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36 Free Killer Apps You Shouldn’t Live Without

36 Free Killer Apps You Shouldn’t Live Without

I consider myself an app nomad; I’m constantly exploring apps and installing and uninstalling them as needed until I find ones that will really help me make the most of my phone and days. Here’s a cream of the crop list of apps I’ve scavenged and compiled (by category) to help you seize the day using your device.

Communication & Social

1. Wickr

wickr-Free-messaging-apps-android-ios

    For users who pay extra attention to information security, Wickr allows you to send and receive top-secret messages, pictures, videos, audio clips, and files. With the ability to permanently erase deleted files from your phone and set expiration dates for your messages and media, while still offering a fun and user-friendly texting app, Wickr allows you to take control of your privacy.

    Platform(s): Android, iOS

    2. Rundavoo

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      Rundavoo is an online and mobile group scheduling app for social outings with friends. With Rundavoo you’ll be able to spend less time planning and more time enjoying your friends. Whether you’re a planner or not, Rundavoo helps you get your friends together for that spontaneous dinner or a much needed planned event.

      Platform(s): Android, iOS

      3. Google Hangouts

      hangouts11

        Hangouts is a messaging app that lets you send and receive messages, photos and more, and even start free video and voice calls – one to one or with a group.  Hangouts allows you to keep in touch with friends across Android, iOS, and the web, and it will sync chats across all your devices. The app is easy on the eyes, and one feature I particularly like enjoy is that all calls to other Hangouts users are free!

        Platform(s): Android, iOS

        4. Textra

        androidpit-textra-sms

          Textra is simply an elegant way to text. With a boatload of features, including pop-up notifications, floating notifications, and a ton of customization options, Textra has long since replaced any other text messaging app on my Android. It’ll help save you time when communicating with your friends and family and will allow you to focus your attention on the important messages you receive.

          Platform(s): Android

          5. LinkedIn

          linkedin-android-app-1024x853

            LinkedIn’s professional social networking app makes it easier to build your personal brand, make connections, stay informed with personalized news, and more — right in your feed. With some customization features and the ability to invite connections with a few taps of your screen, you’re right on your way to building a stronger professional network. One thing about this app which can get a little frustrating is the fact that when you use the search bar to find a person, his/her profile often disappears a second or two after being retrieved in the search results.

            Platform(s): Android, iOS

            Productivity

            6. CamScanner

            camscanner-1

              CamScanner will quickly replace your home scanner and will often be a quicker and more accessible alternative to your office scanner. With a no-nonsense interface, sharing and collaboration capabilities and text recognition and search abilities, CamScanner will most definitely become one of your daily go-to apps.

              Platform(s): Android, iOS

              7. Dropbox

              nexusae0_Screenshot_2012-12-05-12-13-25

                Arguably the world’s most popular cloud storage provider, Dropbox is a free online syncing service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and allows you to share them easily. With easy-to-use apps available for both Android and Apple fans, use Dropbox to save time and avoid ever having to email yourself a file again!

                Platform(s): Android, iOS

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                8. Gmail

                Screenshot_2014-11-02-11-39-41

                  Google’s recently updated Gmail app allows for an intuitive, efficient, and useful interface. Get your email instantly via push notifications, read and respond to your conversations online & offline, and search and find any email. Use it to manage multiple accounts (even the non-Gmail ones), view and save attachments, and set up label notifications. The app’s Android widget allows you to see a list of your recent emails and create a new message with a single tap.

                  Platform(s): Android, iOS

                  9. AirDroid

                  airdroid

                    AirDroid allows you to access and manage your Android phone or tablet from Windows, Mac, or the web, wirelessly, for free. Even when your phone isn’t around you, or you’ve got too much going on to handle, you can take control of your texting, file transfers, notifications, and even your phone’s camera! One drawback to AirDroid is that you can’t send messages to your contacts via third party apps such as Whatsapp.

