A study done by the American Psychological Association found that 48% of respondents noted that they feel like their stress has increased over the last five years. With the everyday roles and responsibilities on our plates, it’s no wonder we’re stressed and overwhelmed. But too much stress can lead to sickness, burnout and even depression and anxiety. The blog today features One DON’Ts and Three DO’s to help destress when things get tough.
Let’s dive in, when you’re stressed, what’s on your Don’t List?
Michelle: Number one hopefully happens before you get stressed. Don’t Over-Schedule Yourself. Some of our stress is self Imposed, make sure you give time in your schedule for relaxation, sleep, etc.
Now some of that sounds easier said than done. Let’s talk about what is on the DO list to help other and yourself in stressful times
One of the Do’s is to focus on the present. There may be a lot of challenges in the future, but the present is all that is in our control, we need to spend more time focusing on what we can control and let the future come what may. The old adage that worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere, is true. Spend your time thinking about the things in your control.
Let’s go to a question to get the next do.
Question: Many of our viewers have taxing jobs and a lot of personal responsibilities what would you recommend they do first? Ask for help. I think you’re right, the demands we have on our lives AND the worry combined are a lot so we need to not go it alone. Whether you’re a CEO or a stay at home parent we all need help with our responsibilities. So whether it’s hiring good help or trading with friends – not only does it lift a burden, but it helps us remember that we’re not alone. Community and solidarity are great antidotes to stress.
The final tip I have for you to de-stress is to create a “Play List”. In my book The Make It Happen Blueprint, one of the ways we tackle the feeling of being overwhelmed is through things that bring us joy. It can be making time for a hobby, reading a good book, or even learning something new. I recommend to corporate clients and high performance individuals to make sure they do something every day that takes their mind off the stress and also helps them develop personally with things they enjoy.
Corporate cultures are adjusting to the unique needs of women in their workforce. More companies are creating flexible time off polices and maternity leave programs. As a result, women are more likely to stay longer at organizations with a culture that’s flexible to the demands of women who wear many hats. Now, organizations are looking to find ways to train, empower, develop and mentor women to be better prepared for advancement opportunities.
The blog today is all about four ways companies can empower and develop the women in their organizations.
Let’s start with the why. Why should an organization create initiatives that foster personal development for women?
Advanced education and on the job training can help employees learn important skills that will help them excel in their individual jobs, but if there isn’t a foundation of clarity, high performance and productivity then advancement and job development is actually stifled. A few months ago google released an article sharing that they’ve studied the trends, habits and effects of their personal development programs and discovered that soft skills were actually more valuable than job specific training.
Organizations do have very limited budgets. I have a couple suggestions on how they can still get started on this initiative. Two ideas here, first, allow 2 hours a week paid for personal development time. This can be spent in reading books (chosen or assigned by the organization), watching topic specific videos, etc. The second idea is to develop internal mentoring programs. Pair up senior level leadership with employees you want to develop for advancement and allow an hour a week for in person meetings to set goals, talk through job descriptions, etc.
What about the opposite side of the spectrum. What about the companies that are ready to take it to the next level and allocate budget for personal development. I have two ideas here as well. First, I recommend developing internal women’s groups. Many corporations, especially in technology companies have a “Women in Tech” group. They have budget for monthly lunch and learns where they can bring in outside speakers, discuss books, or even just connect women across various departments. Women who are part of these groups share a sense of belonging and connection. They also feel like they have a support group to cheer them on when advancement opportunities come.
For example, 38% of Women in tech jobs leave within 7 years, but THEY KEEP WORKING, but not in tech. They cite “culture and lack of connection” as their reason for leaving.
Second, I recommend carving out budget for outside training programs. We hear story after story of companies investing in women to get high performance leadership training and then come back and share what they’ve learned with others in the group. It can be VERY effective and helps to bring in expertise that may not exist in the organization.