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Stress Reducers for Working Moms-to-Be

Stress is a normal part of life, but working women seem to have more than their share. As a pregnant working woman, you need to be sure that the stress in your life doesn't adversely affect your health and the health of your baby. If you cant fight or flee, learn how to flow.

Ten Ways to Control Stress at Work
Have you had trouble sleeping lately? Suffer from headaches, stomachaches, or heartburn? Or do you seem to develop one cold after another? Perhaps that's your body's way of reacting to too much stress. Here are some general strategies for reducing the impact:

  1. Organize your workload—Tasks are more manageable if you deal with them one at a time. When you have too many things to do at work, draw up a plan of attack in order of priority. Complete the tasks one after the other and soon you'll find the weight lifting from your shoulders.
  2. Solve the problems—Begin by identifying the true problems. If you're always overwhelmed at the office, think about why you tend to take on so much. Devise several ways to solve the problem and write them down. Put your plan into action and evaluate it to see if it's working.
  3. Avoid the source of stress—Don't make major changes in your life until after your baby is born. Beware of the holiday season; let someone else do the work this year. Clean up the clutter on your desk. Give up stressful volunteer tasks.
  4. Return stress to its rightful owner—Some of the aggravation you feel is really someone else's problem. Tell your mate that he'll have to entertain his clients himself; tell a coworker to learn the system instead of always asking you. Start saying no to the other people who lean on you. Explain that you have more than enough to do, and suggest that they should do it themselves.
  5. Try physical activityExercise, yoga, or perhaps a stroll around your workplace during the day is a wonderful stress reliever. Even cleaning your work space in your first trimester can relax you.
  6. Talk about it—Share your concerns with a coworker or a friend. It may or may not lead to a solution, but you'll feel much better after unburdening yourself. If sharing with a friend doesn't seem to help, be sensible and seek the counsel of a professional.
  7. Don't hold back the tears—Crying is a healthy way to relieve anxiety. Of course, there are times when it wouldn't be appropriate: in front of a client, for instance.
  8. Accept differences and things you cannot change—Some problems simply cannot be solved or else the solution is way down the road. Don't let it bother you if coworkers do things differently from the way you do. Relax, there's more than one way to reach a goal. Cooperation is always better than confrontation.
  9. Keep up a social life—Visit friends,take a colleague to a play, go out to dinner with another couple. Make time for fun. Allow time in your busy week for your favorite recreation and watch how the tension disappears.
  10. Get plenty of sleep and rest— Be sure to eat well too. Stress seems to deplete B vitamins so quickly that it causes a pregnant woman to become deficient in this group of vitamins.

A word to the wise: Drugs and alcohol are temporary anxiety relievers they will not permanently remove the sources of stress. That doesn't take into consideration what these substances may do to you and your baby. Never drink alcohol or take medication without a doctor's consent or prescription.

Fast-Acting Stress Busters
Note: If you share space, the aroma sensitivity of your coworkers should be taken into consideration. Although these fragrant oils don't have FDA approval as medication, aromatherapy proponents say that they will aid various health concerns. While most essential oils are nontoxic, to stay on the safe side, check with your doctor or the American Aromatherapy Association first.

© 2005 by Marla Schram Schwartz. Excerpted from The Working Woman's Baby Planner with permission of its publisher, Sourcebooks, Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon.com.


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