Top Tips For Managing Stress

However satisfying, stimulating and enjoyable your workplace and job role might be there will be days, possibly longer periods of time, where things just do not go your way and you find things very stressful. We all have “one of those days” and to keep a fresh and open perspective is often both daunting and challenging.

The key to dealing with such days is to firstly recognise the damage this will do if you do not take things seriously and secondly to have a strategy that can pull you away from the potentially downward spiral and back to your old, motivated and enthusiastic self.

You need to develop and continually refine Anchors that are favourite or nourishing things that give you an inner strength and calm and which provide time to find perspective. Such places should make you feel safe, secure and relaxed. They do not need to be physical places – they can be anything that helps you move forward again.

People – People who generate a calm and motivating atmosphere. With them you can talk openly, they listen and are non-judgemental, often having the same values, beliefs and opinions as you. Occasionally they may have very different views and thoughts but they still can offer a confidential ear or opinion as a trusted friend.

Ideas – This can be anything from religious faith and political ideology to deeply held beliefs or values (such as a strong commitment to greening and recycling).

Places – Home is one of the most widely used places of refuge, to help someone feel “safe.” It can be on a large-scale geographical area e.g. a certain long walk or large beach but it also can be much smaller in scale like a favourite room. It is whatever works for you at that time.

Items – These could be favourite possessions – like a well-loved book or family heirloom – or specific clothes that make you feel good.

Groups or Organisations – This could be a favourite social club or gathering, professional group, or a collection of work colleagues. Here you feel welcome and the atmosphere is supportive and stimulating.

With the recent trend for “hot desking” it will be hard to set up your own identity in the workplace – one way to deal with this is to take with you things that anchor you to the space. This could be photographs, your own writing equipment, coffee cup and paper systems which give you a focus and a base.

What makes a good Anchor?

Stability. If you have chosen a colleague or a friend as an Anchor are you sure that person will always be there for you? If you identified a place can you be sure that it will still be there or is not likely to change so that it does not have the characteristics that help you?

Control.  Are your Anchors under your control and can you ensure that they will give long-lasting support when needed?

Time. You may need to invest time developing and maintaining your places and the people in your life. The more time you invest in getting this right the more the Anchor will give you; limited investment in time and effort always equals poor support when you need it most.

Certainty. Will your Anchor deliver quality support over a long time period? Everything changes, however much we might not want it to but change is the only certainty in our world. Can your Anchor weather the forces of time and how can you modify or replace the Anchor to deal with this?

We live in challenging and dynamic times when running a number of safety zones for retreat and regrouping are vital for success. High-performing managers and teams recognise this and have practical and effective strategies to deal with this to allow them to remain focused and able to meet change head-on.

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