Confident Leader

How the top female leaders deal with stress

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A recent study shows that 60% of executive and professional women experience anxiety, stress, and psychological distress in the workplace. Moreover, an increasing number of female leaders are more stressed than their male counterparts, despite recent strides in equality in the office. A poll shows that women experience stressful work situations due to the constant sense of having their confidence undermined by men, and there’s also the fact that female leaders have to continuously prove themselves in the workplace.

Dealing with leadership stress the positive way

While things have yet to improve on this matter, female leaders can cope with the pressure and stress by emulating positive role models in the way they deal with stress. Every leader has her own way of coping with leadership stress, and some have become masters of dealing with the everyday pressures of work. By managing stress in a positive way, not only do you become a better leader, but you also take care of yourself, as being constantly stressed can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Here is how strong female leaders deal with stress.

Taking breaks 

Forcing yourself to work through the stress won’t do you any favors. Sometimes, it’s important to step away and take a break to deal with stress. YouTube CEO Susan Wojicki told “TODAY” that it’s important to take time off and that taking a break allows you to get a good insight to balance your life.

Getting enough sleep

Staying up late to work on a spreadsheet or answer emails is a recipe for a stress-filled day at work the next day. To manage stress, most women leaders know that they have to get enough sleep to face the challenges of every work day. Huffington Post President and Editor-in-Chief Ariana Huffington knows the value of a good night’s sleep, and she even advocates taking naps to recharge during the day. Huffington told CNN that having a good night’s sleep makes one feel “in the zone” and ready to “handle anything” in the workplace.

Making time for a hobby

Having a hobby is one way for high-powered women to handle stress. The Partnership Inc. chief operating officer Maureen Alphonse-Charles unwinds by playing the violin, while Copyright Clearance Tracey Armstrong roots for the Patriots and cuts coupons during her spare time. Picking up a hobby can reduce your stress levels, improve your mood, and make you feel more relaxed. Try dancing, yoga, gardening, hiking, painting, swimming, playing sports or playing a musical instrument. It’s never to late to learn something new, especially when it comes to music, you too can pick up a violin bow and start churning out some relaxing music.

Leaving work in the office 

TV show creator Shonda Rhimes said that she doesn’t answer the phone or respond to emails after 7 p.m., and she makes it a point not to work on the weekends. Rhimes said that doing these things enables her to avoid burnout and have quality time with her family.

Making time for mental health and fitness 

Actress and Honest Company co-founder Jessica Alba carves out time to deal with stress by taking some time to meditate, do hot yoga, or go to spin classes with her friends. All these activities help Alba to take care of her overall well-being. You can try to take a leaf out of Alba’s book and do any of the activities she mentioned. Or you can try having a massage, a manicure, or even going on a quiet walk in a beautiful garden. All of these can do wonders to restore your spirits and reduce stress levels.

It’s lonely and stressful at the top, but female leaders can cope with stress by taking time for themselves, taking a breather from stressful office work, and doing some activities that can enrich their lives. In doing so, you can overcome stressful workplace situations and become a better leader in your organization.

About Jackie Edwards

jackiee@thebusinesswomanmedia.com'

After taking a career sabbatical to become a mother, Jackie Edwards now writes on matters relating to business, money and family finance. She has, in the past battled problems with anxiety and panic, and in her spare time she volunteers for a number of local charities that support people with mental health issues

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