and motivation for the rest of the day.
  • Integrate exercise —  exercise is a proven stress reliever, so getting active during your day can help you stay sharp and motivated. This can include taking the stairs more often, parking further from your office or building, or biking to work if possible. Getting active at work isn’t about working up a sweat or burning calories, but rather about boosting your endorphins to maintain energy and improve your mood.
  • Change up your surroundings —  if you’re feeling frustrated and you have the option, try taking your work someplace other than your designated desk or station. A change of scenery can help refresh your perspective and soothe feelings of restlessness.
  • Bring healthy snacks —  hunger can make you irritable, and cause your energy levels to plummet. Bringing healthy snacks that you enjoy can allow you to snack guilt-free, and avoid hunger pains and mood swings.
  • Store comfortable clothes — Having a pair of flats, a sweater, or blouse in your office or locker for temperature changes or accidental spills can help keep you comfortable and confident throughout the day.

Take Care of Yourself Before and After Work

Self-care in the workplace isn’t the only way you can reduce work-related stress. At-home practices, such as getting plenty of good quality sleep, eating a balanced diet, and preparing for your workday ahead of time can also help improve your work mentality and boost your performance.

Do The Activities You Like

It’s important to note that self-care can be highly personal, and what works effectively differs greatly from person to person. When performing self-care activities, try and center your experience around what tangibly betters your work experience and benefits you, personally. There’s no point in doing something in the interest of self-care if the activity isn’t actually caring for yourself or improving your circumstance.

Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries between work life and personal life is crucial. Depending on your job title or job needs, but you can start by:

  • Not responding to work non-emergency work correspondence when you are off-the-clock;
  • Having a separate account for your work documents, emails, and files so you are not accessing them simultaneously with your personal files;
  • Leaving work at the office — resist taking files or paperwork home;
  • Whenever possible, stick to a consistent schedule to train yourself into knowing subconsciously when it is “work time” and “home time”;

The degradation of these boundaries is often a huge contributing factor to burnout and workplace stress. Establishing these boundaries when starting a new job can be a form of self-care, and reduce your stress in the future.

Incorporate Mindfulness Practices

Mindfulness practices at work can be highly beneficial as well as practical because they can be done at any time. These practices can include:

  • Meditation;
  • Breathing exercises;
  • Positive affirmations;
  • Visualization exercises.

These exercises can be performed on their own or in tandem with each other and can be tailored to what works best for you and your work schedule.

Do What You Can

There is no ideal amount of self-care that you have to perform in order to lead a more fulfilling career. Performing self-care is about doing what you can when you have the time. Putting pressure on yourself to perform self-care negates the concept of self-care. When entering a new job or career, there will be an inevitable learning curve while you get adjusted to your new routine, duties, and responsibilities. Including self-care into that learning curve can save you stress in the future, and set you up for success.

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