From multitasking to meeting deadlines, court reporters have a lot on their plate. A day in the life of a court reporter certainly is not a walk in the park. Your day is more like a run through the park – consisting of a multitude of stressors, including listening to heated attorney debates, dealing with upsetting or nerve-wracking deposition topics, rough drafts and expedited deadlines, and transcribing at all hours of the day and night. With a mile-long to-do list, your nerves can quickly become fried and your productivity and tenacity can suffer.
We all have those days. The days when you rush to get out of the door to work (likely forgetting important things like your car keys) and end up coming into the workplace frazzled and frustrated – and the day is just beginning. No matter how peaceful or stressful your day starts, there are bound to be additional stressors that make their way into your inbox or burst in unannounced with harsh deadlines. Stress is a part of life and it is nearly impossible to avoid no matter how organized your planner and to-do list seem.
Rather than wrestling your way through the bumps and hurdles of your day, approach your stress with some healthy techniques that will actually leave you feeling better than you were before your stressors came knocking down your door.
Remember to breathe
When was the last time you took a deep breath? Take notice of your breathing. Chances are good that you’ve been taking only shallow sips of air all day, which shortens the supply of oxygen to vital parts of your body – like your brain. Taking deep belly breaths, also known as diaphragmatic breathing, increases the flow of oxygen throughout your body. According to the Harvard Medical School website Harvard Health, belly breathing can slow your heartbeat and lower and/or stabilize your blood pressure. How is that for instant self-soothing?
Nourish and hydrate yourself
When we become stressed or our day starts off in a hectic way, the first thing we usually neglect is our body’s need for nourishment. Your body needs nourishing food and water to properly function and when you’re feeling stressed, your body is working in overtime, which means your nutrition levels need to be ready to withstand the added pressure. When faced with stress, most people commonly turn to comfort (junk) food to cope. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine states that these kinds of foods only exacerbate the problem. The Physicians Committee recommends opting for fresh veggies, fruit, and low-fat, high-fiber, carbohydrate-packed meals instead of reaching for that bag of chips. Your body will thank you and you will be able to conquer your stress in no time.
Release stagnant energy through movement
There is a reason why exercise is one of the most commonly recommended ways to manage anxiety and depression. Exercise is considered vital to maintaining your physical stamina as well as your mental stamina, and can help you ease the symptoms of stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise can give you more endorphins (hello, happy!), improve your mood, give you that much-needed boost of energy, and also improve your sleep. Stress affects every part of our physical and mental wellbeing, so lace up your shoes and get your blood pumping to take a proactive approach toward your health.
Turn to your friends and family
According to the American Psychological Association 2015 Stress in America survey, the average stress level for people with emotional support from friends and family was 5.0 out of 10 – a lower rate compared to 6.3 for those without support from loved ones. Keeping a support group of loved ones can help you maintain a sense of belonging, self-confidence, and security, all of which help contribute to lowering and managing your stress, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Utilize positive affirmations
When it comes to the voice inside our head, we can often be our own worst enemy and harshest critic. When stressful times arise, take notice of your mental thought processes and the way you ‘talk’ to yourself in your mind. Do you find yourself ruminating, berating, or otherwise taking a negative stance on every little action you take? Changing our self-talk can be monumental when coping with stress. SoundMind.org recommends a list of positive self-talk affirmations to get you in a positive and comforting state of mind, such as: “I feel calm and relaxed. When I am calm and relaxed, I can handle any situation,” and “I focus my mind on things I can change and let go of the things I can’t.”
Stress is a part of everyone’s life and it doesn’t have to ruin an afternoon, day, entire week, or more. With these tips, you can feel balanced, healthy, and happy even when the unexpected comes across your desk.
Sources: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/take-a-deep-breath, http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/how-to-eat-right-to-reduce-stress, https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/managing-anxiety/exercise-stress-and-anxiety#, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/exercise-and-stress/art-20044469, https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/managing-anxiety/exercise-stress-and-anxiety#, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/social-support/art-20044445, http://www.sound-mind.org/self-talk-for-stress.html#.WqMHZOjwaUk