Work gotcha stressed out? You're not alone. Stress is a major issue for workers today, no matter the field they're in. From classrooms to boardrooms, construction sites to websites, people of all ages and stages in their career can become overloaded with stress. And it won't disappear on its own. You can take stress and turn it from a mess to a success.

Here are 3 ways to learn to de-stress and make the workplace more peaceful and inviting. No more pulling your hair out! Instead, you can chill out, calm your nerves, and discover new ways of tackling unpleasant and frustrating situations with these useful tips. Turn aggravation into accomplishment all while relaxing the mind and spirit.

Create Boundaries

There's so much constant activity that interrupts, distracts, and throws us off schedule each day. As the American Psychological Association notes, "In today's digital world, it's easy to feel pressure to be available 24 hours a day." Too many of us never know when to cut off our work-focused minds and achieve balance.

Many of us are compelled to answer emails the moment they land in the inbox, talk to "Joe" from marketing just because he inconveniently popped in the office unannounced, or attend every meeting we're invited to. All this commotion may seem like part of the job, but with no boundaries, stress levels rise higher and higher. We feel like we have to "do it all" when sometimes, less is indeed, more.

You can take control of this non-stop frenzy and still get your job done better than ever. Sharon Melnick, Ph.D., a business psychologist and author recommends to Forbes, "Emails, phone calls, pop ins, instant messages and sudden, urgent deadlines conspire to make today's workers more distracted than ever. While you may not have control over the interrupters, you can control your response. Melnick advises responding in one of three ways: Accept the interruption, cut it off, or diagnosis its importance and make a plan."

No one will begrudge you for trying to get your work done efficiently and will less stressors. Make small changes until you are comfortable with the new patterns and habits you've strategically implemented. When others see how well you're performing, they may be compelled to follow suit, making your entire workplace more efficient.

Treat Your Body Well

Stress is known to nag and fester, so do all you can to relax your mind and take good care of your body in order to release tension and arrive at a lighter, brighter place. As per PsychCentral, "Engage in activities that are relaxing to you, such as yoga, or anything that you really enjoy, such as meeting with friends, reading, watching TV or gardening."

And even before you get into that mode effectively, when mind-numbing stress is at its peak, stop what you're doing to focus on deep breathing. Melnick, as per Forbes suggests, "If you're feeling overwhelmed or are coming out of a tense meeting and need to clear your head, a few minutes of deep breathing will restore balance." Not only will this calm your nerves, but as per PsychCentral it "prevents you from saying something you might regret." That could lead to even more stressful scenarios! Note: Do NOT hit "reply all!"

It's also imperative to eat well, get adequate sleep, and let your mind and body recharge. Try not to obsess over stressful work-related issues when it's time to be with family and loved ones or during your "me time." Leave the work at the office as much as you can. The more you remove yourself from the "eye of the storm," the better you'll clear up the negative clouds which loom over your head and move forth with clear and sunny skies lighting your path.

Mind Over Matter

Sometimes we create unnecessary drama in our heads when things aren't going perfectly. We can become hyper-sensitive to innocent comments that were totally harmless and blow minor issues out of proportion. Meetings that somehow went off-track and projects that didn't yield the desired results can still have positive takeaways. By looking on the bright side, we can reduce stress and allow ourselves to work more efficiently. Turn negatives into positives and take control of how you react rather than allowing the situation to lead your behavior.

As per the American Psychological Association, one way to help your mind focus is through learning how to relax. "Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises and mindfulness (a state in which you actively observe present experiences and thoughts without judging them) can help melt away stress. Start by taking a few minutes each day to focus on a simple activity like breathing, walking or enjoying a meal."

By learning how to control the mind, you can better react to potentially stress-inciting situations and people more calmly and effectively. Remember, we cannot control what others say and do, but we can manage ourselves. You have the power to use your mind to dilute heavy situations and circumstances and turn them into positives. Always take a moment before reacting and think about what you want to say or do. It will greatly affect the outcome and you will lead the way for others thanks to your rational example. Together, we can re-route the stress in the workplace and travel a new path to overall success.

Less stress IS possible. You can become the stress-free professional you always knew you could be. 'Till then, invest in a squishy stress ball and give it a tension-reducing squeeze!

PayPath
Follow Us on

Afghan women

NBC

Over the past month, both Haiti and Afghanistan have been pummeled by tragic disasters that left devastation in their wake.

In Haiti, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake erupted, leading over to 2,189 deaths and counting. A few hours later, in Afghanistan, Kabul fell to the Taliban just after U.S. troops had pulled out after 20 years of war.

In many ways, these disasters are both chillingly connected to US interference. The United States invaded Haiti in 1915, ostensibly promising to restore order after a presidential assassination but really intending to preserve the route to the Panama Canal and to defend US creditors, among other reasons.

But the US forces soon realized that they were not able to control the country alone, and so formed an army of Haitian enlistees, powered by US air power and intended to quell Haitian insurrection against US controls. Then, in 1934, the US pulled out on its own, disappointed with how slow progress was going. Haiti's institutions were never really able to rebuild themselves, leaving them immensely vulnerable to natural disasters.