                    Platform(s): Android

                    10. Google Keep

                    yaabot_noteapps_7

                      Google Keep allows you to create lists, text and voice memos in an aesthetic and organized manner. If you want an app to sync with the rest of your Google products while being able to share your documents and collaborate with others with ease, Keep is for you.

                      Platform(s): Android

                      11. SolCalendar

                      Snip20141221_3

                        This visually-engaging, powerful piece of app will help you live a passionate life, by providing effective time and task management tools. SolCalendar really is the full package, with a range of customizable widgets, an intuitive interface, and an awesome to-do function which will help you stay on top of life.

                        Platform(s): Android

                        News & Reading

                        12. Pocket

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                          Pocket is an app I use on a daily basis. Use it to easily save articles, videos, and other web content for later viewing. With Pocket, all your items go to one place, so you can view, organize and share them anytime, on any device, even offline. It’s super easy to use and provides a number of reading options when it comes down to accessing your content.

                          Platform(s): Android, iOS

                          13. LinkedIn Pulse

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                            As a LinkedIn fanatic, Pulse has quickly become my number one news reading app. You’ll get the knowledge most relevant to you in a bite-sized and beautiful interface. Get news from the world’s most trusted sources and leaders and follow new sources that are meaningful to you – all with a few taps of your screen.

                            Platform(s): Android, iOS

                            14. Salon.com

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                              Salon.com’s app offers fresh insight into the most important and interesting news of the day, with topics ranging from politics and entertainment to business and technology. The app allows you to share content-rich articles with images and video on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or by email.

                              Platform(s): Android, iOS

                              15. RT News English

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                                RT is a 24/7 English-language news channel. The channel and app’s coverage focuses on international headlines, giving an innovative angle set to challenge viewers worldwide. What I particularly like about this app is the level of insight and analysis they provide, which is typically left out by more mainstream media channels. With easy article sharing abilities and live streaming, the RT app will help keep you updated on what’s really going on around the world.

                                Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                16. Nuzzel

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                                  Nuzzel is a super-easy way to see news from your friends. Discover the top news stories shared by your friends on Facebook and Twitter, without being overwhelmed or missing anything. This app is very user-friendly and even shows your top stories in your iPhone’s Notification Center.

                                  Platform(s): iOS

                                  Health & Fitness

                                  17. Strava

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                                    Strava is my go-to running and cycling app. It allows you to track your runs and rides with GPS, join Challenges and see how your running and riding compares with friends. If you’re serious about fitness and tracking your results and progress, or you’d like to get serious, this is the app to help you get there. It’s extremely accurate in terms of mapping routes and capturing results and allows you to explore new paths and routes around you.

                                    Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                    18. MyFitnessPal

                                    MyFitnessPal

                                      If you’re looking to improve your diet and get serious about your lifestyle, you’re looking at the right app. With a seemingly endless database of items (4,000,000+), MyFitnessPal’s awesome calorie counting app allows for maximum accuracy when you’re trying to achieve your lifestyle changes. Phone not in range? No problem. You can also enter your meals online, with automatic syncing between your pc/laptop and your mobile device. With amazingly fast food and exercise entry, you’ve got a new weapon in the war against your love handles! The only thing I’d wish they include is alternative/healthier food suggestions to help you reach your goals faster.

                                      Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                      19. Cookpad Recipes

                                      cookpad-1

                                        Cookpad is an unique cooking community app where people post recipes and pictures. It’s your personal recipe composer. After cooking your recipe, other people can post the photo of their own attempt of making the recipe and others can comment. This app has tons of cool features, from a shopping list, to a meal planner and even a forum. Cookpad will help you spend less time thinking about what to cook and will give you the motivation to get straight to cooking.

