How Do You Handle Work Stress?

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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’sΒ 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.

 

How do you stop work stress from spilling over into your personal life? #workingmom Click To Tweet

 

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?

 

MindfulnessΒ 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?

 

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22 thoughts on “How Do You Handle Work Stress?

  1. Hugs, Naba. I know it’s not easy, especially when you’re a mom to a young kid. Stress can be overwhelming. I am so glad you have begun on mindfulness and are also using writing and gratitude to help you through this.

    For me, what works is having specific times for each activity. Since I work from home, it can be very easy for one part of my life to spill into another. I have made specific rules to help me here. I have a spot for my laptop and a spot for my phone in the house. Typically, when I am doing household work, the phone and laptop stay in their spots. I completely focus on the work at home, with no distractions. I hum or breathe mindfully when I am doing chores. This helps me de-stress.

    Plus I make time for my walks. It’s very necessary to look after your health so please don’t compromise on that. M will thank you for it and so will your body.

    Hugs and know that you are doing a wonderful job. Don’t let stress overtake you, if you can help it.
    Shailaja Vishwanath recently posted…Power of Silence: How it can empower your lifeMy Profile

  2. I am also a working woman, but not a mom. I live with my parents. And since two months, mom shifted to hometown for a short period, and this is the first time in all these years, I had to manage home and work and it definitely took a toll on me. Initial days I found it very difficult to cope up with extra load of work I had to manage at home. And I never like to compromise at my workplace. But now, I getting into the routine, thou at times I can feel stressed out and frustrated when I expect myself to do everything perfectly on time without fail.

    I read and try to write or if don’t have energy for both I binge watch telly. And recently I found out that if I work out before hitting bed, it actually makes me feel good and decreases my level of grumpiness in the morning.

    Hugs girl. to be stressed is in our hormones. Just don’t over do it. take it slow. Everything will happen in the own pace. Hugs. You’re doing a wonderful job.
    Sheethal recently posted…Unapologetically be Unique.My Profile

  3. Hey Naba, know exactly what you are going through.after more than a decade in IT, i left my last job at Wipro..totally wrung up and fed up of IT. Then it was an intense period of soul searching of figuring out what i really wanted to do.painting, blogging, tech training..i tried everything.But the work i was looking for had to be satisfying which i would be passionate about and also financially viable. At long last i found my calling..again in IT but a completely new field. Now finally Mondays don’t seem like Mondays..i wait for them. I wanted to share my experience with you and hope that you find the best balance which works for you.
    Themoonstone recently posted…The Allergy DossierMy Profile

  4. Hugs Naba!!! I’m hardly qualified to give you any advice or suggestions. But I know some of it, a few responsibilities that I have myself. What I do know is you’re a strong woman, with a sensible head on your shoulders and a good caring heart and some real grit in you. To introspect and to work on making life easier for us is already a great sign. You’re doing just fine my girl. Breathe and live it up!!! Lots of love.

  5. I can completely relate to this post, Naba. I have seen the ups and downs of balancing motherhood with work. Not only does it take a toll on your health and stress levels, it also takes away some precious moments of bonding time with your child if you allow the work stress to creep into your family time. I’ve practiced the art of switching off from work once I was out of office and advised my subordinates also to do the same. It works like magic once you compartmentalize your priorities by effective time management. It seems daunting at the start but once you get into the habit, there’s no stopping it. I finally have my hands free of parenting responsibilities with my son away at his university but I will still continue with these tried and tested formulas to achieve a work-life balance that I am sure is required to keep oneself sane. Hope you work around it and take care of yourself too. After all, health and peace of mind come first. πŸ™‚
    Vinodini recently posted…#AtoZChallenge 2017 Reflections PostMy Profile

  6. Hugs to you, Nabanita! Know that you are doing everything just right! Managing stress levels is a trick we all need to master. I have seen my mother juggle it all so well, she still does. And, how she does it all and with such finesse, I will never know.
    Take care of your health. Mindfulness and gratitude are the two pillars of strength that will help you face every storm in your life. Do find time for some music while you work at home and when M is not around. It is such a big stress-reliever.
    Hugs, again, my dear!
    Shilpa Gupte recently posted…Poetry for the soul – My favourites.My Profile

  7. Nabanita, your post brought back memories of the times when my kids were younger and I was a stressed out mom. Working mothers have it tough with the dual responsibility of kids and work. Writing is a great stress buster for me. I think we all feel relaxed when we hear soothing tunes, sometimes peppy ones are great too πŸ™‚ Gratitude journal and meditation in the form of mindfulness are some other fantastic tools for managing stress. All will be well. Hug your family and smile πŸ™‚

  8. I find writing very cathartic too and I hope writing this out helped you. I am a working mum too and when I look back I don’t know how I went to work some days. It’s hard!!! #mg

  9. Work is important- but as you said it’s a part of life! As long as we remember that we can manage it all better!
    I’m not working but trust me this stress prevails here too!
    Hugs!

