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Ten Ways Moms Can Reduce Stress at Work

Updated on March 23, 2013

Don't Stress the Work Stuff

Moms are constantly in demand, overworked, and oftentimes overlooked, all while juggling stressful jobs, with a stressful home life, that can inevitably lead to a category five burn-out.

If left unchecked, work stress can take a toll on your physical and emotional health, especially if it turns chronic. According to the Mayo Clinic, twenty-five percent of people say that their job is the primary source of stress in their lives. But moms, be encouraged, below are ten tips on how you can take control of work stress and refuse to become part of the statistic.

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1. Organize Your Work Area

How often have we let things slip through the cracks because we misplace files on our desks or lose e-mails? For centuries people have debated whether a clean versus cluttered desk is better, but if you add up all the time you waste filtering through the clutter you’ll find the debate is really no debate at all. Studies have shown that people waste as much as 4.3 hours per week searching for papers. Moms, don’t fall prey to the stressful, clutter trap. A tidy workspace means a clear mind, so clean up, clear out and take control.

2. Purchase a Daily Planner

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. It’s a simple truth, but a hard lesson for many moms who go about their day, haphazardly, without a road map or any idea of where they’re going. Having a planner maximizes your productivity. And, it should be opened daily so tasks can be crossed off the list as they’re completed. When we miss important meetings, appointments and events, not only do we jeopardize our jobs, but we add unnecessary stress to our lives.

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3. Go Outside for Lunch

Research has shown that going outside makes us happy. That should be reason enough to go outside, but according to the Harvard Health letter, the sun hitting your skin also causes your vitamin D levels to rise, plus you have the ability to concentrate better. So, go outside and get a little sun, allow the stress to wash away and moms, don’t worry; be happy.

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4. Keep a Photo or Piece of Artwork Nearby

There have been multiple studies done on the health benefits of smiling. Flashing those pearly whites has been known to reduce blood pressure, alleviate muscle tension and decrease stress. If you look at a photo of your beautiful baby, or your wedding portrait, or even a painting of your favorite destination, it’ll bring some occasional joy to your day. So moms, say, “cheese” and let the stress slip away.

5. Socialize and Laugh with Co-Workers

Research has shown that the cliché is true; laughter is good medicine. And, not only that, it has healing powers that eliminates stress from our lives. Careerbliss did a study on what makes people happy at work, and top among the list were relationships with co-workers. Sadly, most people don’t make time for fun with colleagues, but chances are if you do, the workplace will be happier and your anxiety levels will go down and out.

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6. Hang Out with Positive People

If you wish to soar like an eagle, don’t run around with turkeys! And, we can all agree that there are a lot of turkeys gobbling around our offices, trying to stir up trouble. The office can be a great time of socialization, but it can also be a place of negativity where gossip and low morale can run rampant. Don’t get sucked in. Stay away from the negativity; stay away from the stress and stay away from the gobblers.

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7. Don’t Work through Your Breaks

I know. I know. Easier said than done. But, it doesn’t matter; don’t do it. World Economic Forum says that job burnout can lead to increases in stress hormones, heart disease, and mental health issues like depression. Mom’s need to refuel, to give our bodies and minds regular breaks. Please, take that break… Say it with me, take that break… One more time. Take that break.

8. Create Measurable Written Goals for Yourself

A measurable goal is the difference between “I want a promotion” versus “I want to become sales manager in six months.” The first statement is a wish, the second, which can be measured by a timeframe, is a goal. Written goals lay the path for our dreams to be realized and allow us to work with a timeframe on achieving them; and not only that, according to WebMD setting goals reduces stress. Have a vision; write down a goal; and watch your stress go down.

9. Delegate Tasks to Your Support Team

Most of us think we’re being helpful by constantly taking on tasks, but, we aren’t, not always. Too many tasks on your plate, even small ones, add to your stress. Don’t be afraid to ask the admin or sales assistant to help you whenever feasible, or hire an intern who will work for knowledge. Remember, some tasks aren’t worth doing, at least not right now. And, don’t be afraid to set a boundary and sometimes, just say no…

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10. Use Your Vacation Days

Researchers from the Framingham Heart Study found that women who took a vacation once every six years or less were almost eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease than those who took at least two vacations a year. Again moms, don’t be a statistic, plan a relaxing vacation and take it. And, even if you don’t go on an international trip somewhere, use your vacation days to go the movies, a coffee house, or just sleep in; the list is endless. Remember, if you ♥ you, your ♥ will ♥ you too.

