Running a business is stressful. Working under any type of workplace setting can be stressful, actually.
If you’ve bought into the myth that it’s possible for women (or any gender) to “have it all,” there’s a good chance you are being propelled by five internal drivers scientists have identified when addressing the topic of overwhelmed women. They are: Pleasing others, hurrying up, staying strong, get it together, trying hard—and the proverbial straw seeking a place on the camel’s back—being perfect. All the time. No matter what assails you.
You do it all with a brave face, with unfailing drive and perhaps the sort of sacrificial attitude best exemplified by Mother Theresa, but this much stress is neither healthy nor is it sustainable, no matter how many efficiencies you add to your lifestyle.
Absent a fairy godmother wielding a wand that miraculously removes your work stress, it’s incumbent upon you to be your own fairy godmother. (Wand is not required, though it’s fun to have one—even at the office.) Don’t know where to start? Keep reading! we’ve got you covered with simple tips you can do or add into your self-care routine.
Are you at physical and mentally risk of suffering from workplace stress?
Are you aware of the most commonly-reported work-related stress symptoms? It’s important to spot them. Alone or in combination, these can put you out of commission at work and at home if unaddressed:
- Too much caffeine consumption
- Tired All The Time (TATT)
- Low productivity
- Feelings of low achievement
- Hair loss
- Menstrual pattern changes
- Eating disorders
- Depression and anxiety
- Stomach and bowel disorders
- Skin reactions
- Mood swings
- Anger outbursts
- Sleep problems
- Concentration issues
- Immune system compromise
8 Tips For Getting On A Path To Managing Work Stress
If your company doesn’t already promote wellness in the workplace, your first decision must be to carve out some space in your schedule that’s just for you. It’s easier to do if you remind yourself that you deserve “me time.” Try any of the following ways to deal with stress at work—but not all of them at the same time. You have to adjust the routine little by little. Remember that you’re trying to de-stress, not add stress!
1. Curb your propensity for irrational standard-setting.
Sure, high standards are desirable and appropriate but in an effort to achieve that perfection, you’re not the only woman on the planet who winds up setting standards that are simply too high. Admit that your self-imposed standards are higher than those your bosses insist upon and consider it a wake-up call. Perfectionism, described in the UK’s “Personality and Social Psychology Review,” can be so self-destructive and debilitating for women, it almost always leads to performance failure in the workplace.
2. Embrace your physiology.
Complain all you like to your girlfriends about your monthly menstrual period, but while you’re at it give thanks for the hormone estrogen that has consistently proven to protect women from the most dramatic effects of workplace stress. In fact, females are more resilient when confronting chronic stress than men who tend to suffer memory impairment as a direct result of too much stress, say University of Buffalo researchers.
3. Identify your stressors.
Obsessive thinking, leaving the office in a state of self-doubt that sticks around until you return the next day and noticing personality shifts as a direct result of chronic stress can begin to take over one’s life, says Jan Bruce. Her pithy “Huffington Post” article stresses the critical nature of finding diversions to combat office stress: “You can’t afford not to do the things that keep you calm, revitalized, and engaged,” she writes.
4. Address your diet and try to eat well.
Vitamin B12-rich foods can boost your feeling of well-being and combat your propensity for allowing stress to move into your head and stay there. As for your daily diet, try to eat well and healthy. Everybody knows how to eat better, we just have to really put it into practice. Do not decorate your desk with the stains of take-out meals. Quick bites of fast food, thoughtlessly drowned while trying to pound out a report, is no way to eliminate stress at the office.
5. Exercise or at least walk around.
No 42km marathons necessary. Even half an hour of strident walking can air out your brain cavity, lift your spirits and refresh your attitude courtesy of endorphin releases. Try to exercise at least 3-5 five days a week. When at work, stop phoning folks to ask for work-related data and walk to their desks instead. This is one of the best work stress relievers of all because you stretch your legs and grab some face-to-face time.
6. Stop saying “I’ll do it when I find time.” Make time.
Rediscover hobbies and activities you love or wish to try but have denied yourself permission: knitting; painting; keep a journal; take a class; join a book club; attend a yoga class. It’s called fun. You need it to combat work stress while keeping yourself away from the office, girlfriend.
7. Set an email and texting schedule and stick to it.
The constant pull of social media and news is irresistible but stress provoking. Don’t disconnect completely. Check texts and emails at the same time twice daily so you don’t feel out of the loop.
8. Find time to meditate.
I know this has been featured in many headlines, and you might already find it getting too cliche as you heard over and over. But, it works! There’s a neuroscience behind all the benefits of meditation and mindfulness training. Getting into a meditative state can produce a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. During meditation, you could focus your attention on watching your mind, scanning your body, or visualizing energy flowing through chakra meditation—so consciously cool, right?.
9. Get thee to a therapist if you have run out of coping mechanisms.
Individual or group counseling can’t be beat. Can’t find a group that’s focused on how to deal with work stress? Start your own. If you don’t have time to make an appointment in person, you could try a platform like Takespace to talk with a certified therapist.
Don’t let work stress consume you, have self-control over it with these 9 helpful tips. Fix things in your routine and you’ll discover in yourself more resilience, energy and joy than you thought possible. These changes don’t cost a cent but they can make you a fortune in terms of peace of mind once you figure out how to deal with stress from dealing with tough business situations that are likely to follow you home.