Stress Management Programmes can assist with the Issues of ‘Binge Working’
Medical experts are starting to identify heart disease and psychological Stress in employees who so-call ‘binge work’, which refers to those who work more than 60 hour weeks. In a recent article in forbes.com it was felt that these individuals also tend to over-eat, binge drink on both caffeinated and alcoholic drinks, and frequently don’t have time to exercise. Doctors are seeing an increase in stressed out employees with symptoms of exhaustion and depression who are asking to be signed off on sick leave. It isn’t always executives who ‘binge work’ and have a poor work-life balance, there have been a few recent cases of deaths of young banking and marketing professionals from working excessive hours in the UK, Indonesia, and China, with one individual being dead at his desk for a week before being noticed!
According to many Psychologists, most professionals now suffer from some form of Stress during their working life. They feel that the difference between those who are successful and those who aren’t is not whether you suffer from Stress, but how you deal with it. Here are 6 scientifically proven strategies from experts in the US for defeating Stress when it strikes:
1. Have self-compassion: Or in other words cut yourself some slack. Look at your mistakes or failures with kindness and understanding – not harsh criticism or defensiveness
2. Rely on Routines: Apparently making any decision, whether to hire a new employee or schedule a meeting with a team member, creates a state of mental tension. Create more routines and remove daily problems. As President Obama said: ‘You need to routinize yourself. You can’t be going through the day distracted by trivia.’
3. Add ‘When’ and ‘Where’ to your ‘To do’ List: In other words make your ‘To do’ List SMART with Specific and Timed priorities
4. Use ‘If…then…’ for your Planning and positive Self Talk: If you ask yourself: ‘If I do x, then what would be the outcome and how would I feel?’ you are better able to control your emotional responses. Plan better responses such as being calm when you see 100 emails in your Inbox!
5. See your Work in terms of Progress, not Perfection: When things don’t go smoothly you quickly start to doubt your ability and this creates a lot of Stress and anxiety. Ironically, worrying about your ability makes you much more likely to fail. When you think about what you are doing in terms of learning and improving, accepting that you make some mistakes along the way, you experience far less Stress and you stay motivated despite setbacks
6. Think about the Progress you’ve already made: Psychologically it’s often not whether we’ve reached our goal, but the rate at which we are closing the gap between where we are now and where we want to end up that determines how we feel. Make a list of all your Accomplishments, both at work and outside work, in order to boost your confidence levels before turning to the new challenges ahead.
As more employers are looking at ways to boost the well-being of their team members, statistics show that Change Management and Stress Management Programmes can result in a 33% reduction in sickness absence. At Natural Talent some of our clients have experienced more than 60% less sickness absence as a result of Change Management and Stress Management Programmes.