Something similar happened in Afghanistan, where the US sent troops and supported an insurgent Afghan army – only to pull out, abandoning the country they left in ruins, with many Afghans supporting the Taliban.

In both cases, defense contractors benefited by far the most from the conflict, making billions in profits while civilians faced fallout and devastation. While the conflicts and circumstances are extremely different and while the US is obviously not solely to blame for either crisis, it's hard not to see the US-based roots of these disasters.

Today, in Haiti and Afghanistan, civilians are facing unimaginable tragedy.

Here are charities offering support in Afghanistan:

1. The International Rescue Committee is looking to raise $10 million to deliver aid directly to Afghanistan

2. CARE is matching donations for an Afghanistan relief fund. They are providing food, shelter, and water to families in need; a donation of $89.50 covers 1 family's emergency needs for a month.

3. Women for Women International is matching donations up to 500,000 for Afghan women, who will be facing unimaginable horrors under Taliban control.


4. AfghanAid offers support for people living in remote regions of Afghanistan.

5. VitalVoices supports female leaders and changemakers and survivors of gender-based violence around the world.

Here are charities offering support in Haiti:

1. Partners in Health has been working with Haiti for a long time, and they work with the Department of Health rather than around them, which is extremely important in a charity.

2. Health Equity International helps run Saint Boniface Hospital, a hospital in Haiti close to the earthquake's epicenter.

3. SOIL is an organization based Haiti, "a local organization with a track record of supporting after natural disasters." They are distributing hygiene kits and provisions on the ground to hospitals and to victims of the earthquake.

4. Hope for Haiti has been working in emergency response in Haiti for three decades, and their team is comprised of people who live and work in Haiti. They focus on supporting children and people in need across Haiti.

via Tiffany & Co.

When the new Tiffany's campaign was unveiled, reactions were mixed.

Tiffany's, the iconic jewelry brand which does not (despite what some might be misled to believe) in fact serve breakfast, featured Jay Z, Beyoncé, and a rare Basquiat painting in their recent campaign.

Keep reading Show less

Stacker

Road trips can be a lot of fun — but they can also drain your wallet quickly if you aren't careful.

From high gas costs and park admission fares to lodging and the price of eating out every night, the expenses can add up quickly. But at the same time, it's very possible to do road trips cheaply and efficiently. Without the headache of worrying about how much money you're leaking, you can enjoy the open road a whole lot more. Here's how to save money on a road trip.

1. Prepare Your Budget, Route, and Packing List in Advance

If you want to save money on a road trip, be sure you're ready to go. Try to count up all your expenses before you hit the road and create a budget. It's also a good idea to plan your route in advance so you don't end up taking unnecessary, gas-guzzling detours. And finally, be sure to pack in advance so you don't find yourself having to buy tons of things you forgot along the way.

2. Book Cheap Accommodations — Or Try Camping

All those motel rooms can add up surprisingly quick, but camping is often cheap or free, and it's a great way to get intimate with the place you're visiting. You can check the Bureau of Land Management's website for free campsites. Freecampsite.com also provides great information on If you don't have a tent or don't want to camp every night, try booking cheap Airbnbs or booking hotels in advance, making sure to compare prices.

Camping camping road tripConde Nast Traveler

If you're planning on sleeping in your car, a few tips: WalMart allows all-night parking, as do many 24-hour gyms. (Buying a membership to Planet Fitness or something like it also gives you a great place to stop, shower, and recharge while on the road).

3. Bring Food From Home

Don't go on a road trip expecting to subsist on fast food alone. You'll wind up feeling like shit, and it'll drain your pocketbook stunningly quickly. Instead, be sure to bring food from home. Consider buying a gas stove and a coffee pot for easy on-the-go meals, and make sure you bring substantial snacks to satiate midday or late night cravings so you can avoid getting those late night Mickey D's expeditions.

Try bringing your own cooler, filling it with easy stuff for breakfast and lunch — some bread and peanut butter and jelly will go a long way. Bring your own utensils, plates, and napkins, and avoid buying bottled water by packing some big water jugs and a reusable water bottle. Alternatively, try staying at hotels or Airbnbs with kitchens so you can cook there.

4. Avoid Tolls

Apps like Google Maps and Waze point out toll locations, so be sure to avoid those to save those pennies. (If it takes you too far off route, you might have to bite the bullet and drive across that expensive bridge).

You can also save on parking fees by using sites like Parkopedia.

Road Trip Road TripThe Orange Backpack


5. Save on Gas

Gas can get pricy incredibly fast, so be sure that you're stopping at cheap gas stations. Free apps like GasBuddy help you find the most affordable gas prices in the area. Also, try going the speed limit on the highways — anything faster will burn through your tank. Be sure that you don't wait till you arrive at touristy locations or big cities to fill up.

6. Get a National Park Pass

All those parks can get really expensive really fast. If you're planning on visiting three or more parks, it's a great idea to get an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass. For $80 you can get into every National Park for one year.