                                        Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                        20. Fooducate

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                                          Fooducate is a great alternative to MyFitnessPal. It helps you achieve healthy weight loss, while being able to track your progress and discuss with the community. What really differentiates this app from MyFitnessPal and other healthy-eating apps is that Fooducate goes beyond simply counting the calories in your food items and suggests healthier alternatives to help you reach your weight goals. However, unlike MyFitnessPal, Fooducate only allows you to track food activity; there is currently no way to track your exercise/fitness routines.

                                          Platform(s): iOS

                                          21. My Diet Coach

                                          MyDietCoach

                                            My Diet Coach will motivate you, help keep you on track, resist food cravings, emotional eating, exercise laziness and other obstacles. How so? It provides motivational arguments, guidelines, tracking challenges, getting virtual rewards for your achievements, helpful reminders and notifications with your goal and your motivational photos. One con about this app — it’s currently only available for women. There’s also no word on if there will be an app released for guys anytime in the near future.

                                            Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                            Money & Budgeting

                                            22. Wally

                                            wally07

                                              Wally is a personal finance app that helps you take control of your money. With an intuitive user-friendly design, Wally helps you understand where you money is going, set and stick to budgets, balance your income and expenses, and achieve your financial goals. You can also save receipts with each transaction, export data to Excel, and backup your data with iCloud.

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                                              Platform(s): iOS

                                              23. Mint.com

                                              mint-com-android-apps-screenshot-970x546

                                                Mint pulls in all your personal finance accounts and investments into one place, so you can track your spending, create a budget, receive bill reminders, and save money. What’s really great about Mint is that you can set up all your bank accounts in just a minutes. One drawback to this app is that it can sometimes be tedious to add a personal bank account or credit card to your profile; the account verification can be a huge turn off.

                                                Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                                24. Financius

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                                                  Financius is a simple application that helps you log and track your expenses and keep an eye on your balance. What I particular like about Financius over other finance apps, such as Mint, is its simplicity and the fact that it’s very easy on the eyes. This app is sure to help you better manage your finances! The one slight drawback about Financius is that all of your accounts and balances must be manually input; there is currently no feature which allows you to link your personal bank and credit card accounts to the app.

                                                  Platform(s): Android

                                                  25. Goodbudget

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                                                    Goodbudget is a money manager for budget planning and personal finance management. It has a unique “envelopes” feature, which allows you to allocate money for different people and purposes in your household. Use this app if you’re looking to keep an eye on your kids and other family members.

                                                    Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                                    Shopping & Saving

                                                    26. The Hunt

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                                                      The Hunt app will keep you from ever wondering where someone got that amazing outfit from again! Post a pic of what you’re looking for, and the community of over three million savvy shoppers will help you find it, style it, or buy it for less. As a member of community, you can return the favour and help others with your own style expertise. Trade fashion tips, get advice, and discover new places to shop.

                                                      Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                                      27. Flipp

                                                      WISHABI - Flipp app now gives Android users all their favorite

                                                        Say goodbye to flyers! Flipp delivers your favorite circulars and Weekly Ads to your fingertips. With Flipp, you can easily search for the items you need, quickly create a handy shopping list and price match in a flash at the checkout. This has become a staple app which I use for every grocery trip.

                                                        Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                                        28. Etsy

                                                        etsy

                                                          The Etsy app is the official mobile app for Etsy.com — home to the world’s small businesses and a great alternative to Amazon. Etsy will help you discover over 17 million unique items from 800,000 sellers around the world, while allowing you to shop and manage your orders with ease.

                                                          Platform(s): Android

                                                          29. LivingSocial

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                                                            LivingSocial will help you save up to 80% on great local restaurants, relaxing spas, unique products, and exotic vacations. Use the LivingSocial app for Android and iPhone to help you discover and share the best things to see and do in your city. Although this app is quite good, there are also many alternative apps which can be used, such as Groupon, Dealfind, etc.; it’s all a matter of tastes and preferences.

                                                            Platform(s): Android, iOS

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                                                            Other Goodies

                                                            30. How to Tie a Tie

                                                            How-to-tie-a-tie-App

                                                              Never ask your coworker, friend, or dad to help you tie your tie ever again. With a seemingly endless list of knots (20, to be exact) and accompanying instructions, pictures, and videos, become a tie-tying pro for any occasion you’re challenged with.

