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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:
- Organize your workloadTasks 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.
- Solve the problemsBegin 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.
- Avoid the source of stressDon'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.
- Return stress to its rightful ownerSome 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.
- 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.
- Talk about itShare 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.
- Don't hold back the tearsCrying 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.
- Accept differences and things you cannot changeSome 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.
- Keep up a social lifeVisit 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.
- 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
- Thought StoppersIf you're worried about the meeting tomorrow or how you'll be able to pay for future day care, slowly pass the word "stop" through your mind. Replay the letters S-T-O-P over and over. Or count backward from five to zero. Imagine each letter or number in vivid color.
- Worry TimeWhen you start to stress about something, set it aside in your mind (or write it down) and then go back to your work. Set aside a few minutes every day to deal with your worries in a more productive way.
- AromatherapyUse highly concentrated oils from plants and herbs to relax, recharge, and increase your sense of well being. They are also good for dealing with environmental stress caused by loud noises and bright lights; physical stress from repetitive-strain syndrome, muscular fatigue, and backaches; mental stress created by financial and job concerns; and chemical stress caused by consuming too much junk food and coffee, or breathing polluted air in your office or factory. You can purchase essential oils in health, beauty, herb, and natural-food stores. Use these oils in your place of employment simply by placing a few drops of oil on your wrist or earlobe, in small humidifiers, light bulbs, spray atomizer, room diffusers, or in water bowls.
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.
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