We received quite a bit of feedback on the topic of burn-out and decided this was a good time to re-share some stress relievers from a prior tip.

Stress is not what happens to us. It’s our response to what happens. And response is something we can choose.
–Maureen Killoran

Most everyone experiences stress at some point in their professional life; so much to do, too little time. Do you have coping mechanisms to help you manage it, or do you just accept the fact that your life will include stress?

We suggest that you don’t just “live with it”, but rather face it head-on so you don’t negatively impact relationships, decisions, and how you influence and communicate with others. (And also put your health at risk).

Stress Relieving Tips

  • Establish Priorities. What can you realistically accomplish and in what time frame?
  • Create a task list. Use your priority list as the baseline and then determine what you MUST do, select all tasks that can be delegated to others, and identify any dependencies. Say “no” when there’s a need!
  • Don’t procrastinate! Unfinished work weighs you down.
  • Remember that multitasking increases stress. It delays completing a “to do”, can lead to disorganization and frustration, and creates a loss of focus.
  • Journaling. Writing down your thoughts and experiences is a release.
  • Keep a notepad and pen by your bed. Great ideas may come to us in our sleep; having the notepad allows you to capture the idea, then go back to a sound sleep.
  • Pay attention to your stress levels. Stiff neck? Irritability? Exhaustion? Stand up, walk around, stretch, laugh, listen to music, and laugh more! (Laughter is considered one of the best, and cheapest, medicines.)
  • Schedule time for you on a daily basis. This is critical even if for only 10 minutes. What do you like to do? Read? Listen to music? Take a walk? Power nap? Whatever it is, make time for it.
  • Watch for stressful behaviors in co-workers (and family members). Coach them on stress relievers.
  • Limit the “goodie” intake. The extra carbs can add to fatigue and make you feel guilty (“stressed” spelled backwards is “desserts”).
  • Drink green tea. Caffeine-free green tea has a calming effect.

Is everything as urgent as your stress would imply?
–Carrie Latet

5 Stress Relieving Team Activity Suggestions

  1. Build 15 minutes into a staff meeting and have every team member write a positive one-word descriptor for each teammate. It’s a “feel good” exercise, reduces stress, and builds harmony. (Each person puts their name on a blank piece of paper and the papers are passed around the table for completion.)
  2. Play festive music (if allowed). Encourage each team member to share their favorite song/CD.
  3. Have a bake day where everyone brings in a special treat to share.
  4. If possible, schedule a day for everyone to have lunch together. This can either be potluck or at a restaurant. Share holiday traditions with team members and select the most unique and the most common.
  5. Have the team select and support a community event. There are food drives, gifts for those in need, visits to the lonely, decorating assistance, and even holiday caroling.

Make an effort to keep your perceptions and attitude positive; looking for the good in every situation will help keep your stress levels in check.

Remember, it’s up to us to manage stress and to proactively respond to it! What’s your favorite stress reliever?

QwikTip and QwikCoach

Each week we’ll partner with QwikCoach and provide the ability for you to reinforce or expand your knowledge of a prior topic.

Go to QwikTips to read more! There are two different versions–one for visitors and one for licensed QwikCoach users.

Help turn your leadership knowledge into leadership action!