Women are more prone to the workplace because of the many roles they play in life: as a career woman, wife, mother, daughter, and friend. Women work way beyond the 9-5 shift, often having to rush home to cook dinner, help the kids with homework, and prepare the next day’s office attire for the hubby. The stress and anxiety caused by endless tasks and impossible deadlines in a high-speed, high-tech world have made women’s lives a living web of complexity.
The question is: How can women cope with stress and anxiety? The first step is to dissect the problem and understand how these psychological and emotional conditions make women’s lives more difficult.
Stress is a combination of fatigue, restlessness, depression, over-focusing, and over-all gloominess that is a consequence of overwork and other domestic or personal problems. The difficulty of trying to balance time between work and the home has caused many women to suffer from stress. Personal or relationship issues like divorce or separation have also been the cause of anxiety and panic attacks among women. Women who own and manage their own businesses are also prone to stress. Their high drive for business success cannot always protect them from times of depression and overwork. Career women, on the other hand, have to confront office politics, gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and the fear of being laid off.
But there’s still hope for over-worked, stressed women. Here are some practical ways for women to reduce and manage work-related stress:
1. Put up relaxing scenes- It could be a poster or a small painting with beautiful scenery. You can even download screen savers of beaches, waterfalls, clear lakes, and other scenes that help create a serene mood.
2. The To-Do-List- Use that Post-Its or other stick-on note pads. Color-code your notes and even put up an ‘alarm’ on your computer to remind you of priority tasks. The key is to know what to do first.
3. Time out – As they say, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Take some time out to take a breather. Do way from reading emails the mostly junk. Do stimulating activities like sudoku or brainteaser. Reading some inspirational books like Chicken Soup for the Soul.
4. Rearrange your workstation – Add some “homey” look to your workstation… put up photo frames of your family or favorite pet. Whenever you feel stressed out just glance at their happy faces or cuteness and you’ll find yourself smiling back!
5. When a plant isn’t just a plant – Having a plant around your workplace is good stress relief. Studies show that looking at something green like a plant helps soothe your eyes after facing the computer monitor all day or after reading for a long time. Focusing on a green plant will have a soothing effect.
6. Exercise – Walking, climbing the stairs, or going out to run helps fight stress. Physical activity helps gets rid of tension. During a workout, your body releases endorphins which help your body to relax. Endorphins also act as natural pain killers. There are a lot of exercise videos that you can use ranging from the standard aerobics to pilates, tae-bo, and a host of other fitness programs.
7. De-clutter- A cluttered workstation like pens, pencils, notepads, and tons of papers spread around every inch of your workplace adds to your stress. Make your work environment more appealing by organizing your things and throwing away things you no longer need.
8. Set Boundaries- Communicate and assert yourself, and make your co-workers aware that you are not interested in THE TEA because workplace gossip leads to a very slippery slope that could lead to you being the target of bad juju. So tread carefully.
9. Go less in your caffeine intake- caffeine even is popularly known as a stimulant, too much of it adds to the stress and even leads to depression.
10. Eat a good breakfast- Don’t skip meals even if you are indeed in a hurry. Studies show that if you make it a practice to eat breakfast every day, your body gets more of the needed proteins to give you an energy boost to face the working day.
Beat work-related stress without beating yourself up. Learn how to relax. Sure…we have duties and responsibilities but if you don’t learn to relax— burnout is what you get! Make an effort to relax. Listen to good music. Try not to smoke. Because if you don’t watch out, the results would be hypertension…depression… and a plethora of other ailments that can sidetrack your career and home life. It’s time to regain a sense of balance if you want to stay alive for a long, long, long time.