Dealing with stress at work

a fine balance

Dealing with stress at work

Many self-help books advocate “living life to the full”, which mainly focus on living in the present and doing what interests us. All of this is fine except for the fact that most women wouldn’t be able to follow such advice.

Most of them need a job to help sustain their families and to pitch in to pay for their children’s education or home loan. Leaving a job to pursue a passion may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Dealing with uncooperative colleagues, a tough boss and an unfriendly workplace takes a toll on a women’s mental and physical health.

While coping with work stress is essential for all working women, it is very important to
explore the problem’s root cause. Many women feel disillusioned with the pay package, discrimination at work, or with the work itself. “My job started getting monotonous after a few years. I found that I no longer enjoyed what I used to earlier.

Quitting was not the solution as I was getting older and had adjusted well to the place. I had a heart-to-heart talk with my boss and fortunately, she agreed to put me in another department, where I learnt computer skills as well as interacted with clients. Now I am doing fine and I am drawing enhanced salary as well,” says Nanditha B. However, not everyone is as lucky as Nanditha.

“My boss made it a point to give me additional work, that too by late afternoon. Invariably, I went home late at least four times a week, which caused a lot of arguments with my in-laws and husband,” laments Tara, who works for a private firm. For her, there was no other option but to learn new skills and try for a new job. She took a break for two months and completed a course. With a new job closer to her home, she is now happy.

Handle with care

Working women with a family to take care of are always hard pressed for time and thus, lose out on many opportunities to learn. Online courses are a great boon as they can be completed at a convenient pace. Given that they offer a certificate on completion, it helps boost one’s CV and open a plethora of opportunities.

Today, women are no longer confined to their homes but the expectation is almost the same. The media highlights this by showing cheerful superwomen who keep their houses sparkling clean, cook gourmet food and excel in their jobs. She is also the best mom, wife and daughter-in-law. This portrayal puts a lot of pressure on woman as it may not be possible to be the best in all fields. The wise thing to do is to have realistic goals, expectations and work accordingly.

Writing down all the factors, which cause stress and its intensity is a good way to help you avoid events that contribute to a rise in stress levels. A boorish co-worker can be addressed through e-mails and a non-cooperative boss can be reached out during meetings in the presence of others. For those who have tried out various options to overcome job stress but yet unable so, it would be very well to remember that “what cannot be cured must be endured”.

There is no easy way to relax or make peace with reality, but at the end of the day, women should remember that their health is important. Lucky are those who have a healthy and conducive workplace but for others, it is a matter of having a positive attitude. Many women tend to take everything to heart. A professional attitude combined with a cheery disposition will go a long way in managing work stress.

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