Stress is a normal part of life. As an expecting working woman, something you need to be aware of is the amount of stress in your life and making sure that it isn’t adversely affecting your health and the health of your baby. This is the time in your life when you need to make time for yourself and recognize when things are starting to escalate and when you’re feeling overwhelmed. I’m sure during your pregnancy there are times when you’ve had trouble sleeping or had headaches, stomachaches, and/or heartburn. If you’re experiencing a lot of these symptoms as well as getting sick constantly, perhaps your body is trying to tell you that you’re under too much stress. It’s common to experience these things from time to time so here are some ways to help you control stress at work during your pregnancy.
1. Organize Your Workload
Tasks are more manageable if you deal with them one at a time. I have the problem of thinking of all of my tasks and everything that’s on my plate all at once. Definitely not healthy. This can be a lot for your mind and body to handle. 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
It’s best to begin identifying the true problems that you’re experiencing. If you’re always overwhelmed at the office, think about why you tend to take on so much. I always do better when I devise several ways to solve the problem (or each problem) and write those plans down and determine which is the best plan of attack. You must put your plan(s) into action so that you can evaluate them to see if they’re working. That way if they aren’t helping you can start coming up with plan B.
3. Avoid the Source of Stress
Once you identify the true problems, you should begin to recognize the source of your stress. If it’s a colleague or your boss, it can be difficult to avoid your source of stress, but at least you can be better prepared and limit the interactions.
A little thing that you can do to help is cleaning up the clutter on your desk. Doing this can also help remove the clutter from your mind and help you feel as if you can breath better. If you’re expecting, this is also the time to give up stressful volunteer tasks. People should understand that you have a lot going on now that you’re pregnant so you need to take this time to relax and focus on you after busy workdays.
I also recommend that you not make any major changes in your life until after your baby is born. This can be a huge source of stress. For some reason every pregnant woman thinks it’s a great idea to move into a new house or do some big renovation to their current house or some type of major project. This can be a lot for you and your baby to handle. Also, beware of the holiday season. We’re quickly approaching that time of the year and you really need to let someone else do the work. Save yourself the stress.
4. Return Stress To It’s Rightful Owner
Some of the aggravation you feel is sometimes someone else’s problem. Tell your partner that you can’t go to every work event or entertain every client with him, tell a coworker to learn the system instead of always asking you, and start saying no to the other people who lean on you. Explain that you really need to take care of yourself for your baby and eliminating stress is a big part. You have more than enough on your plate so don’t feel guilty to learn the art of saying no.
5. Try Physical Activity
I know that this sounds even more exhausting, but exercise really is a wonderful stress reliever. Find a workout that is safe to do during pregnancy, like yoga, pilates, barre, and others and start incorporating that into your week. Even taking a stroll around your workplace during the day can really help relieve stress. It’s amazing what a little fresh air can do.
6. Talk About It
Communication is always key. Share your worries and concerns with your partner, a co worker or a friend. It may or may not lead to a solution, but you’ll feel so much better after talking about it, brainstorming, and expressing your thoughts. If you’re having bigger issues/stresses, sharing with a friend might not be the right person to go to. I recommend seeking the counsel of a professional.
7. Don’t Hold Back the Tears
Crying is a healthy way to relieve anxiety. I’m not saying that it’s a good idea to burst into tears in front of everyone at work or in front of a client, but don’t feel bad if you need a moment to shed some tears if you’re alone at your desk. Hormones are REAL during pregnancy and it’s healthy to let it out. Sometimes letting it out can help you feel better and move forward with the day.
8. Accept Differences and Things You Cannot Change
Some problems simply cannot be solved and some problems’ solutions are way down the road. Don’t let it bother you if coworkers do things differently from the way you do. You need to learn to let it go, relax and let things roll off your shoulder. There’s more than one way to achieve a goal so it’s time to accept differences and new ideas. Cooperation is always better than confrontation.
9. Keep Up a Social Life
You life is about to change forever. Take this time to visit friends, go to events with colleagues, and go out to dinner with another couple. Once your little one arrives it will be awhile before you get the opportunity to do these things again uninterrupted. So make time for fun! That always relieves stress.
10. Get Plenty of Sleep and Rest and Eat Healthy
It’s common to feel tired during your pregnancy. If you don’t want to be too exhausted at your work, make sure that you are getting enough sleep at night to feel energized for your day. Also, be sure to eat well. Stress can deplete vitamins quickly so having a balanced diet is important. Don’t forget to take those prenatal vitamins, too!
And for obvious reasons, know that drugs and alcohol are temporary anxiety relievers – they will not permanently remove the sources of stress in your life. 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.
What are some other ways to control stress at work during pregnancy? What are some things that you did that helped? Share in the comments below!