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- Recognise physical symptoms of stress such as headaches and tension, upset stomach, continual tiredness or problems sleeping.
- Recognise behavioural symptoms such as nervousness, irritability, excessive smoking or drinking or communication problems.
- Recognise work symptoms: for example, inability to focus, poor decision-making, loss of enthusiasm, feeling overloaded.
- Identify any work causes: for example, unrealistic targets and deadlines, bad time-management, overlong hours, or poor working relationships.
- Identify any domestic contributors such as money or relationship problems, or bereavement.
- Tackle any workplace causes of stress: for example, refuse additional work and delegate any tasks that can be outsourced.
- Break down big jobs into smaller, achievable tasks, and decide what to prioritise and recognise each step you achieve.
- Try to resolve non-work issues. Can you arrange extra assistance with childcare and domestic chores? Consider whether it is possible to take time away from work to unwind and sort out relationship problems.
- Accept your limitations and avoid taking stress out on others instead of dealing with the problem.
- Get support: talk problems over with friends, join a group of others in a similar position, or get a business mentor.
- Get a healthy life: eat properly, take exercise or practise relaxation techniques.
- Be active: physical activities and hobbies are far more relaxing and effective at relieving stress than watching television or doing nothing but worry.
- Take breaks during the working day; set aside 'quality time' at home, and plan (and take) long weekends and holidays.
- Learn how you react to pressure and how you can best deal with stress.
- learn to recognise the symptoms
- identify the causes
- take action to sort out problems
- pace yourself
- learn to relax
- ignore stress
- keep problems to yourself
- take stress out on colleagues and family