Stress can sometimes be a small, nagging voice in your head that won’t go away. Other times, it can be destructive, wreaking havoc on your personal and professional life and your overall well-being.
In fact, according to a recent Harvard Business Reviewarticle, stress makes people nearly three times as likely to leave their jobs, temporarily impairs strategic thinking, and dulls creative abilities. Therefore, it’s extremely important that we take care of ourselves and each other as we head toward the holiday months, when stress tends to increase substantially.
At Neo, we understand how difficult it can be to manage stress, which is why we emphasize the importance of taking scheduled breaks throughout the day and encourage physical activity through our current #FitandFestive wellness challenge, as well as the recently ended #HealthyLifestyle challenge. We’ve also created a vibrant and interactive app-based social community where employees can support each other socially with light-hearted posts, pictures around our offices and labs, and more.
Track Your Stressors: The APA suggests keeping a journal for a week or two to identify which situations create the most stress and how you respond to them. They suggest you record your thoughts, feelings, and information about the environment, as taking notes can help you find patterns among your stressors and your reactions to them.
Develop Healthy Responses: Rather than fight stress with food or alcohol, the APA encourages you to make healthy choices when tension rises, including exercise or physical activity, yoga, and making time for hobbies and favorite activities. They also recommend building healthy sleep habits by limiting caffeine intake late in the day and minimizing stimulating activities, such as computer and television use, at night.
Take Time to Recharge: To fight the negative effects of stress, the APA emphasizes the need to disconnect from work from time to time. They recommend not letting your vacation days go to waste and, when possible, take time off to relax and unwind, so you come back to work feeling reinvigorated and ready to perform at your best. When you're not able to take time off, get a quick boost by turning off your smartphone and focusing your attention on non-work activities for a while.
Learn How to Relax: To help with stress, the APA recommends employing techniques such as meditation, deep-breathing exercises, and mindfulness for a few minutes each day. The APA states that the skill of being able to focus purposefully on a single activity without distraction will get stronger with practice and you'll find that you can apply it to many different aspects of your life.
Get Support: The APA encourages people to accept help from trusted friends and family members, as well as seek out help through your employer. Neo offers an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) that includes online information, available counseling, and referral to mental health professionals, if needed. Please see your on-boarding binder or an HR representative for more information.