Women Need To Cope With Stress Better At Work In 2017, Here's How

Here's some new year's knowledge for you

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From the age of 25-years-old, women feel much more stress at work than men, and this continues throughout their working lives, according to government figures published by the Health and Safety Executive.

There are myriad reasons why women aren't getting promoted over men in the 20th century - something we hope to counteract from every possible angle - but undue stress and anxiety at work can't be helping.

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Seeing as we need all the women reaching board level as possible in 2017, we thought we'd look at some ways you can reduce stress at work, to help you meet your full potential.

Do it the French way

It's too easy these days to keep working. But it's so important to remember that you can switch off and stop working after office hours. No really, you can and you must.

Yes, people can constantly contact you, but it doesn't mean you always have to answer them.

In France, a new labor law does not ban work-related emails, but does require that companies with more than 50 employees negotiate a new protocol to ensure that work does not spill into after-work hours.

Several companies have designated the hours of 7pm-7am as a time when you are not expected to reply to an email. So do like the French and ignore.

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You, you, you

If you find yourself constantly with your head in work, then give yourself a time period that you must step away from your phone. So, between 7:30 and 9:30pm you will eat dinner and watch a couple of episodes of your favourite box set.

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If you find it really hard to not look at your phone, go to the cinema or run yourself a bath and leave your phone in another room.

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What's more, set your phone on 'do not disturb' and switch it to night mode, so that the blue light won't prevent you from sleeping - lack of sleep is a real doozy when it comes to bringing on stress.

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Turn off email notifications (or Whatsapp if that's where you chat to your work colleagues) on your phone. That way you will only see an email when you actively check.

Don't Expect Perfection

This is something women seem to suffer from in way bigger doses than men - the pressure to be perfect.

The problem is that, while you are quietly fighting with yourself to be perfect - in meetings, in the report you just handed in, in the number of clients you've brought in, in how you manage your team - another person in your company (probably a man) is doing the job just 'okay' and shouting about it to anyone who will listen.

That person, who is talking themselves up and making sure the managers are taking note, will probably also be pushing for promotion and pay rise while you're still getting your head down and chiding yourself for the things you could have done better.

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Learn to accept that while striving to be great is a good ideal, being perfect is impossible and trying to be is likely unhealthy.

Prioritise your workload, make lists of everything you know you are good at and the tasks you are confident you have completed well, delegate to other team members and keep a note of it all. This won't just make you more efficient and more relaxed, it will also arm you with the data you need to prove that the next promotion or pay rise should go to you.

Write the right kind of to-do list

As well as writing lists of your strengths and achievements, a good to-do list is also useful.

Sadly, a lot of people get the 'to-do' list seriously wrong.

Creating a list as long as your arm, full of things you couldn't get through in a week, let alone a day, is actually really demoralising. At close of play, you'll glance down at that list and feel horrendously guilty about all the tasks that remain incomplete.

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Here's a super handy trick instead - write down your to do list three bullet points at a time. Three things is a really manageable number and you can easily get through them. Once you've completed the tasks, cross them each off, as your mind gets a little serotonin hit every time you score through a job that's been finished.

If you struggle to unwind at home too, write a similar at-home list. Aim to tick off three things per evening, just before you settle down to rest and see how this affects your overall mood. It's simple, but effective.

Talk it out

When you're feeling anxious or overwhelmed it can be hard to see solutions. Chat to someone you trust who understands your situation. A friend in the same industry or someone in HR can be a good place to start.

But if that's not doing the trick, get yourself a good CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) therapist. This isn't the type of therapy that will take you right back to your childhood and explore all your darker issues. Instead a CBT therapist can help you to isolate problems in your own behaviour and help you to develop better, pro-active coping mechanisms.

Trust us, there's no shame in it, everyone is doing it, so don't be shy about giving it a go.

Dear Diary

If you're not sure what is causing your stress, then make a note when you experience a particularly stressful moment. The NHS recommends including: the date , time and place, what you were doing, who you were with, how you felt emotionally and what you were thinking. Spotting the triggers can help you plan how to cope.

If you've been doing this for a few weeks, it will really help your work with a CBT therapist, but it will may help you figure out some coping strategies all by yourself too. If you can spot things that cause your anxiety, you can head it off at the pass.

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