There’s no getting away from it, stress related to Coronavirus has made a massive difference to the workforce; the way we work has changed forever.
As we all look forward to returning to some sort of normality, stress in the workforce may present itself, as teams adapt as to the new environment.
I’m sharing three simple and quick activities today that you can try yourself or with your team. Each has been shown to improve wellbeing and reduce stress.
1. RECOGNISING STRESSFUL THOUGHTS
How do we manage our thoughts, when they are all over the place? It is like spinning plates in the mind and it increases your stress levels. Therefore the first thing to do is to stop and listen.
Can you hear those thoughts running through your mind – increasing your stress levels?
- Listen to the thoughts and ask yourself what purpose they serve.
- Write a list of your thoughts and grade them 1 – 10 of how important they are.
- The one’s that are not very important – throw them away. Literally tear up the paper that they are written on and enjoy putting them in the bin.
How liberating does that feel?
2. FREE-WRITING FOR STRESS
If you read this blog regularly, you will know I am a facilitator of therapeutic writing. This type of writing can help you manage stress. One of the elements of this is free writing.
- Grab a pen and paper, and make yourself comfortable.
- You are going to write for six minutes – believe me this is not a long time. Set your alarm and just write.
- If it is difficult to get going, start with a prompt. A favourite prompt of mine for stress management is ‘Today I feel…’. Write that at the top of your page and see what follows.
- Try not to overthink this writing, or judge it. This is about writing from the heart and nobody is going to read it.
- When you have finished you can keep it or throw it away.
3. POSTURE & STRESS
Grounding is a great technique for managing stress and it can be done anywhere. It is a way of focussing on your body and breath, because when we are stressed we tend to breathe more quickly and our breathing becomes very shallow.
This exercise can be done standing or sitting.
- If you can, stand and feel your feet firmly routed on the floor and then imagine how solid the earth is. Can you feel all the earth and roots in the ground that hold you still?
- Drop your shoulders and straighten your spine. If this is difficult, imagine a silver thread running from the crown of your head to the sky.
- Take some deep breaths and enjoy the stillness.
Carry out this exercise at any time, whenever you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, take a few minutes to stand and refocus.
Managing the stress and concerns of the workforce after coronavirus is going to be a major concern going forward. The three exercises above are simple and effective, and can help your teams to look after themselves.
Have you thought about how you will be supporting your workforce during the coming months, as we adapt to living with Coronavirus? Let me know in the comments below; you could also include them in a wellbeing pack for your team.
Keeping our workforce safe and well will be a main priority going forward. If you would like more ideas, or to discuss other solutions I have designed to help employers with this, please get in touch.