Coping With Workplace Stress

Jul 25 • 2018

Like most people, I am concerned about the increasing workplace violence that is occurring these days. It often starts with some perceived or real stressful situation at work or home. Unfortunately, workplace stress is a reality for most people. The prospect of escaping it is little to nonexistent. With the pace of everyday life speeding up, thanks to technology and social media, there’s no slowing down. But what can we do individually to deal with our stress or just take a break from all the noise surrounding us?

There are many things we can do. But, often, as health care professionals, leaders, parents and caregivers, we’re the last to care for ourselves because of our workloads, personal responsibilities or other obligations. But the reality is we have to make our mental health a priority so that we don’t burn out or lose control.

One of the resources all Baptist Memorial Health Care team members have access to is the CONCERN Employee Assistance Program. CONCERN provides unlimited, free and confidential counseling for Baptist team members and anyone living with them. CONCERN also provides training, crisis response and conflict resolution. So it is a great resource for any team member who feels overwhelmed or who just needs tips managing his or her stress or stressful situations.

A June 2017 article in Forbes suggested five other ways to deal with stress, and I thought some of these were pretty practical. They include the following:

  1. Changing the way we think about stress and its symptoms. Instead of thinking about our bodies’ response to stress as a negative, consider the benefits of these reactions, such as making us more aware or enhancing our performance.
  2. Focusing on helping others. This suggestion has to do with focusing on what we can control, rather than dwelling on what we can’t. So we might consider mentoring team members or thanking or praising a colleague for his or her support or work.
  3. Starting conversations by saying something positive. This can set the tone for the rest of the conversation and help others have a more positive and productive response.
  4. Turning off news alerts. Negative news can be overwhelming and distressful.
  5. Focusing on your “now step.” This involves focusing on the smallest step or action you can immediately take to solve a problem. It moves you forward instead of making you feel stuck.

I also like to make time for reading, reflection and prayer. How do you cope with workplace stress?

For more information about CONCERN or resources for dealing with workplace stress, please visit https://www.baptistonline.org/services/employee-assistance.