The unnecessary burdens that many career moms carry around are real: not setting goals, working through our breaks, eating at our desks, allowing the office turkeys to drain us, and refusing to take care of ourselves. Mom’s, we can learn together; we can grow, and together, we can be a statistic no more!

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    • Careermommy profile image
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      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      reviewstop, these tips can be used for father's too! Please do try them.

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      beingwell, I was planning on getting a Franklin Covey Planner because I like the layout and different options, but I have not heard of the Starbucks planner. Thank you for the tip before I shell out $200, plus, for a new planner!

    • beingwell profile image

      beingwell 4 years ago from Bangkok

      The daily planner is definitely a good idea. I have one myself. It's the Starbucks planner I got last December. :) Voted up, careermommy.

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi rajan, I appreciate your comments. Thank you for reading.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Very useful and interesting tips. Thanks for sharing.

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      DDE, thank you for coming my way. We all need to find ways to reduce stress more, right? Happy Easter to you!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Awesome list of ways to reduce stress and you have a Happy Easter!

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Kidscrafts, thank you for your very thoughtful comments. I guess there are pros and cons with working by yourself. Fortunately I do a little of both; two days per week in the office and three days working from home. But, it's great you have good friends you can meet with from time to time. I'm so glad this article was helpful. Enjoy your Easter as well!

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Fantastic suggestions! It's not easy to be at work and juggling a household with kids, school, extra curricular activities, etc. I've been there when my kids were younger. My kids are grown up and I work from home now...but everything you say is still true....even more so because my work is always close by and I can almost work day and night! I have to discipline myself to stay away.

      As for "Socialize and Laugh with Co-Workers" this is a little bit difficult as I am working by myself.... but I can tell you I have to laught sometimes because one of my cat is stealing some of the pieces I am working on! The good thing is I have good friends that I can meet or talk to from time to time.

      Thank you again for your great article.... it will make me think even more to take a break from time to time!

      Have a great Easter!

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Louise, thank you for stopping by. I'm glad you found something of value from my hub. And, you don't have to be a mother to apply these goal-setting principles to your life. Thanks for the vote up!

    • Louise Lately profile image

      Louise Lately 4 years ago from London, UK

      I am not a mum but I can certainly relate to these helpful tips - I think setting clear goals are very important and is something that can slip if you're not careful. voted up!

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      MarieAlana1, thank you very much. I'm so happy these tips were useful for you, especially with your busy schedule! Going outside for lunch has such a calming affect, especially after being inside all day.

    • MarieAlana1 profile image

      Marie Alana 4 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks for the great tips! I am someone who works from home and goes to school from home. It gets quite stressful at times especially with the hubby working from home as well. I especially like the tips about keeping artwork that I like nearby and going outside for lunch. I think that, 'I' is important. Thanks again!

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hello Mommy Needs a Nap; I agree with you. Hanging with positive people can definitely make a huge difference at work. Unfortunately, there is a lot of negativity lurking around seeking whom they can devour, but it's up to us to stay strong and not participate in it.

    • Mommy Needs a Nap profile image

      Michelle Clairday 4 years ago from Arkansas

      Great advice. I wish I'd had those tips when my twins were small. I especially liked the hang out with positive people. It really makes a difference.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Awesome advice for the working outside the home mom as well as the working at home (with or without a career)! We mothers tend to think that we have to please others to get anywhere in this world. The truth of the matter is, we are the ones who make the world go round! Keeping our own selves in tip top condition is number one on the list of things to do, whether our mental, spiritual, or physical, it all matters. Take the time to keep yourself strong today.

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Thank you!

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      JVaughnangelisa 4 years ago

      This was so helpful! Thank you so much!

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Awww, thank you so much! Those are very encouraging words, especially being a newbie, and those words coming from a veteran like yourself. I welcome any feedback, suggestions you may have. Thank you again!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Your suggestions are all wonderful for the working mom and will provide a less stressful life in general. Although I am not a working mom, I do believe following these ideas will help my life as well. Great post and voted up.

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      Tamara coleman 4 years ago

      I think going outside to lunch is key for me. Ever since I started that my job is more enjoyable.

    • profile image

      NakaWill 4 years ago

      Thanks as these are great tips for working moms! It is so important as a working mother to take care of ourseleves and try to ensure that we find ways to decrease stress.