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A straightforward, practical, and somewhat humdrum guide to coping with stress, with emphasis on the workplace.

In her debut as a solo author, Hird summons her years of experience as a corporate and personal counselor to offer concrete methods for responding to the ever widening scourge called stress. These methods appear to apply most to stressed-out, overworked employees in small offices and corporate divisions. Hird’s bottom-line advice to the overburdened is to request a sit-down with the boss, supervisor, or colleague seen as causing the stress; such a manner would lay out the problem in a civil, formal fashion that cannot be ignored. This approach, she says, is most likely to yield an acceptable solution. She presents numerous if sometimes slightly wooden examples to show how the process works and advises that the meeting requester come armed with suggested solutions to put on the table. This seems like very sound advice and a far better way to handle workplace stress than by, say, having a meltdown or being a doormat and suffering in silence. From an employer’s point of view, following Hird’s counsel could bring hope of improving subpar job performances and cutting down on absenteeism due to stress-related health problems. The emphasis throughout is on managing rather than succumbing to stress. For the sufferer, this begins with frank self-analysis of one’s own personality type and a lifestyle overhaul, if necessary, to help shed stress. A stress test to detect physical and psychological signs of incipient or already present stress is helpfully included. At the book’s core is Hird’s instructive analysis of what she identifies as the five basic coping strategies (not all of them positive or recommended) people use when stress strikes. Flight, for example, isn’t going to work well for someone who detests the job but needs the paycheck. The writing isn’t inspired but rather the competent work of a professional doing what she does best, though one imagines she probably does it even better in an actual group or one-on-one setting. Nonetheless, the print adaptation is nothing if not clearly presented, comprehensive, and almost certainly helpful in reducing stress.

Capably carries out its valuable mission.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1458217028
Page count: 202pp
Publisher: AbbottPress
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2015


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