                                                              Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                                              31. Waze

                                                              Les-multiples-services-de-Waze

                                                                Waze is the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. Join drivers in your area who share real-time traffic and road info to save time, gas money, and improve daily commuting for all. You can also actively report accidents, police traps, and other hazards you see on the road. Get road alerts along your route and find the cheapest gas prices around you shared by the community. Plus, you can add friends, send locations, or keep others posted on your arrival time. One thing which really frustrated me about the app when I tried using it was that it was impossible for me to add my home and work addresses to the app though I’m not sure if this is a general issue other uses are experiencing, or if it was just my device.

                                                                Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                                                32. Easy Taxi

                                                                easy-taxi-singapore

                                                                  Never will you have to wave down a taxi again! Easy Taxi allows you to easily book a taxi and track it in real time, with just a tap of a button. All you have to do is wait for the app to automatically locate your address using GPS, confirm your location, and tap “Request taxi.” Then, stand aside and watch how Easy Taxi assigns a nearby driver.

                                                                  Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                                                  33. Duolingo

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                                                                    Duolingo will help you learn some of the world’s most popular languages, including: Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Irish, Danish, Swedish, and English in a fun and free way. Speaking from experience, the Duolingo app can be used as a standalone method of learning a language, or alongside the excellent website for extra notes and immersion features. I really wish there were more languages offered, such as Arabic, Hindi or Mandarin, and there is definitely room here for development.

                                                                    Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                                                    34. TED

                                                                    ted-android-app

                                                                      TED’s official app presents talks from some of the world’s most fascinating people: education radicals, tech geniuses, medical mavericks, business gurus, and music legends. Find more than 1,700 TEDTalk videos and audios (with more added weekly) on the official TED app. What’s awesome about the TED app is not only is it incredibly easy to use, it’ll help you learn a ton of stuff in over 22 languages!

                                                                      Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                                                      35. BestParking – Find Parking

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                                                                        BestParking steers drivers toward the cheapest and most convenient parking garages and lots in 105 cities and 115 airports throughout North America. Use this app to help save yourself money, as well as the frustration which comes from crazily looking around for a parking spot during your commute.

                                                                        Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                                                        36. Carrr Matey

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                                                                          Never lose your car in a parking lot or a busy street again! Carrr Matey guides you back using a compass or walking directions. Its’s perfect for airports, stadiums, shopping malls, etc. Plus, use the timer to park at meters worry-free. My favourite feature about this app is that it does all of this in a pirate theme!

                                                                          Platform(s): Android

                                                                          Featured photo credit: young girl working with tablet in the street via shutterstock.com

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                                                                          1 How to Eliminate Work Stress When You’re Stressed to the Max 2 Understand Your Habits to Control Them 100% 3 Easily Distracted? Here’s Your Solution 4 There Is More to Life Than  ____________ 5 Do You Have to Give Everything Up to Get a Fresh Start?

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                                                                          Last Updated on October 23, 2018

                                                                          How to Eliminate Work Stress When You’re Stressed to the Max

                                                                          How to Eliminate Work Stress When You’re Stressed to the Max

                                                                          Workplace stress is a modern epidemic. More than one-third of American workers experience chronic work stress. This is estimated to cost American businesses up to $300 billion a year in lost work hours and medical bills.[1]

                                                                          Clearly, if you’re suffering from work stress – you’re far from alone. But, work stress isn’t inevitable.

                                                                          In this article, I’m going to help you identify the root cause of your stress and suggest the most suitable ways to cope with job stress so you can become a happy and productive worker again.

