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Team Stress Busters

It’s summer, school is out, the kids have started to chant “I’m bored!!” – but parents still have to work. What’s a hard-working, multi-responsibility adult to do?

Here are seven ways to boost your team’s mental health from Forbes:

  • Emphasize mental well-being as a company value.

  • Set an example, be honest when it’s a stressful day, not to make the team solve it, but to encourage empathy.

  • Allow staff to use sick days for mental health days, or take sabbaticals (paid/unpaid) to pursue a life goal or spend time with family. Both allow staff to return fully recharged, and without them overloaded staff may be more likely to burn out and quit.

  • Give (paid) time-off for volunteering – encouraging staff to put energy back into the community sends the message that you support what is important to them – and is a great differentiator for job seekers.

  • Promote team bonding – Strong team relationships promotes health and mental wellbeing. Add fun activities like non-work-related competitions, after hours activites, and carve time for staff to share fun personal facts in meetings.

  • Encourage growth and development – People are more engaged when learning and growing even when it’s not job related. Investing in growth beyond current roles demonstrates care in people’s future, not just improving productivity.

  • Fund an Employee Assistance Program – Provide low or no-cost access to external confidential mental health professionals, and investigate other services like ride-sharing, budgeting help, daycare backups, etc. to help staff juggle the challenges we all face.

  • Encourage affinity groups – lunch break walkers, learning something new together, peer/cultural support groups (diet challenge, single parents, second language, etc).

And 40 ideas from for personal de-stressors:

  • Get moving – exercise releases endorphins the “feel good hormone”. It’s really that simple. It doesn’t have to be painful - try Yoga, stretch, take a walk, play ball, hike, bike.

  • Drink tea – especially green tea which has L-Theanine – to reduces stress and anger.

  • Visualize yourself at a favorite spot – the beach, mountains, by a river – the more imagery the better.

  • Cut screen time, and increase green time – time in nature is more relaxing than a blue screen. Challenge yourself to avoid anything that sends notifications. The less connected we are to the web, the more connected we are to ourselves and others.

  • Journal or blog – it encourages introspection and provides a release for things that wouldn’t be beneficial to say out-loud. And it allows time to understand what stressed you in the first place.

  • Do Nothing – it spurs creativity, adds fun, and brings out your inner child or inventor.

  • Hobby-time – watching sports, cooking, model building, scrapbook, garden.

  • Take a nap – unwinding makes room for the next boost of energy.

  • Breathe deeply, Meditate, Take a bubble bath.

  • De-clutter – it clears the mind at the same time.

  • Read - a cozy nook/hammock and an engrossing book change perspective.

  • Sing or Dance like no one is watching – its freeing to be silly sometime, and reduces muscle tension.

  • Play with a pet – cuddling pets reduces blood pressure.

  • Practice positive self talk – silence the criticism committee in your head.

  • Have fun with friends – we are social creatures so make time to hang with people you like, play board games, have adventures.

  • Squeeze a stress ball – its an anxiety releaser.

  • Smile – even when not in the mood it can still reduce stress (and takes fewer muscles than frowning).

  • Go barefoot – it allows you to absorb free electrons from the earth, and has an antioxidant effect on the body.

  • Scents make sense – investigate aroma therapy .

  • Be spontaneous – take a new route, try a new coffee, visit a toy store, fly a kite, picnic.

  • Forgive – yourself and others. We are all human, let go of unrealistic standards, and expectations. Staying in the past is not worth missing the future.

  • Watch a movie, eat chocolate, laugh, chew gum.

Whatever option you pick, here’s to finding renewed joy on a daily basis.


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