Stress Awareness Month – 3 steps to starting conversations about stress

Posted on Tuesday, 7th Apr '20

Anthony Wolny by Anthony Wolny

The disruption and uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus pandemic is turning our working and personal lives upside down. This means that levels of stress and anxiety are likely to be higher among your employees than ever before.

Unfortunately, stigma still surrounds stress which means some of your employees may feel embarrassed or uncomfortable opening up about how they’re feeling.

But April is Stress Awareness Month – and a fantastic opportunity to start conversations around stress management within your business. So, we’re sharing 3 steps to help you do just that…

1. Stress amnesty – start the conversation

Encourage your people to write down their stresses – either publicly on an intranet or message board, anonymously through a forum, or even privately on a piece of paper they can keep to themselves.

Research says than even simply acknowledging your stresses can start to help alleviate them. And if there are work related stresses your employees feel comfortable sharing, finding out about them is your first step in working out how you might be able to help.

2. Share best practice – what works for you?

Whether it’s spending time with pets, mindful drawing, exercise, creative writing, cooking or something completely different, ask your people to share how they de-stress.

You’re bound to find a wide range of ideas that may be helpful for your other employees to try.

3. Try it yourself

Choose a few of the activities and set up ‘try it yourself’ days to encourage your employees to join a virtual yoga session together, share baking photos, or take part in a walking ‘step counting’ challenge. Not only will you be helping your employees find new ways to manage stress, these activities will also help to build a sense of community within your business while you’re working apart.

You may also find a few opportunities to be jovial – for example, if sleep comes up, why not introduce a company-wide siesta or a Monday morning lie in? Or if one of your team de-stresses by playing a musical instrument, you could set up a video performance.

Tag us in your social media posts to let us know how you get on.

Find out more

However, you spend Stress Awareness Month, let your people know the resources available to them to help manage stress. If you’ve not set up a formal wellbeing programme that already incorporates stress management, we’ll be sharing tips and ideas on how to do this in the coming weeks.

Keep an eye on our blog and social media.

Anthony Wolny, April 7th, 2020

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