It’s no secret – starting or growing a business can be stressful. While a small amount of stress can help motivate you, when it becomes unmanageable for either you or your employees, that’s when it becomes a problem.
Fortunately, there are many strategies you can use to help battle workplace stress.
Try sharing these weekly challenges with your coworkers to help each other make the small changes you need to take control of your stress.
Week 1: Move More
Physical activity is one of the most effective stress remedies around. Exercise releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good, boost self-esteem, help you concentrate and improve your sleep and digestion.
There are lots of ways to include more activity into your work day. Try some of the following this week:
- Schedule an appointment for physical activity – don’t miss it.
- Go breathe in some fresh air, literally. Bring walking shoes and take a 10-minute walk at lunch or walk on your break.
- Need to have a quick meeting or brainstorm session? Try a walking meeting with a co-worker.
Week 2: Practice Healthy Habits
Simply keeping up with the daily demands of work, home and family life can often leave you feeling spread thin. Making a conscious effort to practice healthy habits every day to take care of yourself will help you to manage and reduce your stress.
Try to practice these healthy habits every day this week:
- Do something you enjoy—read a book, go for a walk, spend time with friends or family or indulge in any other healthy activity that is special to you.
- Eat a balanced diet. Concentrate on fibre-rich foods, such as wholegrain bread, fruit, vegetables and fish. Limit caffeine and alcohol and drink plenty of water.
- Laugh a little. The act of laughing helps your body fight stress in a number of ways, so share a laugh with someone you know!
Week 3: Social Support
Having supportive colleagues not only makes the workday easier, it also acts as a buffer against the negative effects of stress. Building a social support network of friends, family and peers can be critical in helping you through the stress of tough times.
Try some of these simple ways to increase social support in your workplace:
- Instead of sending an e-mail, go to speak with a co-worker face to face.
- Ask a co-worker how they are if they seem stressed or not themselves.
- Find ways to add good humour in the workplace that everyone enjoys.
- Consider reaching out to those who may need a friendly ear over a coffee break.
Week 4: Money Management
People experiencing financial stress are more likely to participate in unhealthy coping behaviours such as drinking, smoking or overeating. Mounting debt or worrying about whether you are saving enough can lead to increased stress, anxiety and frustration.
This week, focus on ways to reduce financial stress:
- Keep daily receipts to monitor spending habits.
- Pay with cash more often (people spend more when using cards)
- Make an income and expenditure list. Where can you realistically make some savings?
- Consider consulting a professional or specialist to advise you. You may be able to access one for free through local non-profits.