What is stress? The American Institute of Stress follows famed endocrinologist Hans Selye’s definition – “the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change.” While many factors can cause stress in our lives, a few common culprits are:
- Balancing a career with home life
- Managing deadlines
- Interacting with difficult co-workers
- Struggling with personal finances
- Taking care of ill or disabled loved ones
Stress is mentally and physically unhealthy. Norman Anderson, CEO of the American Psychological Association said he believes stress could easily become our next public health crisis. The warning signs to look for are irritability, headaches, muscle tension, social withdrawal, trouble concentrating, fatigue, depression, mild acne and anxiety to name a few.
You can manage stress by pacing yourself. Set realistic goals and focus on things that you can control. Think about what makes you happy. Understand that sometimes it is OK to put your needs first and say no.
Take a break. Close your eyes and meditate in quiet place. Remove yourself from all technology. Yes, this means cell phones!
Exercise, eat a balanced diet, and get some rest. All of this is easier said than done, but keep in mind you only have one body and one life to live. Be responsible and take care of it.
Balance your workload. Even with tight deadlines, long hours and high expectations, it is important to know your limits. Make your concerns known to your manager.
Here at 70kft, we are privileged to work in an environment that embraces minimal to no stress. Our Principals have created a culture where numerous opportunities are provided just to get away from it all. For instance, our office is located in the downtown Dallas Historic West End District. This location allows us to take breaks for a quick walk or to just breathe some fresh air.
We have “Work Blocks.” This is a daily period of individual, uninterrupted time to focus strictly on projects and assignments. Work blocks are free of interruptions and meetings.
There is access to “Pitching Booths.” Although, the intended purpose of these rooms is for the PR team to pitch to the media, some use these rooms as an escape to work in silent, read a book and even sneak in a quick power nap.
Wonderfully planned “Game Days” are scheduled quarterly. The office is closed for an entire business day for food, fun, games, team building and friendly competition.
We celebrate everything – new hires, birthdays, and important life events. Also, we have weekly team-member selected “Treats.” There is always a stress outlet here.
When the guidance and assistance of a professional is needed, an “Employee Assistance Program” is available at no cost to all our employees. Although our Principals cannot control the level of stress that occurs outside of the workplace, they have put their arms around the levels that occur on the inside. This creates a more productive environment and happier employees.
It is important to remember that as much as you try, you cannot do it all. Stay calm. If you cannot alleviate your stress then find a solution that best helps you manage it.