Stress affects people in different ways. What causes stress in one person may not affect another but we can all develop similar mechanisms to help prevent stress, and cope more effectively.
Building resilience is one way to successfully manage stress. It gives us the ability to persevere and continue to function at a high level in times of adversity, despite failures, setbacks and loss.
Here we take a look at 10 steps towards building resilience to cope with stress in the workplace and avoid burnout:
1 Make connections and ask for support when you need it
Healthy relationships with close family members, friends, colleagues and others are all important. Accepting help and support from people who care about you and are able to listen helps to strengthen resilience.
2 Manage your energy, not just your time
Make sure you are putting your energy into the right things. If we direct our energy towards ‘high leverage’ tasks we get a much more effective return on investment for our efforts. It helps us to ‘de-clutter’ the things that don’t have such a good return on investment.
3 Take time to relax
Take time out and relax, even if you’re not feeling stressed. This could be going away for the weekend, doing something you enjoy in the evening or even just taking a five minute break from your desk.
4 Develop a positive mindset
Your optimism, personal beliefs and sense of personal responsibility all shape your outlook on situations. Those who nurture a positive and resilient mindset believe that their own motivations and talents determine their success or failure in the workplace.
5 Know your limits
Don’t stay quiet when it comes to potential boundary issues at work, which often leads to being unable to work to the best of your abilities as a result of too much workload. Take responsibility for setting boundaries around your time, and don’t take on more than you can handle.
Having a fitness goal or target to achieve outside of work is a great way to switch off and take your mind away from any stresses. Even small amounts of physical exercise can improve self-esteem and self-confidence, giving us the inner strength and ability to approach difficult situations.
7 Healthy eating
Food plays a vital role in our wellbeing – something that is often overlooked. There are in fact some foods that have been determined to have positive effects on reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, and lowering stress.
8 Get a good night’s sleep
Getting the right amount of quality sleep is vital when it comes to building resilience to stress. Energy dictates not only how much we’re able to do, but how well we do it – when your energy is low, your work suffers. We need to learn to pace ourselves to avoid fatigue and burnout.
9 Take action to solve problems
Waiting for problems to go away on their own only prolongs the crisis. Once you have identified a problem, start working on resolving the issue immediately. It’s important to recognise that whilst there may not be a fast or simple solution, it’s vital to take steps towards making the situation better and less stressful.
10 Keep things in perspective
When faced with stress, think about how important the issue will be in a week, month or years’ time. Resilient people maintain a positive outlook – remember to remind yourself that a lot of the issues you are facing are temporary and that you have overcome setbacks before and can do it again.