4 Ways to Bounce Back on the Job
By Sandy Schroeder
One in four employees see their job as the most stressful thing in their lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of us can relate to work stress as we navigate deadlines and projects that often require long hours. Sometimes we find ourselves on call 24/7, or missing family events.
Harvard Business Review’s Rich Fernandez says current workday pressures make resilience skills more important than ever. He suggests we can all build our resilience muscles with some specific exercises. Knowing how to bounce back can make all of the difference.
Discover mindfulness - Social psychologists say mindfulness enhances judgment, insight and flexibility. They suggest using online mindfulness programs to increase resilience and job involvement. Useful apps include Headspace, Mental Workout, Calm, Whil and Simple Habit. Books like Fully Present might also help us understand and use the practice. The more often I use mindfulness practices the better the benefits become.
Channel information into categories - We all receive way more information than we can effectively process, but compartmentalizing may be the secret to processing it without losing your cool. Group emails, brainstorming sessions, and meeting reports, can all be put into separate sections. This may seem like overkill, but it might be very helpful when you want to go right to a meeting report or specific email.
Take breaks to stay productive - Researchers say energy, concentration and clarity of thought all run for 20 to 90 minutes. At that point, when you step away for a few minutes you are actually doing a reset. Researchers say balancing work activities with short breaks helps us strengthen our ability to bounce back. In the long run we function better and are less likely to burnout.
Learn how to be more agile - Learning how to respond to stress calmly rather than react requires us to be mentally fleet of foot. Psychologists suggest we “decenter” stress to be able to handle it. We do not need to deny or suppress it, but we do need to pause to look at the situation from a neutral point to solve the issue. Taking a mental step back means we can get a better overview and deliver a stronger response.
Taking breaks, thinking better, compartmentalizing and using mindfulness are just a few ways to stay resilient on the job. If they work for you, keep using them and look for more ways to effectively manage stress.
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