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How do you handle work stress?
A year or so ago I remember reading about the happiness index of countries. Naturally, I looked for India on that list and as it turns out I had to keep looking for a long time before I could find it. And to be honest, that didn’t surprise me at all. And suddenly a thought occurred to me that maybe only the moms responded to that survey!
Happiness has a lot to do with stress in our lives, doesn’t it?
And stress is a very real factor affecting each one of us. It is something that you could say affects our mental and physical well-being. And hence, happiness as well.
If you are a working mom, the stress levels just go berserk. I know it for a fact as I’m living it. Juggling the responsibilities at work and home is not easy. If anything, it is taxing, to say the least. And hence there is that elusive work-life balance that we all chase after.
If you are a #workingmom, the stress levels just go berserk. Click To Tweet
But is it so easy to attain? Well, trust me, work-life balance is a hard thing to achieve. It’s as obscure as obscure can be. And these days I falter more often than I like. But there was a time I used to be good at compartmentalization. Perhaps, added responsibilities at work and at home have made the equation more complex. A working mom’s hat is a tough one to wear. Well, I guess mom, in general, is a tough role to play. You add work to that combination and what you get is days on end without rest.
I have donned this hat for over a year now. And lately, it seems to be becoming more and more difficult to keep the work stress where it belongs, back at work. Somehow every other day I tend to carry it back home with me. And I can’t seem to stop doing it.
There is so much on my plate these days that I try to keep things as simple as I can. I work hard and with sincerity. In fact, I have stopped having any expectations at work as well after all these years is in the industry. All I want is to do my work well and the rest I just let it be. But then there are factors which end up making my life more difficult and that too when there is really no need for it. It happens everywhere, I suppose. And that’s when my stress levels just run amok and spill over into my personal life.
The thing is after a whirlwind early morning of errands at home, I end up in this environment where hard work has absolutely no value. Well, seldom has any value. Still, I carry on and by the end of the day, I’m truly exhausted. But then that really isn’t my end of the day, is it? For taking care of a toddler isn’t a cakewalk either. Throughout my day stress and tiredness keeps piling up into exhaustion.
I have to be both working and a mom. It is my choice but boy is it tough!
In the past few weeks, I have realised how much my body has been stretched in the past year. While on maternity leave, my Vitamin D levels had gone very low and I joined back while still recovering. From that moment on, there has been no respite. It’s not a good thing to even articulate but my health hasn’t even been one of my primary concerns these last few months. All I have had on my mind is how to get things done, smoothly and in time. Sometimes I can’t even comprehend how I go on from morning till night nonstop. No, I’m not indulging in a pity party here. I know I have to do this because there is no option of one or the other. I have to be both working and a mom. It is my choice but boy is it tough!
But if this can’t change, how do I make myself feel better?
How do I deal with the stress?
Believe me, I think about it every day. There have been days when I have felt so low that I have questioned my choice of being a working mom. But somehow I have found the reasons to carry on. And carry on I must.
So, yes, how do I deal with this work stress which seems to have taken over my life?
Mindfulness is something which helps when I find myself in cornered in such situations. It helps remind me that there is no use fussing over things which are beyond my control. It helps to remember that work is not life. It is a part of life. Yes, I want to do well at work but not at the cost of letting it take over my personal life. I can’t change people and policies so I need to not let these affect me. I have been trying to incorporate this thought process again for the past week. The success rate though hasn’t been that great but I’m trying.
It helps to remember that work is not life. It is a part of life.
Here’s where writing comes into the picture. I have always found solace putting pen to paper. It’s a kind of release that helps me take a stock of all my blessings. Gratitude, yes, that is another shield that I use from time to time for positive affirmations. Music, of course. And then asserting clear boundaries of what needs to be done and when is something I’m working at. I never carried work home earlier and it worked best for me then. I need to get back to doing that again.
I’m not saying my stress will reduce in the coming weeks because responsibilities come with a cost. But I’ll try to manage it better. I need to if I want to make precious memories at home instead of just waiting for weekends to make some while being bogged down by work stress on weekdays.
Tell me, how do you deal with work-related stress?