5 Ways People Handle Workplace Stress

5 Ways People Handle Workplace Stress

Workplace stress affects everyone. From getting nervous before a big presentation to feeling overworked — everyone has experienced a hard week in the office. Work-related stress tops the concerns of Ginger.io members — 73 percent — who report stress and anxiety as a challenge. But stress isn’t exclusive to the workplace.

Our personal and professional lives are constantly colliding, meaning that stressed out workers aren’t just stressed out about work. Personal stress, like relationship issues, family problems and grief can all also cause employees to experience stress while they’re at work.

In our infographic, we use a combination of our own data and third-party research to highlight what causes workplace stress and the common ways people deal with and overcome it.

3 Steps to Peace at Work, After the Election

Elections are over and the results are in. Perhaps you're disappointed but some of your coworkers are elated. Or you're pleased but your office mate is fuming.

The reality is that this election has been stressful and overwhelming. How can you keep tensions at bay and keep your relationships intact?

Be accepting of different opinions

When opinions and values clash, the easiest way to keep the peace is to just agree to disagree. Regardless of how you feel about your coworker’s opinions, that person is still your colleague. So the most important thing is to maintain a respectful workplace and not let differences interfere with your ability to work together. There are many things you’ll disagree on or value differently, but you and your colleague can still work together by putting differences aside and focusing on the job at hand.

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Make time, make space.

Give yourself and others time and space to let emotions die down. If you feel your temperature start to rise, take a time out. Ask for the day off if you need to. Avoid political conversations with people who you know have views that are radically different from your own. Suggest to management that they create a "politics-free" zone in the office, where no talk of *any* politics is allowed.

And remember that not all reactions happen immediately. Election night was the big reveal but people you interact with may show a range of emotions for the next few days and even weeks. This is particularly true as media reports fuel the feelings of uncertainty and speculation. Be alert to yourself or your coworkers seeming more sensitive than normal, and give or take the space needed.  

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A time for leadership

If you’re a manager, now is the time for you to flex your skills as a leader. Show leadership and set the example by not getting involved in heated discussions with employees, and diffusing situations when you see them brewing. Of course you have your own opinions and feelings on these topics, but your first responsibility at the office is to focus your team on the business of the company. Get clearance from your management that you have the latitude to allow people to leave the environment, either to take a break or a walk, go home for the day, etc. Accept that the next few days may not be very productive, as your team processes what it all means for them, their families and their futures.

"When I walked into my workplace on Wednesday morning, it was obvious that emotions were high. So we got everyone together (live and virtual) to acknowledge this fact, remind people of our core values of treating people respectfully and accepting differences, and opened the floor for people to air any concerns. We then gave them the option of taking the rest of the day off if they needed to. While this was important for that moment in time, the entire leadership team will continue to keep our fingers on the pulse of how people are feeling and acting over the next few days and weeks."

This election has been one of the most polarizing ones in recent history. However that doesn’t mean you have to let your work relationships fall victim to this stress. It takes two to tango, and you have complete control over what you say and do. As long as you keep your ultimate goal in mind - maintaining good relationships with your colleagues - you’ll be able to get through this time and help others do the same.

Or contact us at hello@ginger.io to learn more about how you can help your team

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Traunza Adams,  Head of People Ops
Traunza has led HR & People Ops in companies of various sizes, growth stages and industries, including B2B enterprise software, B2C software and services, and non-profit mental health. The list includes Oracle, Salesforce, Saba Software, Plumtree Software, Coremetrics, Seneca Center for Families, UniversityNow, and AppDynamics. At Ginger.io, Traunza combines her passion for building great teams and companies with her personal mission to empower communities and be an agent of change in emotional and mental health. Learn more about joining our team.

 

Less stress, more hope this election season.

Election season is here -- and it’s stressing out our friends, our family, and our colleagues. A recent study reported that more than half of Americans felt significantly stressed by the 2016 election. But this isn’t entirely surprising. For almost a year, Americans have watched political leaders argue their way through news conferences and debates, while the public has largely been left to ponder day-to-day realities like--

  • How does this election affect my family?
  • Is my job secure?
  • What does this mean for my future?
  • How will this impact my community?
  • What will change in the current justice system?

While these kind of questions are not unique to this election cycle, what is unique is the ongoing denunciation that can make it challenging for people to feel hopeful and secure. Jodi Moss, Therapy Lead at Ginger.io says that feeling hopeful is a necessary emotion that people often rely on to get through more challenging periods in their lives. For example, just knowing that there is a light at the end of tunnel can be a great source of comfort during an uncertain time.

Of course this raises the question, how do you create an environment that becomes a source of comfort for you and your family during the remaining days of this election season. Jodi recommends the following:

Step 1: Put pen to paper
Take a few minutes each day to jot down your thoughts, feelings, fears, and worries. The act of jotting down thoughts can be a stress reliever in of itself. Writing out thoughts and emotions can help release the intensity of feelings and help you get more clarity.

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Step 2: Communicate, communicate, communicate
Talk with your friends and family about how you’re feeling. One of the most common things our therapists hear is how reassuring it feels to know that you’re not the only one feeling a certain way. Talking with those you trust about your fears, hopes, and dreams can help you build a stronger sense of community and safety.

Step 3: Find your breath
Learning ways to observe your current thoughts and feelings can help you relax and slow down. One technique you might try is Mindfulness of Sound- an exercise designed to increase your awareness by focusing on your breath as well as your five senses (what you smell, hear, feel, taste and see).

Step 4. Get up, get active!
Getting regular exercise can have a really positive impact on your mood and body! Research has shown that exercise can help reduce stress, boost your energy levels, and promote mindfulness. Don’t know where to start? Try committing to 10-minute bouts of activity, two to three times a day for 5 days. Even these small increases in activity can make a difference.

5. Limit your media exposure
Election news is everywhere-- news sites, comedy shows, social media. Learning to limit how much election coverage you consume- or the sources that you consume new from- can help reduce your worries and stress. Rather take time during the day to focus on things that you can change, and that are more positive. This can include volunteering for a cause you are passionate about (politically or otherwise), or connecting with family, taking the dog out to play, or just listening to some music.

So if you’re one of the millions of Americans who is feeling stressed out by this election, don’t suffer in silence. The presidential candidates may have missed the mark on how people are feeling, but you don’t have to. Don't forget to vote - but make time today to take care of yourself.

Leanne Kaye, one of Ginger.io's clinical experts, has a Doctorate in behavior change, and a Masters in Public Health. She’s passionate about making the world a healthier place by helping others reach their best state of mental wellbeing. To learn more about Ginger.io’s team of experts, visit ginger.io/meet-your-care-team/

 

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Jodi Moss has a Masters in Counseling Psychology/ Expressive Arts Therapy and believes that the start of a good therapeutic relationship is dependent on trust and fit. As Therapy Lead, Jodi works hard to ensure all Ginger.io members receive personalized, high-quality video care when they need it.