Stress is a part of life, and work is a leading cause of stress. But we can learn from women with stressful jobs how to take steps to manage it.
Here are their tips for managing stress:
1. Focus on What you can Control
One woman is an airline pilot, with a varied schedule every month. She switches from mornings to evenings, and to red-eye flights.
Even the hours she works vary from less than four hours to fourteen hours. There are no typical days, which is stressful.
Pilots train in a flight simulator every six months in order to prepare for a crisis scenario. That practice and preparation gives her confidence in her decision-making abilities, and makes her stay calm.
She doesn’t focus on what she can’t control like delays and weather, but focuses on what she can control.
2. Manage your Time Effectively by Prioritizing Tasks
Another woman is a television segment producer. The job is very busy, with a multitude of different tasks that include things like booking guests, executing the segment and writing scripts which all have different deadlines to meet.
She has to manage her time efficiently in order to get everything done, and experience and confidence have made her calmer.
Part of good time management is the ability to meet deadlines by prioritizing tasks. The question is what task is most urgent. If something is further in the future, there is no point in stressing about it.
Being organized both with her inbox and calendar keeps her on track, and she budgets the amount of time each task should take to complete.
If something becomes overwhelming, she steps away, even if it is only briefly.
3. Find Something to Focus On
As an Emergency Department manager at an urban hospital, our next woman is already immersed in a chaotic workplace.
She is responsible for making sure things run smoothly and on budget and fix things when necessary, and ensure she makes everyone else’s job easier and more manageable.
She suggests leaning on people and taking advantage of their experience, and talking out any questions people might have.
On the hardest days, she recommends finding something to focus on.
4. Remember your Training and Accept Support from your Colleagues
The last woman we’re looking at is a Police Officer. She never knows what she will face in a shift. While she loves meeting and interacting with new people, she also has to make life and death decisions all the time.
What helps her with stress is training. Her police force has an extensive training program for new recruits, and ongoing training, which she likes because she likes to keep learning.
The training involves being in scenarios where they visualize situations while learning breathing and relaxation techniques. The training allows her to stay calm and focused even in high-risk situations.
In addition, she calls on her colleagues for support, who are more like family than mere co-workers.
All of these women have something unique to say about handling stress!