How to Manage WorkPlace Stress – 3 Tips for Women

It’s Friday and you’ve had a stressful week at work and are longing for the week end. Phew, thank goodness Friday is here and you dash home thankfully and very tired.

But somehow the week end you had planned doesn’t quite cut the mustard. Your longed for rest and relaxation doesn’t materialise and you find yourself tetchy and irritated for much of the time. People around you are getting on your nerves and maybe you find yourself snapping at those close to you – kids, your partner or friends

You’ve taken that workplace stress home with you and it’s infecting other areas of your life.

3 Tips for Managing Work Place Stress for Women

It’s so easy to do. We know the research – even high fliers at work still end up doing more of the household chores than men (if the stats are to be believed). This is frequently an issue for women who are working with me, either one to one or on my women’s courses; it seems getting the work-life balance right is harder sometimes than getting that promotion!

So here are a few of my tips that have worked with other women.

  • Finish work properly.
    By which I mean clear your desk, pack away any files and leave everything ready for Monday. Don’t take work home to sit reproachfully in your briefcase unless you are absolutely sure you a) really have to, and b) will be able to do it. Otherwise you literally have your work at home scuppering your chances of proper relaxation. I know at a certain level working at home is inevitable, but see if you can’t schedule this into the week nights and keep your week ends sacrosanct . You will be more productive the rest of the week for having a proper break. And leaving that desk primed for Monday is sending you a subtle but strong psychogical message.
  • Share the chores.
    With a little more  probing it often emerges that women do have partners who are happy to share the chores but there is a undertone of  ‘they won’t do it properly so I’ll only have to do it again. It’s quicker to do it myself‘. If this sounds like you try to adopt the ‘good enough’ principle with some household tasks. Good enough means being good enough, not perfect. Don’t add to your stress by placing excessively high demands on yourself and others. Sometimes we can get a bit of victim mentality as we dash around trying to do it all…
  • Take a guilt break.
    Being superwoman all week end (as well as all week!) means you’re on a hiding to nothing and probably quite difficult to be around. Make sure you do something over the week end that is just for you, that helps you recharge your battery. It may be tea in bed with the newspapers for half an hour; it may be a long phone conversation with a friend. Often it’s not a big thing but I find even when women do make time for themselves they tend to feel a bit guilty about it. Men do a lot of rushing around at week ends too. The difference I find is that men don’t tend to have the same feelings of guilt if they can’t do it all, or when they have a game of golf, watch the football, go to an exhibition. Whereas we women can get really good at beating ourselves up.
    Work out what it is you need to do to keep yourself on top form and then make time to do it! (If that’s on your too difficult pile take a look at What Stops You being Assertive?)

Life is a balance, sometimes a very delicate balance, of managing our needs and the needs of others. Remember, though, however many responsibilities you have at work and home, everyone needs a break, space to recharge. Make sure you build some time in for that, your essential maintenance down time! Happy Week end!

Photo Credit: Craig Hauger

 

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Posted on June 24th, 2011 by

2 Responses to “How to Manage WorkPlace Stress – 3 Tips for Women”

  1. Renie says:

    The work/life balance is famously hard to achieve and, outside work, it’s up to us to do what we can to ensure that we have ‘me time’ and time to unwind. It’s not so clear-cut at work where we have targets to achieve, work to get done, line managers to appease …

    Employers have a role to play in ensuring that their employees aren’t struggling with their workload, or suffering from stress/anxiety/depression. In an unstable economic climate, employees are less likely to admit to feeling under pressure.

    There’s a free Health for Work Adviceline for employers in businesses with fewer than 250 staff allowing them to discuss employee health issues with an occupational health expert: 0800 0 77 88 44 (www.health4work.nhs.uk). Employees can remind their managers about this service too if they feel they need more support…

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