Stress! Are You Feeling Stressed?
May 25, 2021 / Category: Communication
We put a survey out to our readers recently, and the results were unanimous. The one thing bothering 100% of our readers about the pandemic is not back-to-work situations or reintegrating teams to the office or health and safety. It is stress. It is managing stress, and change, and the stress of change.
It drains our energy.
We misbehave when we are under it.
We get sick because of it.
It chips away at our well-being.
We are under more stress now than ever. According to one CDC report:
31% of respondents reported symptoms of anxiety or depression.
13% of respondents reported having started or increased substance use.
26% reported stress-related symptoms, and 11% reported having serious thoughts of suicide in the past 30 days.
Covid-19 and all the impacts in our 21st-century lives:
Politics; civil unrest; the economy, world news; hacking our systems from everywhere and anywhere; social media controlling our lives – and our kids’ lives. Nothing seems normal or safe anymore. Do we work from home or not? The sandwich generation, taking care of their kids and their elderly parents. How do we build our careers on a Zoom call?
Some stress is good. We get stronger when we stress our muscles, learn more when we work our brains, do more when we push through our perceived limits.
Stress is really about a lack of control. As Kahil Gibran said:
“Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.” And we know we cannot control our world -- this is true, now more than ever. The only thing we can truly control – and not always! – is ourselves. We get to choose what we see, think, feel, and do. Applied EQ from the inside out is required. Manage ourselves, manage our emotions, and manage our relationships, empathetically.
We as leaders need to recognize the impact of our shifting realities on each individual’s life. No two are the same. As a great leader, you will set about learning the lives of your people and how you can help them stay in balance and well. As organizations, we all need to offer support in many ways. Demand that people take time away from their computers. Limit the number of video calls. Offer counseling and/or support lines. And, the best employers provide mandatory health days and offer time off for wellness in various forms.
We want our people stretched but not stressed -- performing at their best, not on fumes of exhaustion or out of fear. The investment in helping people feel well will reap human and business ROI. Your people will be loyal, and it will reflect in your customer loyalty as well.
I trust that this helps. Stay safe and well, Stephen
Author: Stephen Garber