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How to deal with stress

Nicki Cresswell offers some tips on how you can keep calm and carry on

November 2015

Learning to deal with stress is a technique we all should master at some stage – and the earlier you can do this the better. As a part qualified accountant you will be exposed to multiple stressors, whether it’s the pressure of exams, tight deadlines at work or tensions in your home life and dealing with change and transition which will always exist. These can all impact your physical and mental performance at work, so putting steps in place to help you rebalance can be key. Maintaining a work/life balance is a way to achieve this and these techniques to instill a sense of calm and control can make all the difference.
1Know your working hours: It can be difficult to leave the office on time, and some office cultures encourage you to work outside your contracted hours. Try to have a balance, showing your commitment to the business while allowing yourself some leisure time.
2Don’t be a technology slave: Once you’ve left the office resist the urge to check your emails. You may want to appear ever-present but you won’t switch off from ‘work mode’ if you are constantly checking your phone. This will increase your stress levels. Use your evenings and weekends to relax and recharge; you’ll feel better for it.
3Don’t forget the gym: Physical activity can help to clear your mind, so that you can identify the cause of your stress and deal with any challenges more calmly. Even if you don’t feel like it go for a short walk or spend some time doing an activity you enjoy; this will have a calming effect on your emotions and give you more energy and focus to tackle any concerns directly.
4Revision is calming, honest! You may not think it, but keeping on top of revision will make you feel calmer. Don’t leave revision until the last minute – the mantra here is ‘little amounts and often’. This will enable you to knuckle down calmly when you need to instead of cramming.
5Stay connected: Spending time with friends and family helps get away from work and maintains a healthy mental wellbeing. Take the time to see people who make you feel better as it lets you escape the world of work/revision and allows you to have a much-needed break!
• Nicki Cresswell is Wellbeing Training
Co-ordinator at CABA
CABA provides free, independent support for ACA students and ICAEW Chartered Accountants. Find out more at www.caba.org.uk

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