According to Melanie Bickbord of the Canadian Mental Health Association, “workplace stress has been shown to have a detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of employees, as well as a negative impact on workplace productivity and profits.” Huge events, like pandemics for example, cause entire teams to experience levels of stress they never imagined.
With internal and external support, your team can grow and thrive through adversity by addressing challenges that affect the beating heart of the organization – the people and the relationships between them.
The hard truth is that everyone will experience hardship – whether that’s work or home-related. Hardship, or stress, is inevitable. It’s not a matter of avoiding stress all together, but rather dealing with the stressors as they arise, and building resilience (the capacity to rebound).
That’s the question isn’t it – how can we deal with stressors as they arise? Let’s use a metaphor to help us gain a new way of thinking about stress and your capacity to rebound or resilience.
Stress can be thought of as a ship traveling across the open ocean.
The ship is made-up-of the main deck, the masts and sails, and the captain and crew on board. Each of these pieces is vital for the ship to succeed in its voyage.
o1-The captain embodies your attitude
The captain is relied on for leadership – they must make the important decisions to keep the crew and the ship safe. Think of the captain as your attitude or the sum total of your internal sentences about stress. When you encounter hardship or a stressful circumstances, it’s important that you make the decision to be calm and take useful action.
02-The crew represents your external support network
The crew is relied on to carry out all the duties that keep the ship navigating properly and in the right direction. Even during times of hardship, we encounter three times positive events than negative. That’s right. Three times more! It’s important to have trusted individuals who can help you see the positive.
03-The ship is your body so exercise and eat right
And the ship itself is relied on to hold the crew and withstand whatever challenges come from nature. Outside stressors like winter weather conditions, or severe wind and water conditions naturally take a toll on the ship and crew. Here’s where we start talking about some simple strategies to support resilience.
During times of hardship, pay attention to what you eat and ensure you set aside time to exercise. Exercise might simply mean putting on some tunes in a private space and dancing or moving to the songs you love.
The resilience of the ship is dependent on the quality of the ship engineering, as well as the know-how of the captain and crew. Weather conditions are unpredictable, so it takes a skilled crew and a sturdy ship to make a successful voyage.
Think of these unforeseeable weather conditions as our own unforeseeable personal stressors. When something happens in our lives that brings on stress, it takes a skilled person with a sturdy set of attitudes and strategies to weather the storm.
Many teams right now are experiencing stress at levels they have never experienced before.
Is your team prepared to weather the storm? Could your team use some personal tips and strategies to help them stay centered and focused? Is your team’s effectiveness being impacted by COVID 19? We can help.