Chill out! 8 Easy Tips for Summertime Stress Management
July 18, 2019
Sure, it’s summertime for the kiddos but we’re guessing your boss didn’t get the memo.
Work doesn’t stop during the summer. You may be able to take time off for a family vacation (which is great, and you should!) but the time leading up to the vacation and returning to work is stressful. In addition, many of us now work in constantly connected, always-on, highly demanding work cultures. Being hyperconnected and responsive to work anytime, anywhere, is extremely stressful and cognitively exhausting. The result is a frenetic way of working.
You CAN develop certain skills to help in the face of chronic stress and increasing demands. Here are some easy tips to manage stress, build your emotional resilience, and practice self-care:
- Tip 1: Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention focused on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Being in the presence of the moment without judgment or avoidance takes practice, but it’s one of the best forms of healing and resilience-building.
- Tip #2: Take Control of Your Day. Overscheduling and constant interruptions are productivity killers and stress builders. Re-prioritize your to-do list every day with what you can realistically get done. Schedule time blocks to read and respond to email, and separate time blocks for focused activities. You can’t stop interruptions, but you can control your response to them – accept them as a priority or schedule them for a later time.
- Tip #3: Remember Empathy: Empathy helps build our own self-worth when we see ourselves and everyone around us as having value. Another bonus of practicing empathy is the “happy” effect of oxytocin, the hormone that is released when we care for others. Empathy and business effectiveness are not mutually exclusive. Rather, individual, team, and organizational success rely on compassionate work culture.
- Tip #4: Eat Right. Your food choices can have a huge impact on how you feel during the workday. Eating small, frequent, and healthy meals, for example, can help your body maintain an even level of blood sugar, keeping your energy and focus up, and avoiding mood swings.
- Tip #5: Have a Sense of Humor: People with emotional resilience are able to laugh at life’s difficulties. This is a huge asset because it provides a greater perspective and the ability to perceive issues as a challenge, rather than a threat. And of course, laughter reduces the level of stress hormones and increases the level of health-enhancing hormones, like endorphins.
- Tip #6: Get a Great 8: An estimated 60 million Americans do not get sufficient sleep, which is a critical recovery period for the body. Not only can stress and worry can cause insomnia, but a lack of sleep can leave you vulnerable to even more stress. When you’re well-rested, it’s much easier to keep your emotional balance, a key factor in coping with job and workplace stress.
- Tip #7: Get moving. When stress is mounting at work, take a quick break and move away from the stressful situation. Take a stroll outside the workplace if possible. Physical movement can help you regain your balance. Outside of work, try to get 3-4 days of aerobic exercise—activity that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat—to lift your mood, increase your energy and sharpen your focus.
- Tip #8: Self-care: This idea of taking care of yourself takes into account many things – for some, it is rest, reading, journal writing, or meditating. For others it is physical exercise, listening to music, taking a bath, or relaxing with friends. It is any activity that inspires you, nourishes your soul, or helps you recharge your batteries. Resilient people know what works for them and they make it a priority in their lives.
Managing daily stress and building your emotional resilience is a skill and a practice that will serve you well at work and at home. Smart companies understand that they will benefit from a more resilient workforce. If you need help boosting emotional resilience in your organization, contact Powers Resource Center at https://www.powersresourcecenter.com/lets-connect/