According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 60 percent of all women are currently in the workforce. Compared to previous times when it was much more common for women to stay home, a lot of us are feeling stressed.
Even though more and more women are working, we’re usually still expected to keep the house clean, cook the meals and take care of the kids. To say the least, it’s stressful. Here are a few tips for managing stress if you’re managing both a career and home life.
As hard as it is to wake up in general (coupled with how easy it is to hit the “snooze” button a time or two), waking up even 10 minutes earlier can significantly reduce daily stress. Give yourself that much-needed “me time” in the early morning to set a good tone for the rest of your day. In those precious 10 minutes (or more), you can read or meditate, go for a walk, take a longer shower, have a cup of coffee and read the paper or simply gather your thoughts and organize your day. Trust us — you will live a more relaxed lifestyle by giving yourself some alone time each morning.
You work hard for the money, so reward yourself! Make sure your reward lets you stay within your budget, of course, or else you’ll just cause yourself more stress. We recommend small weekly or even daily rewards. Examples of daily indulgences include Starbucks coffee in the morning, listening to your favorite album during lunch or a hot bath with a glass of wine in the evening. Weekly indulgences may be getting lunch with a girlfriend, going on a hike or getting a pedicure. Giving yourself things to look forward to (that are just for you!) is a huge stress reducer.
Saying “no” has always been an issue women deal with. We’re people-pleasers, we overcommit and we try to do it all. These three things alone are guaranteed to cause stress. Next time someone asks you to do something, whether it’s organizing an office party or taking on extra work, think long and hard before saying “yes.” If you’re already swamped and know it will only increase your stress level, simply say “no.” Don’t feel guilty and move on.
Sleep truly is the magical cure — it significantly helps reduce stress and can even help you lose weight. If you’re not sleeping well, your body naturally goes into stress mode. Blood pressure rises and stress hormones increase. If you’re already stressed out, staying up trying to get everything done will only increase your problems. Be willing to put things off until tomorrow. As a working gal, getting your eight hours of shut-eye will help you perform better at work, be more alert and be able to accomplish more in any given day. Yes, we all want to go to bed with a sparkling clean house, but learning to let those little things go in order to get more rest will ultimately reduce your stress in the long run.
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