Do you feel tense and anxious at work? Is your personal life less than blissful? Has the challenge of keeping your head above water during lockdown kept you from managing your inevitable stress?

With this sudden global pandemic that no-one saw coming, it has become absolutely vital to learn how to manage stress for your survival and more so for your personal and professional success.

Now, more than ever, living a balanced life is becoming increasingly difficult especially for many professionals in the healthcare sector. Perhaps you have tried quick fixes like taking walks to clear your mind, or weekend breaks, reading a book etc but it doesn’t seem to work, because the more “quick fixes” you try, the more you seem to sink deeper out of control. This is because stress is internal, hence why it affects your health so much, as such stress needs to be dealt with by taking charge of the one thing you have the power to control…YOU

The following is an effort to help you and guide you to a place where you are able to manage your stress without feeling like your best efforts are pointless. These 3 steps are about working from the inside out, and you will begin to find that external or outside things will change in response to your internal changes.

Firstly, William James, One of the fathers of modern psychology, William James is known to have said, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that man can alter his life simply by altering his attitude of mind.” The first step to getting your mind right and within focus, is by doing regular breathing exercises. Take just a few minutes during your day, to sit quickly and just breathe. This helps not only increase oxygen to your blood and brain, but gets you to a place of calm and peace. You will find that as you do this regularly your thoughts begin to change, what you tell yourself begins to change, positivity inevitably becomes part of your self-talk.

Secondly, surround yourself with positivity. You are the sum of who you hang out with, or regularly spend time with. The best people in this case are usually loved ones or family. Please who are not judgemental and accept you for who you are. Those that do not expect too much from you, especially knowing that your work (in Healthcare) stretches you emotionally. If you don’t have a group of people like mentioned, at Women in Healthcare we strive to help women overcome work stress and general life stressers, especially during this challenging time of COVID-19. It is a strong, powerful and uplifting community that seeks to help you remain positive, stress free and helps to keep balanced.

Sure, we are using technology a lot more to connect, but goal is to spend time engaged in conversation, laugher and connections to keep your spirits lifted. Phone calls, text messages, face-time sessions, Zoom meetings, and virtual parties are all ways you can “visit” with loved ones right now.

Lastly, get organised. Physical clutter reminds us of things that need to be done and that’s stressful. By simply re-adjusting and de-cluttering, you are unwittingly doing some mental, emotional, and maybe even some physical “house cleaning.” The results will both save and create time that you can re-deploy to yourself or another more productive and rewarding activity.

Set aside a few minutes per day to re-work or re-align one thing such as a cluttered shelf or drawer. Do it piecemeal, if you try to do it all at once, you will most certainly achieve the opposite, which is – stress. Gradually create more order as you go along, this way you’ll feel more relaxed and at the end of the day, that rewarding feeling of accomplishment.

If you want to be happier and more successful, focus on the things you have the power to control. It’s important to realise that what you tell yourself impacts the present and creates your future, so use the power of positive words, pleasing thoughts and affirming beliefs often, when you feel good about yourself, you feel as if you can handle whatever comes your way.