                                                                          Where Work Stress Comes From

                                                                          Certain factors tend to go hand-in-hand with work-related stress. The causes of stress include:

                                                                          • Too much work – you feel overwhelmed by your work and find yourself saying: “There are not enough hours in the day!”
                                                                          • The job is too easy, not challenging or inspiring – this is where boredom (which is stressful) sets in.
                                                                          • Pressure from co-workers or lack of social support – colleagues are not helpful or only care about their own tasks.
                                                                          • Little praise and lots of criticism – this is where a lousy manager uses constant criticism to ‘try’ to motivate you.
                                                                          • Very demanding or competitive working culture – sales departments often fit this category.
                                                                          • Not having enough control over job-related decisions – this is when people try to micro-manage you.
                                                                          • High expectations on yourself or seeking perfection – while it’s good to do your best, being a perfectionist can be a powerful stress generator.
                                                                          • Low salary – if you work hard but receive slim financial rewards, you may start to feel downhearted, frustrated and stressed.

                                                                          The Negative Effects of Stress on Your Mind and Body

                                                                          Chronic stress is bad news for your mental health and physical health. These are some health symptoms of stress:[2]

                                                                            If stress hormones are triggered in your body for extended periods, they can lead to increased physical aging. This is because stress makes your cells look and act older – and this is reflected in your physical appearance.[3]

                                                                            In addition to the negative effects on your body, stress also has a significant influence on your brain – negatively impacting your daily performance.

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                                                                            I recommend you watch the 4-minute video below to see just how stress can wreak havoc on your brain and your performance:

                                                                            How to Cope with Work Stress (A Step-By-Step Guide)

                                                                            You don’t need to be a victim of work stress. Here’s how to manage stress in the workplace:

                                                                            1. Set aside some time for planning

                                                                            If work has become too much for you, and you’re constantly falling behind… stop! Instead of trying and failing to catch up, you’d be much better off spending some time thinking about your goals and how your prioritize your tasks.

                                                                            Learn how to set clear goals with this step-by-step guide.

                                                                            For instance, if your initial goal is just to get on top of your work (probably for the first time in months), then take 10 minutes to think clearly and deeply about how you can achieve this. Most likely, you’ll be able to come up with tasks that you need to complete to reach your goal. And once your goal and tasks are clear in your mind, you’ll be ready for the second step.

                                                                            2. Align your tasks with your goal

                                                                            Just knowing your goal and associated tasks is not enough. Many people reach this stage but still fall behind with their work and fail to achieve their goals.

                                                                            The secret is to understand which of your tasks should be high priority and which ones can be done when you have spare time.

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                                                                            For example, checking your inbox every 20 minutes may seem to be a productive task for you, but in reality it acts as a constant distraction and productivity killer. Instead, you’d be better off setting aside 30 minutes in the morning to check your emails and 30 minutes in the afternoon to do the same.

                                                                            By doing this, you’ll free up the bulk of your day for tasks that can help you reach your goal. These tasks are likely to be things like: writing a business proposal, creating a PowerPoint presentation, and finishing an important project.

                                                                            These tips on how to prioritize will help you align your tasks with your goals and work 10X more efficiently.

                                                                            3. Remove, change or accept the stressors

                                                                            How to tackle specific work stressors? I recommend the following method that WellCast introduced:[4]

                                                                            Take a piece of paper and divide it into three columns. At the top, write remove in the first column, change in the second and accept in the third.

                                                                              Next, think of the stressors that are getting to you the most. Perhaps it’s your paycheck; it might be way smaller than you’d like or feel that you deserve. Don’t worry, this is your chance to break free from the stress surrounding your low pay.

                                                                              Think for a few moments, which would you prefer:

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                                                                              • To remove yourself from the company
                                                                              • To try to change your salary by asking for a pay rise
                                                                              • To accept that your salary is okay for you

                                                                              You may be surprised at what thoughts come into your mind. Don’t reject them, but allow yourself time to be clear on how you’d like to proceed.

