Often times than not you can’t but extend work hours. I have often remarked and heard a lot of people remark in jest “Him, forget it. He is married to his work and his wife comes but a poor second.”
Surprisingly, this remark is nearly always about a man, and not a woman.
No, not because women are yet to break the glass ceiling but because women have a healthier notion of what makes a successful work life balance. Some of the top women CEOs and entrepreneurs are a case in point. Indra Nooyi, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chanda Kochhar, Manisha Girotra and so many more including the dear lady who comes to your place and cleans it up day after day.
I know of several instances, including CEOs or top management in reputed corporates who have collapsed because of over work and stress.
Stress is unavoidable. Whether it is at home or outside one has to learn to deal with it, not cope because then you are letting Stress take control of your life.
I will write about the health-related aspects that are linked to stress in another post, this is more about acknowledging that Stress is here to stay and it is your Holy responsibility to keep it at bay.
Funny enough, but a monotonous job can lead to stress too. Now beat that. I am sure several of my peers working at call centres can attest to this or people who work at jobs where it would be better-served to employ robots working on automaton than the thinker!!
I have found people use different techniques of dealing with stress. The most common ones of course is the communal sojourn that used to take place in office balconies but ever since a no-smoking ban came into effect this has moved to the footpath, and even the gutter at times. I even had someone rationalize it and say they were helping to create more oxygen, and that it should rightly be called an ‘oxygen break‘ and not a smoke break, now go figure !!
I had an ex-colleague who loved pigging out at the cafeteria ordering two to three plates of chaats right before a heavy (news) coverage period. He was overweight and the doctor had ordered him to keep watch. He was watching all right, for the next chaat break. Of course, this was a lot healthier than the oxygen break.
Some people gang up at corridors or water coolers for a healthy give and take of information, office gossip if you will, or the next team outing and talks of hikes and who is doing what. The larger the group the more healthier it got since there would be a healthy banter but beware, if you have got a thin hide or a short fuse 😉
The boisterousness at times breaks out sporadically and livens up everybody’s moods. One has to be mindful of the work atmosphere too but a healthy bout of laughter never killed anybody so far as I know.
Getting too worried about the next promotion or hike is a sure fire way of increasing your BP and your calories too, if food is your way of relieving stress.
I know of people who watch movies, paint, write poetries, blog ( 😉 ) , jog, take part in theatre, go trekking, hit the gym, take a long walk, sit in a quiet park, go shopping but this tends to have a counter effect if you are doing it at the end of the month or swiping your plastic.
There are a myriad ways of burning stress, dealing with it and chasing it at one shot but one needs to accept the existence of stress first.
A senior colleague at one of the news organization I used to work for had a great mantra to avoid stress…he called it the TripleE.
Excitement….when you are excited about your job and see it as more than a paycheck you survive and thrive
Enthusiasm….when you are enthusiastic about your work and your responsibilities no challenge is too big to surmount
Energy….and when you have the above two this is sure to come bursting into you