Juggling Stress – Even with “Pregnancy Brain”

By Victoria Baecker
Programming Chair, PRSA-Capital Region
Director of Development, YWCA of the Greater Capital Region
victoriab@ywca-gcr.org

Over the course of the past week, my family and I have packed up our apartment, bought a house, moved, unpacked and organized. In between the chaos, I’ve also found the time to plan a huge event for work and finalize our upcoming June 28 BBQ event at Prime at Saratoga National. Did I mention I’m also 37 weeks pregnant?

As you can guess, this is probably not the most ideal time to fit in a blog post, but I thought my story of survival over the past few weeks would make for a great topic. In particular, the tools I use both at work and at home to balance my stress level.

And, without further adieu…

1. Take notes. Write down everything!

As a pregnant professional with “Pregnancy Brain”, writing everything down has been crucial in my continued success at work, and I don’t think it’s a bad tip for anyone (pregnant or not). We have so much on our minds at every moment that expecting our poor brains to remember every detail is just mean! Most Smartphone’s have a notebook feature or it can be as simple as keeping a pen and paper in your pocket or purse.

2. Celebrate success and forget about failure.

One thing I have done in the past is harp on my mistakes. I used to hang incorrectly addressed letters or articles with spelling errors on the walls of my office. I thought it was helpful, but now realize it was only hurting me. I now celebrate my successes not my failures. I cover the walls with thank you notes and job well done articles. Positive reinforcement is so much better than self deprecation!

3. Cross things off your list.

I am a list person. Being able to see all the tasks that need to be accomplished for the day, week, month or even year is helpful to me. Here are the tools that make my lists successful. A. Highlight the items that are most crucial. This will give you a way to focus your energy. B. Add one or two things to the list you have already completed. Being able to cross off items from the list is why I make lists to begin with! 

4. Look for opportunities to delegate.

This one can be difficult for someone with a type A personality like me. How many times have you said “I’ll just do it myself”. But learning to delegate responsibility is a tool you can use in all aspects of your life and in turn it will make you a more efficient employee, spouse, friend and manager.  

5. Communicate what you need, want and expect from others.

So much easier than game play! What would this world be like if we all just said what we were thinking? OK. Don’t do that, but be clear.

6. Set the tone by taking regular breaks and lunches.

You have to leave the office at some point during the day, even if it’s for a five minute walk around the block. Be comfortable knowing that people and business will manage without you, whether you like it or not! 

7. Know when to stop.

The time has come for me.

3 thoughts on “Juggling Stress – Even with “Pregnancy Brain”

  1. All great points, Victoria! I especially agree with setting the tone. As leaders within our organizations, others are following our lead whether we realize it or not. If we don’t take ever a break, other staff might think they can’t either!

  2. Very entertaining Victoria. Thirteen years ago I was in the same spot–moved, expecting 3rd child who ended up coming 6 weeks early, job, finishing thesis for masters–looking back I wonder how it all got done. Your tips are helpful and cause one to smile. Thanks

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