                                                                              If the status quo feels good to you, then write “paycheck” in the accept column. If you decide you want to increase your salary but stay in the same company, write “paycheck” in the change column. And finally, if you decide the time is right to seek a new opportunity at a different organization, then write “paycheck” in the remove column.

                                                                              By being decisive in this way, you’ll immediately feel freer and in control of your destiny. And your stress levels will begin to trend downwards. All that remains is to set yourself a clear goal of what you want to achieve and how you’re going to do this.(Luckily, steps #1 and #2 above will help you out!)

                                                                              Of course, if you have multiple work stressors, then use your remove, change or accept sheet to work through all of them. It will be time VERY well spent.

                                                                              4. Create positive relationships at work

                                                                              One key to improving your ability to manage stress is being able to accept help from others. Not only does it alleviate negative circumstances by simply distracting you and creating a buffer between daily tasks and their negative connection, it will provide a sense of support and relief.

                                                                              Make an effort to create friendships with your colleagues. Go to the after-work happy hour or just ask a colleague out for coffee at lunchtime. Not only will you have someone to confide in, but you will start to associate positive feelings to work.

                                                                              Forming a healthy relationship with your manager or supervisor is also a good way to alleviate stress. Positive, two-way conversations about where you stand in your job, being honest about how you feel, and working together to make a plan of action in terms of improved work conditions and expectations are paramount. This will lead to opening up and receiving the necessary resources you need to support or help you.

                                                                              5. Take time out for yourself

                                                                              Anyone can get overwhelmed when stress occurs at work, and this can spill into other areas of your life. This is why it’s important to clock out mentally from your job from time to time.

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                                                                              Take time off to relax and unwind in order to regain your energy and come back to work invigorated. Make sure you actually do something you enjoy like spending time with your kids or partner, or visit that country you’ve always wanted to explore.

                                                                              If taking time off work isn’t possible in the midst of your stress, take scheduled breaks throughout your day. Sit quietly somewhere or do some stretches to get your blood flowing like in the example below:

                                                                              6. Take mindful action towards your health

                                                                              The irony of stress is that your healthy habits can take a backseat. Maintaining and even improving your health will keep your stress under control. Here are some ways to keep you physically fit:

                                                                              • Eat healthy foods. Make sure your diet is full of foods that provide your body with sufficient nutrients. Eat more fruits and green vegetables, whole foods, omega-3 rich fish, and seeds such as flax, chia and hemp. These types of food ensure your body is working optimally to cope with its stress mechanisms.
                                                                              • Avoid unhealthy foods. This is obvious, but it’s these kinds of food you reach for in times of stress and negativity. High fat foods such as cheese and red meat cause sluggishness and tiredness. Foods high in refined sugars like biscuits, chocolate bars, and bread can be convenient snacks, but they cause you to crash and burn. Same with caffeinated drinks such as coffee and sodas – these are just ‘band aid’ habits that interfere with your ability to sleep.
                                                                              • Exercise regularly. Endorphins are the best for counteracting stress, and what better way to release them than doing physical exercise. Exercise creates a distraction and helps you get your thoughts back together in an orderly way. Start a new exercise regime – whether it’s running, swimming, cycling or walking to work. Getting your blood and endorphins flowing will make you feel happier.
                                                                              • Get enough sleep. Make getting 8 hours sleep a priority. When we’re stressed it can sometimes feel hard to get to sleep but sleep deprivation only exaggerates our current stress. A well-rested mind is able to find solutions to problems more easily and reacts better to daily stressors.

                                                                              Final Thoughts

                                                                              Everyone encounters stress at work. It’s a natural and normal human reaction. The difference between letting the stress overcome you and coping with it is getting a head start by creating a positive environment and lifestyle.

                                                                              Counteracting stress is both an inside and outside job. Focusing on improving your health will create a positive mind able to react better. Forming positive relationships with certain people around you will give you emotional support.

                                                                              Beat stress with the right mindset!

                                                                              Featured photo credit: whoislimos via unsplash.com

                                                                              Reference

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