Looking for some high-impact stress management hacks? These seven mental health tips will teach you how to reduce stress in the workplace during COVID-19.
Stress is a natural part of being an entrepreneur. Even so, there’s been more of it around than usual! The coronavirus has created a new set of rules for small businesses to follow this year.
To make sure that you can handle this disruptive change and keep your sales going strong—you must focus on creating an organized, peaceful environment at work.
According to McKinsey & Company, 30 million small business jobs are in jeopardy.
As a small business owner, it’s easy to forget about your own mental health—and that of your team—as you work tirelessly to overcome these challenges. If you’re going to bounce back stronger than ever, health and wellness must become your new guiding mantra.
Your team is the heart and soul of your business. Here are seven stress and anxiety hacks that will help you create a happier, healthier, and more productive working environment for everyone.
Stay Organized and Prioritize Tasks
Now more than ever, it’s important to stay organized and to prioritize the tasks that matter most. For entrepreneurs, this means ensuring the health and safety of your employees, while you live and work amongst the spread of COVID-19.
In business, being organized is the key to productivity. Everything has its place. People know what is expected of them and what to do next. You don’t just save time when you’re organized during a pandemic—you save lives!
Having adequate safety protocols will actively lower team stress.
- Experts say that being organized makes you mentally and physically healthier
- Get your team together and create a to-do list
- Work together and prioritize the tasks from most to least pressing
- Divide the work between your team members to get it done
- Set new routines to take care of additional COVID-19 chores
Having a prioritized list of to-dos with clearly designated spaces for coronavirus gear and a cooperative team who knows exactly what to do to keep things safe and on track ensures that you can focus on ‘business as usual’ during a pandemic. Organized environment, organized mind!
#1: Have a Workplace Focused on Wellness
It doesn’t matter if you work from home or have an office space somewhere else.
Wellbeing is highly contagious in the workplace. When you give your employees access to initiatives that improve their mental health, it has a trigger effect! Experts say that emotion travels, so when one member of your team is happy, it’s far more likely that the rest will be too.
- Give your employees access to workplace mental health resources
- Adopt flexible working hours to relieve stress
- Introduce a wellness program (regular assessments, meetings, and support)
- Introduce play into your average workday as a form of therapy (games and events)
If your workplace employs these practices, you will improve productivity, boost motivation, reduce sick leave, and foster a culture of shared wellness for everyone.
#2: Embrace a Healthy Food Culture
When stress and anxiety strike, one of the first things to suffer is diet. Appetite changes (over- or undereating), people begin to crave sugar and fat-enriched foods, and they don’t get the nutrition needed to stay sharp and healthy.
It’s essential to embrace a healthy food culture at work!
- Provide your team with healthy meals for breakfast and lunch
- Encourage healthy eating for your remote and in-house employees
- Make sure that there are fresh foods and healthy snacks available
You can also share nutrition information with your employees so that they have a guide on how to get the most out of their diets during these stressful times. Promote workplace health by encouraging an engaging food culture.
#3: Maintain Real Connections and Support
Working from home can leave people feeling isolated. The best thing to do to master stress management is to stay connected.
You and your team need to support each other during this time.
- Host regular meetings to chat to each other about non-work subjects
- Organize online events for your team to nurture feelings of togetherness
- Maintain an open-door policy for employees to address any concerns they have
Strong personal relationships in a team will always translate into better business. By encouraging real connections and support, business owners will develop cohesive teams that can pull together under any circumstances.
#4: Institute 25 Minutes of Daily Meditation
Meditation is one of the best techniques for relieving stress at work. It’s perfect for enhancing mental clarity for decision-making and for improving a company’s overall emotional intelligence.
During COVID-19, this is an essential mental health practice for your team.
- Consider instituting a daily 25-minute meditation for everyone at work
- Meditating actively lowers cortisol, the stress-causing hormone
- Meditation improves focus, creativity, and elevates your mood
If you institute a company-wide meditation period, you will instantly reap the benefits. Doing this daily will slow things down and give everyone a much-needed energy boost.
Find out about the types of meditation here.
#5: Give Back to Your Community
One of the best ways to manage stress is to give back to the community.
Helping people lowers stress, improves blood pressure and self-esteem—and it increases team happiness.
- Organize a food drive for a local charity or someone specific
- Volunteer your team to assist with a COVID-19 charity
- Donate your team’s time and effort to other companies who need help
Stress management for entrepreneurs can be challenging, which is why it’s important to remember that we help ourselves by helping others. Be a force for good in your community and they will support you in return.
#6: Make Time for Self-Care
Self-care can be defined as the act of maintaining your physical, mental, or emotional reserves so that you don’t run out of energy.
As a type of energy management, it helps business owners find that perfect balance for doing well at work and in life. It’s also an important stress hack!
- Working too hard? Schedule time to unwind, play or relax
- Doing too much? Review your schedule, delegate, and do less
- Not progressing fast enough? Look at your priorities and what is most important
- Racing mind? Spend some time journaling
- Exhausted? Focus on getting better quality (or more) sleep
- Feeling frustrated? Release that negative energy while running, boxing, or climbing
These are all examples of practicing the art of self-care.
When you prioritize self-care and encourage it at work—you endorse a culture of balance. This will create a more resilient team since stressors are dealt with when they happen.
#7: Find a Leadership Network for Support
As a leader, you need to be in control of your stressors and how they are impacting your business. This is challenging, especially if you’ve been working remotely and can’t communicate with your team in person.
A leadership network can give you the support that you need.
- Join a business network and make friends with other entrepreneurs in your niche
- Share concerns and exchange ideas on how to make things better
- Treat your leadership network like a group of mentors
Some 49% of entrepreneurs have mental health issues at some point in their lives. With the coronavirus, it’s become more important than ever to have leadership support.
These seven hacks show you how to improve mental health in the workplace. Start by recognizing the signs and symptoms of poor mental health. Then, take action by adopting some of these useful stress-busting methods. Pick the ones you like or try each of them.
In 2020, stress management is about clear communication, healthy practices like eating well, exercising, and meditating—and helping others do the same. Follow these tips and you will find yourself back on course with more energy and motivation than ever before!
Now is the time to keep your stress low and your business open—which means managing team stress like a pro.