Smart strategy: dealing with stress during the financial year-end

Are you losing grip?

As the financial year end draws closer, people working in the financial sector are in a frenzy and understandably so.

Are you losing grip?

Sona Bajaj

As the financial year end draws closer, people working in the financial sector are in a frenzy and understandably so. However, some of them are able to cope better in comparison with those who get consumed by worry and fear of work piling on their desk. Harbouring stress isn't safe, whether it is momentary or year-long because in both cases stressors tend to follow you home.

If  you work in the financial sector and are unsure why you are losing sleep, have work on your mind 24x7 and losing focus, then let me tell you that this is one of the symptoms of you being under stress. You must immediately take a few steps back to analyse what's to be done next. For starters, keep note of these symptoms: lethargy, pessimism, low morale, boredom, anxiety, frustration, fatigue, anger, irritability, frequent headaches and stomach problems. 

Here are a few things you can do to alleviate stress: 

Create some leisure time

Many organisations today organise various activities for employees vis-à-vis various kind of clubs, for example Zumba, yoga, pilates, etc. If your office does provide you with the option to partake in such activities, then you shouldn't miss this opportunity to let your hair down even if it is for an hour a day. Disconnect from work, zone out and indulge yourself. If, however, there's no activity that interests you then look for clubs close to where you live. Go swimming, ask a friend to jog with you or play with your dog or visit an animal shelter or cook or bake. The point is that you should create some 'me time' for yourself. You will notice a huge difference in the quality of your day-to-day experiences.  

Use your commute time

Travelling to work takes time. Instead of complaining about how long it takes to reach work, start utilising it to your benefit. It is best for those who use public transport. Get done with work that you think you can complete before you reach work. Don't get into heavy-duty work, but try to go through your emails and get done with checking updates so that you can begin your day accordingly and run things through on your to-do list. 

I can't take it anymore situation? 

If you are still crumbling down under work pressure, don't shy away from bringing it to the notice of your manager. They should know your threshold. If you are overworked and if you see work is not equably distributed then propose it be done fairly. You can't work alone through the day when there are other resources available. At the same time, think about whether it isn't self-imposed stress. Sometimes, we tend to set unrealistic expectations on ourselves. Trying to finish work that will take three days to finish in one day is one such instance. Stop putting yourself in such situations. 

Now, if you are an employer, you must take it as a given that you are responsible to give every employee a healthy ecosystem to work in. Investigate the source of stress among employees and have a mechanism to help them cope with stress. Listen to their concerns with an objective eye and get them out of the mess as soon as you can and before they have a total meltdown at the end of the financial year. 

Get organised

Staying organised should become a habit, even if it means from this very moment. Once you have things organised, whether on your desktop or your table or Outlook, you will realise the amount of time that you would have wasted looking for files and folder and emails. Frustration knocks you out completely when you are searching for a client's file and you can't find it anywhere! By being organised, you can minimise such episodes that tend to rob your peace of mind. Start with tiny steps because to become organised will require ongoing effort. Focus on the benefits and don't give up mid-way. 

Don't forget to take breaks

You can't say, "I forgot it is lunch time already" or "I can't take a coffee break right now; I'm occupied". Take breaks. It is pointless to run around from one meeting to another and one file to the next without pausing to breathe. Make it a habit to break out of this routine so that your brain can recalibrate and gain focus. Do not make it a habit to eat lunch at your desk unless it is absolutely necessary.

— The writer is Senior Manager - Business Development, Work Better Training

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