Letting Go of Stress

Letting Go of Stress

Stress is the number one challenge in the workplace and it is continuing into 2023.  We as leaders have to find some ways for ourselves and our staff members to Let Go of Stress! Here are some interesting 2023 statistics from Zippia, along with their related  research summary:

  • 83% of US workers suffer from work-related stress, with 25% saying their job is the number one stressor in their lives.
  • About one million Americans miss work each day because of stress.
  • 76% of US workers report that workplace stress affects their personal relationships.
  • Depression-induced absenteeism costs US businesses $51 billion a year, as well as an additional $26 billion in treatment costs.
  • More than 50% of workers are not engaged at work as a result of stress, leading to a loss of productivity.
  • Companies spend around 75% of a worker’s annual salary to cover lost productivity or to replace workers.
  • The main causes of workplace stress are workload (39% of workers), interpersonal issues (31%), juggling work and personal life (19%), and job security (6%).

“We practice letting go, and in the process, we find peace.”  Leo Babauta

So, as leaders, what do we do for ourselves and those we lead?  We can’t take care of others unless we take care of ourselves.  Just like on a plane, the flight attendant on every single flight says to put your own oxygen mask on first, even before your own children!  You have to take care of yourself in order to be able to support, lead, manage, coach, develop and hold your team members accountable.

I often hear from leaders that they think it is faster to do not only their own work, but some of their staff members as well – not true!  If you jump in and take over a task that should be handled by one of your direct reports, you have stepped out of your role and your responsibilities.  Who is going to do that work? In addition, what message are you sending to your staff members? Perhaps that you don’t think they are capable or that you mistrust them?  Trust is the foundation of leadership. Learn how to delegate effectively as a leader!

When was the last time you really evaluated the workload of those you lead?  Who is not taking lunch, breaks, or days off? It is our responsibility as leaders to make sure our staff members have the tools, they need to get their work done in a reasonable amount of time.  There will ALWAYS be more to do! How can you assist your staff members to take their much-needed time to rest, recoup and reenergize, to be able to effectively do their job and serve their customers?  Don’t let your staff members get burned out!  It is a leader’s job to protect them and keep them professionally mentally, physically and emotionally safe!

Here are some techniques and suggestions to lower stress during the day.  Please do this for yourself and please share this with your staff members and invite them to take 3-4 short breaks a day to reset.

Here is a great article about “The Power of Meeting Stress with Softness”. If you are feeling “stressed” about anything, including your capstone, try these techniques:

  • Listening Softly to our own breath: Inhale 4 counts, exhale 4 Counts – repeat pattern 4 times.  Notice how the body softens and the stressful moment melts away…
  • Let Go of Tension: take a moment and do a brief body scan, starting at your toes and working your way up the body, let your breath flow naturally…notice any tension in the body and breathe…. breathe…breathe… and soften the body.
  • Soft Belly Breathing: simply focus on your breath. As you inhale notice your belly expanding gently, as you exhale notice the belly contracting.  Focus on the breath and the expansion of your belly as your breath goes in and out…
  • Appreciate the Open Sky: Mother nature is healing and calming. If you are having a stressful moment, excuse yourself, go outside and take a few deep breaths.  Touch a plant, tree or the grass and just be in nature and take a few deep breaths and let your mind soften and become clear. 
  • Take 6 minutes Today and Follow the Miracle Morning SAVERS Process:
List of morning relaxation activities.

Miracle Morning, 6 Minute Morning:  You take 1 minute for each of the SAVERS steps.

Leadership Challenge: Do the SAVERS 6-minute challenge for 7 days in a row… see how it makes a difference in your life personally and professionally!

Poem: just for today.

Another great way to reset: simply read this poem and breathe…

by Mikao Usui

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