It’s probably not news to you that Americans are stressed out. In fact, a recent poll from the American Psychological Association shows a statistically significant increase in stress for the first time since they started the survey in 2007. In the past year, 31% of Americans’ stress increased, and 20% say they experienced extreme stress. One third even reported having specific negative health symptoms related to stress.
Money and work are two of the top causes of stress (61% and 58% of Americans, respectively, say they are significant sources). Obviously, not working is not an achievable solution for most of us. So how do you keep yourself from burning out? Try some of these coping strategies.
Over half of Americans don’t take all of their vacation time. Admittedly, I have a hard time with this one too, but I’m trying to work on that! Studies show that employees who take all their vacation time are more likely to perform better and to get promoted, and most managers agree that vacations improve health and well-being, boost morale, and alleviate burnout. So why aren’t we taking our vacation time? Taking breaks is good for you and your employer.
Studies show that exercising relieves stress, and it’s one of the most recommended coping techniques by health care professionals. It’s also been proven effective at reducing fatigue and improving concentration. Think you don’t have time to exercise? Even as little as five minutes of exercise has been shown to help with anxiety.
Meditation has been gaining in popularity lately, and for good reason. Even a few minutes spent meditating can reduce stress. This can carry on after you’re done meditating to help you stay calmer throughout the day, too. It doesn’t have to be anything formal; it can be as simple as focusing all your attention on your breathing.
Sometimes you just have to let your brain turn off and focus on something that’s not work-related for a while. Spend time with your friends and family, read, watch TV, and stop thinking about work for an hour or two. You may not be getting anything crossed off your to-do list while you’re binge-watching Netflix, but you are allowing your energy to recharge so you can be more productive later.
Don’t let stress win. Fight back – and encourage your employees to do so too!
Need a consultation on your vacation policy or advice on creating a wellness program? Want some training on stress management? Contact Purple Ink – we’re here to help.