Dealing With Common Stressors of the Business World

According to the American Psychological Association, work is the most common source of stress for 61% of Americans. And it comes as no surprise, given that work is deeply tied to people’s’ livelihoods, survival, and wellbeing.

Recent research also shows that women are significantly more stressed at work than men are. On top of universal stressors that affect everyone at work, women face additional hurdles in the workplace because of their gender. Here’s a look at some of the most common things that stress women out at work, and a few ways to cope with them.

Common Workplace Stressors

Everyone gets stressed out at or because of work. There will always be days with a hefty workload or coworkers who are difficult to work with, regardless of gender. Unfortunately, women have to deal with additional sources of workplace stress, including:

  • Not making enough money: It’s no secret that women don’t make as much money as men. The wage gap is affected by dozens of factors, from an employer’s personal gender bias to many women’s difficulty with successfully negotiating a pay raise. Women may struggle to properly support themselves or their families because they are not making enough money — especially if they feel as if their labor is worth more than their current compensation.
  • Household or family responsibilities: Women are still more likely to shoulder the brunt of the housework, childcare, and other family obligations than their male peers. After a full day of work, many women come home and continue working for several hours, such as cooking dinner and cleaning up, and are not left with much time to themselves to recharge. Not only is it exhausting, the burnout makes it difficult for women to perform at work to the best of their abilities.
  • Discrimination at work: Women may still encounter gender discrimination in the workplace. From seemingly harmless comments from coworkers to being unable to break the glass ceiling, women may feel dissatisfied with or unwelcome in their work environment. An uncertain, or even hostile, work environment may hold women back from success and can cause feelings of stress that last well after the day is done.

Tips for Coping with Workplace Stress

While some workplace stress is inevitable, long-term stress is detrimental to physical, mental, and emotional health. Everyone has their own ways to manage and minimize stress, and some are healthier than others. Indulging in unhealthy habits can provide temporary relief, but it creates more problems in the future. For example, having a drink (or several) at the end of a bad day at work can be a momentary distraction, but will have a lasting, negative impact on long-term health. That’s why it’s imperative for working women to have healthy ways to handle stress:

  • Find some alone time: Spend some time completely alone, away from the pressures of work, family, and other obligations. Find or create a space where no one else is allowed in to de-stress and relax. Many women are turning to a she-shed, the female equivalent of a man-cave, as a private place to unwind from the stresses of daily life.
  • Prioritize work/life balance: Create healthy boundaries and habits to ensure that work stays at work and time at home can be enjoyed. A healthy lifestyle with a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and consistent sleep can make dealing with stressors at work much easier.
  • Be more social: Humans are social beings who thrive on connection. Spend time with friends and loved ones or take up a hobby that fosters connection with others. After the end of a long day, it can be difficult to feel up to spending limited free time with others, but the lasting positive impact is worth the effort.

Stress, especially in the workplace, is inevitable. But it doesn’t have to dominate the lives of women around the world. Identifying different stressors can help women in the business world find healthy ways to cope with and manage the stress in their lives.

 Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.