My profession is a very stressful one, by its nature. I am a lawyer with a very large law firm on the corporate side doing mergers and acquisitions. There are long hours, difficult clients, difficult lawyers (both on my side and on the opposing side!), and difficult work that requires a lot of focus. When a deal is closing, it is on the fast track and it is closing. Period. It doesn't matter if my stomach hurts, or I am on Prednisone because I am flaring and have brain fog and the sweats, or I have a personal situation to deal with, etc. I get up at 5:30 am every single day, and I rarely get home before 7:00 pm.
Stress is a major factor for me and my UC. Two of my three flares have been after significant events in my life - the unexpected passing of my father and the extended illness and passing of my grandmother who I loved more than anyone in this world. So, I know that I have to keep a reign on my stress, or I will be sick. BUT, I can't leave work as I need the income and the insurance... and I truly love what I do. Well, and I refuse to let this disease beat me.
Anyway... over the years, I have developed some techniques that help me to deal with the stress. You can take them or leave them... they are just what work for me, and I truly believe that everyone is different.
(1) When I leave work, I leave work. I don't take work home. The minute I pull out of the parking garage, I am finished. I don't look at my Blackberry at home... unless we are closing a deal or there is a major issue, which is not often.
(2) When I take vacation, I truly take vacation and completely disengage. I have others that I work with that can handle the load in my absence. You will never find me working on vacation... and that is the same whether I travel on vacation or just stay home.
(3) I don't work weekends. In my profession, most people work 6-7 days a week. I work longer hours during Monday through Friday so I can take Saturday and Sunday off. Again, I avoid my Blackberry over the weekend.
(4) Because I get up early and need my sleep, I go to bed early. I don't have a nightlife. Most nights, I am in bed and sound asleep by 9:00 pm. Some might call that boring, but I just call that my life.
I really try and keep to a routine.
(5) I do something nice for myself every couple of weeks or so. I get either a manicure, pedicure, facial or massage. I go shopping for a new handbag, shoes or outfit. Stuff like that. I make sure I take time out.
(6) I take lunch to myself every day that I don't have a meeting or other appointment. I always leave my office for lunch (even if it is just to go outside and sit on a bench for 20 minutes). That gives me a break. I don't take the Blackberry with me to lunch... that defeats the purpose.
(7) Finally, I stay as organized as possible. I've done a lot of reading on organizational techniques (I know... I'm anal... but you would want me to be if I were your lawyer!), and I find that the more organized I am, the less stressed I am. That helps to keep a lot of daily stress at bay.
I hope these tips can help you! I have really had to learn to control my stress in order to control my UC, and all of the above work for me. Good luck with your job search!
- Asacol (4 pills, 2x per day)
- Rowasa (1 enema daily, as needed)
- Folic Acid (1 mg, 1x per day)
- Calcium (600 mg, 2x per day)
- Prenatal Vitamin (1x per day)