The greatest weapon against stress is our ability
to choose one thought over another.
Women are especially susceptible to workplace stress and anxiety because of the many roles they often play in life- career woman, wife, mother, daughter, and friend. Many women work well beyond their 9-5 shift, often having to rush home to cook dinner, help the kids with homework, and prepare the next day’s attire for everyone. The stress and anxiety caused by the seemingly endless number of tasks, and impossible deadlines in a high-speed, high-tech world has made life a living web of complexities.
What is stress?
Stress is a combination of fatigue, restlessness, depression, over-focusing, and frequently, gloominess that comes as a consequence of overwork. The difficulty of trying to balance the time between work and home has caused many women to suffer stress.
Here are a few practical ways to help you reduce and manage work-related stress:
1. Pictures are worth a thousand words. Put up relaxing scenes. It may be a poster or a small painting with beautiful scenery. You can even download beautiful screen savers of beaches, waterfalls, clear lakes and other scenes that will help you create a more serene mood.
2. To Do Lists. Use the Post-Its or other sticky notepads. Color-code your notes and even put up an “alarm” in your computer to remind you of priority tasks. The key to sorting through your overwhelming number of tasks is to know what you need to do first.
3. Take a time out. As they say, “All work and no play makes Jill a very dull girl.” Make some time to take a breather. Stop reading emails that contain mostly junk. Do some more mentally-stimulating activities like Sudoku or other brainteasers. Reading some inspirational books.
4. Change things up. Rearrange your workstation. Add a few personal items to your workstation. If it isn’t against policy, put up photo frames of your family or favorite pet. When ever you feel stressed out just glance at their happy and cute faces. And you will find yourself smiling back!
5. Add foliage. Having a plant around your workplace is good stress relief. Studies have shown that looking at something green, like a plant, can help soothe your eyes after facing the computer monitor or reading for long periods time. Focusing on a green plant will have a soothing effect.
6. Get some exercise. Walking, climbing the stairs, or going out for a run helps fight stress. Physical activity helps get rid of tension. During your workout, your body releases endorphins which helps your body relax. Endorphins also act as natural pain killers. There are tons of exercise videos that you can use ranging from the standard aerobics to Pilate’s, tae-bo, and a host of other fitness programs.
7. De-clutter. A cluttered workstation adds to your stress. Make your work environment more appealing by organizing your things and throwing away things that you no longer need.
8. Boundaries. Communicate and assert yourself. Be clear with your colleagues when you are available for goofing off or chatting.
9. Eat breakfast. Do not skip meals even if you are indeed in a hurry. Again, studies have shown that if you make it a regular practice to eat breakfast every day, your body gets more the needed proteins that will give you a much needed energy boost as you face your working day.
It takes conscious effort to beat work-related stress without beating yourself up. Learn how to relax. Sure, everyone has duties and responsibilities, but if you do not learn to relax, burn out will get you! Make every effort to relax more. Listen to good music.
It is well past time for you to regain some sense of balance if you want to be around for a long, long, long time.
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