Five stress management tips for female leaders

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A recent study published in The Financial Times suggests that female leaders are more stressed than their male colleagues.  This was true pre-pandemic and it is only being exacerbated by the current daily stressors of leading during an international crisis.

So how can female leaders deal with stress?  What coping, or prevention mechanisms work best to help you to survive and thrive in these unprecedented times?  Here are five strategies to help minimise your stress levels and maximise your productivity.

  1. Identify the signs

Stress can manifest as short temper, health issues like headaches, or in a hundred other ways that are individual and can be just as potent.  By understanding what your early warning signs are and taking action, you can help to address the niggle before it becomes a real problem.

  1. Take breaks and days off

As Brené Brown says “If you don’t want to burn out, stop living like you’re on fire.”  There have been innumerable studies into the benefits of taking short, frequent breaks.  In High Performing Habits, Brendon Burchard recommends a short break, even for one minute, every 50 minutes.  Social Curator founder Jasmine Star recommends a longer break every 90 minutes.  Whatever interval works for you, it is vital to take little breaks when working, and at least one full day off work every week.  This balance is essential to ensuring that your work stresses don’t overtake your personal life.

  1. Getting enough sleep

We’re all guilty of trying to make our days easier by occasionally (or frequently) staying up late to get a ‘head start’ on our mounting to do lists, but getting enough sleep and recharging our bodies and brains is absolutely key to being able to better cope with stressful situations.

  1. Practice Self-care

If you take nothing else away from this article, remember this – implementing a self-care routine is the best preventative measure against stress.  Get a hobby, take some exercise, get a massage, go for a walk, or just veg out in front of a deliciously mindless Netflix show.  Choose a way to practice down-time and make your own well-being a non-negotiable task every single day.

  1. Create Boundaries

It is harder than ever to ensure that you leave work in the office – especially if your ‘office’ is currently your kitchen table, but setting boundaries both at work and at home is a great weapon against stress.  Be prepared to negotiate, as your boundaries may not reflect other people’s plans and ideas, but it is important to draw lines and keep the areas of your life as separate as possible.

Don’t forget, how you think about stress has a major impact on how you experience it.  Stress can energise you or it can drain you.  Practicing self-awareness is key to understanding what your body and mind is telling you about your daily life, and how you need to respond to it.

Are you starting to realise you could be much more productive and far less stressed? Are you starting to feel overwhelmed with your growing mound of work? How about working with a virtual assistant to help alleviate your leadership stress? A VA exists solely to make your life easier! If you would like to learn more about working with LJM VA Services contact us here.

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