  10. Everyone has to find his / her own unique way to handle the work life balance and stress thereof!
    Your insight into life is so very profound Naba and it reflects in writing!
    – Anagha From Team MocktailMommies

  11. I’m certain a lot of Moms can empathise with you, Naba. I’ve often told you how I can’t imagine how you working moms pull it all off. I think your de-stressing ‘tools’ are what work for most of us. Prioritizing and setting boundaries are certainly things we all need to do.

  12. I wish I had something new to say. The only thing that will set things right for you is an environment that will value your work And contribution. My take is that if your organization valued you, you would have felt a lot better. More and more women are leaving work cos they find it hard to manage two important things in their life – a child and a Career. I know you have some fine skills.. maybe try out a more empathetic place. It can really make a lot of difference.
    Parul recently posted…Can I be paid for this job?My Profile

  13. Thank you.

    I don’t have anything new to say I’m afraid. Being a single mum has enabled me to focus on work and to leave it behind. I know that I am compromising on my career, and I know that there are things at work that I will just never get around to doing. For me, the difference has been that I allow myself not to do everything, I allow myself not to do things perfectly and just to do them, I allow myself to forgive myself when things aren’t good enough. Sometimes I beat myself up, but I tell myself to stop.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Pen x #mg
    Pen recently posted…The one about my anxiety attack over a cello caseMy Profile

  14. Oh Naba… I just want to hug you right now. A stressful work environment can very easily ruin the peace of personal life, but I am still glad that even then you are trying your best to find ways to beat it. It’s very difficult. Specially with a toddler in toe.
    Are you thinking of switching your job? Maybe a better workplace would give some respite.

  15. Not a mom but I’m a working woman and I know what you are talking about. Since my husband and I live alone and I don’t like having dependencies of maids and helps, I do all the work at home myself. And then head to work and then come back home and do the chores. It is not easy at all, and being stressed at work breaks me down at times.

    I’m someone who takes work very seriously and I’d rather let my personal space down than my professional. But as we approach release dates and the pressure is mounting, it does get to breaking point. The stress is at its peak and as a migraine patient, it is not easy. But now I’ve learnt to handle it better. Prioritizing helps me a lot and when some things cannot be done, I just let it be. If I’m too exhausted to get back home and deal with things, I just don’t. Earlier I used to be too hard on myself, but now I’ve learnt to put myself above everything else.
    Soumya recently posted…Book Review: Winter GardenMy Profile

  16. While I don’t have a child, I’ve been working now for almost 10 years and I live on my own and look after the house, cooking, cleaning, bills etc. My job is a stressful job anyway but lately, the stress has been a lot more due to organisational issues. I am burnt out but I’m trying to put things in place at work like take my lunch break regularly. I do try and engage in self-care including writing, reading, going for a walk or to the beach and most importantly, exercising every day. Exercise is probably my biggest stress-buster and without it, I’m a basket case. Hope things ease up for you soon!
    Sanch @ Sanch Writes recently posted…Bush or BeachMy Profile

  17. Managing home and work is not easy, especially with a toddler. And if there’s stress at work, it’s pretty challenging. I talk it out… the angst, irritation at work with friends and/or husband. Once, it’s out of my system, I am at peace and am able to focus on home better. Gratitude helps change tracks too and helps me to focus on positives rather than the negatives. A big hug to you, Nabanita. You are doing well!

  18. Mindfulness, writing & gratitude are all techniques that I use too. But it really can be so tough. Everything is a “priority” and whether in work or at home, you need to be fully focussed and simulatneously be keeping the other half of your life in mind. Not easy… #mg
    Lucy At Home recently posted…Blogcrush Week 33 – 29th September 2017My Profile

  19. If it’s tough, Naba. I am a working mother but at least I stunt commute. But managing home, work and kids is so stressful. I try to meditate and workout everyday and yes I take a multivitamin daily that has worked wonders for me. I will say your health is off prime importance. Please take care of it abs also look for another job.

  20. I totally agree it can be so stressful. My children are on school holidays right now and I am under some major pressure with work, my parents can not mind them now when they were going to and I am scrambling to find someone to mind them for tomorrow. It can be hard to juggle everything. I am lucky though I only work for 6 months a year in paid work. Although financially that puts pressure elsewhere. Mindfulness and writing ae big helps for me xx #mg

  21. *Hugs* I feel ya. Parenting is one of the biggest challenges we are faced with, and to juggle it with everything else can seem chaotic. I know because I have been there, done that too.

    The one thing that helped me through it was having a routine and specific times for specific tasks. And I did not do this in the beginning (because there was simply no time), but eventually I worked a ‘me-time’ activity in my daily routine. Because without ‘self-care’ we will just crash & burn.

    I know you might be thinking that you just don’t have any time for that, but I urge you to make the time. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Can you do 10-15 mins of reading? Or a short walk? Or possibly a time-out to gorge on some comfort food? All by yourself?

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