Celebrate Stress Awareness Day with Your Team
All of us experience stress at some point in our professional lives. Sometimes it’s about finding a new routine when going back to work after maternity or paternity leave. Other times it’s about putting in a lot of extra hours on a highly demanding project. Whatever the reason for it, stress is never pleasant. What’s more: When it lasts for a long time, it can be detrimental to your health and adversely impact your productivity.
Of course, employers and employees alike are aware of the potentially harmful effects of stress — but not everyone knows how to combat it. That’s why the International Stress Management Association (ISMA) named November 7th Stress Awareness Day — a day dedicated to providing information about stress and strategies to address it. And since nobody is immune to stress, it’s a great opportunity to have a discussion with your coworkers about what you can do as a team to address stress in the workplace.
There are few things that create more stress in the workplace than a project that’s not on track. That’s why proper planning is essential to reducing stress, as Moira Alexander points out in her TechRepublic article “9 stress reduction tips for project managers and teams.” Always break larger projects into smaller tasks, assign the smaller tasks to the right people, and allocate sufficient time for each task. In addition, plan in some extra time to deal with unforeseen issues such as interruptions or setbacks.
When someone says, “No,” respect it.
Let’s face it, when you work in a team setting, nobody wants to be the weakest link — and that might be why so many of us say, “Yes” when our plates are already full. However, taking on too much work can cause a lot of problems later on if a task isn’t completed on time or in the right way. That’s why it’s better to assign the task to someone else or simply accept that the project will take a little longer than initially planned.
Learn to laugh together.
In his Psychology Today article titled “Six Science-Based Reasons Why Laughter Is the Best Medicine,” David DiSalvo explains that science has found at least six reasons why laughter is one of the best tools for combatting stress. One easy way to laugh more with your coworkers is by sharing funny memes and other social media content. And if you want to get serious about humor, you can even organize an improv class as a team outing.
Finally, if you and your colleagues notice that the team’s overall stress levels are rising, hold a meeting to determine what you can do to improve the situation and make it less stressful. By consistently working together to combat stress in this manner, you can foster a more creative, pleasant workplace that’s more conducive to productivity and performance.