Recently Eliz keynoted the Biz Times Wellness Summit and facilitated roundtable discussions about “What’s Missing In Your Wellness Program” with HR professionals, CEOs, and wellness providers. These discussions resulted in insights on challenges facing employers and best practices beneficial to anyone managing an employee wellness program.
One of the themes of the Summit was mental health and addiction. This theme carried through to the roundtable discussion as we addressed how to overcome stigma to supply mental health resources. Two insights in this area include:
Many of the companies attending the summit struggle with engaging more than 30 to 40 percent of their employees in their wellness programs. Three insights from the roundtables include:
As Eliz’s keynote demonstrated, often the largest source of stress is the work environment. Offering yoga at lunch or access to cooking classes can’t address this problem. Best practices from the group for addressing negative work environments include:
Undergoing change often creates stress in a work environment. Addressing the change head-on is often essential before progress on wellness initiatives can be made. Insights from the roundtables include:
Many of the attendees came from smaller organizations searching for ways to integrate a wellness program. Best practices included:
The Biz Times Wellness Summit Roundtables were a wealth of wisdom and lively conversation. For more information on Eliz Greene’s Employee Wellness programs and Job Stress Research visit www.ElizGreene.com/Wellness/
Recently my husband and I spent a glorious ten days on vacation in Mexico in celebration of his 50th birthday. We traveled with five other adults to a resort which caters to scuba divers. I don’t dive, but Clay is enthusiastic about the sport, as were our fellow travelers. This led to some interesting insight on stress and relaxation.
When not diving, most of our group spent time lounging by the pool, with the iguanas (yes, actual iguanas). Being fair skinned, I spent some enjoyable time by the pool, in the shade, reading. I did not, however, have the staying power of the rest of the group. I needed something else. My husband, Clay, enjoyed being an iguana for a while, then also needed to DO something. We took out the little sailboat, went for walks — coming and going from the pool. One of our fellow travelers remarked,
“You are always on the go. When are you going to relax?”
Here’s the thing — we were relaxing.
Clay joked at dinner one evening,
“I’m like a border collie. If I don’t have something to do, I start chewing on things.”
Funny and true, it is a good description of how he relaxes. He needs something diverting him from thinking about the things which cause stress. Staying still provides too much time to think.
Are you and iguana, a border collie, or something else?
Women’s stress increases when we are in contact with other people who are stressed. It seems both sides of the aisle are stressed these days. The non-stop social media postings of overwhelm and doom can spiral into a feeling of despair. This downward spiral, which I call “awfulizing,” keeps the focus on the negative and stops us from seeing opportunities for improvement.
Regardless of their place on the political spectrum, professional women may find themselves, and their hearts, in danger due to stress around Inauguration Day. A previous post about election stress, revealed the unprecedented level of turmoil in the 2016 presidential race combined with already high job stress levels were a recipe for disaster. While the election is over, the turmoil seems to have increased, intensifying stress and increasing the risk of heart disease and heart attack.
So, be kind to your heart and let’s deal with the stress of Inauguration Day.
Facebook algorithms are built to show you more of what you click. It is easy to be pulled into a spiral of dire predictions and raw emotion. Set a timer, limit your number of clicks, avoid reading comments, or devise some other way to manage your contact with stressful posts and articles.
Our country isn’t going to implode on January 20th, nor will all of our problems be magically solved. It is one day. One ceremony. Yes, our country is deeply divided. Yes, we have work to do. It won’t all happen in one day. We all need to move forward and do the best we can.
One of my favorite quotes is from Diversity Expert Jess Pettitt
Doing the best you can with what you have is better than doing nothing.”
Her point revolves around choosing to use your strengths and opportunities now rather than waiting for the right leader, right time, or right frame of mind. This lesson has been instrumental in my own stress management. Rather than complaining on Facebook, I’m picking up the phone and getting to know my elected officials (local, state, and national — those I voted for and those I didn’t). Jess is right, doing something is better than doing nothing. By recognizing stress and taking an action, it is possible to release some of the tension.
As January 20th comes and goes, keep in mind we are all part of the process. You Are Good Enough Now. Do something and reduce your stress.
P.S. Jess’ book Good Enough Now is a fantastic guide to getting over being terrified of messing up and get into action. Check out the video below and order your copy NOW here: www.GoodEnoughNowBook.com
During the holidays, this is a particular problem.
According to our job stress research, the sheer volume of work to be done is the single largest stressor for a vast majority of people. Eliminating things which steal time and energy from what is important is a central point in The Trouble With Busy.
Think about it.
Deleting what you don’t need several times per day takes time and energy you could use better elsewhere. Take a couple extra moments to scroll down and click the link to unsubscribe. Better yet, use a tool such as unroll.me to do it all at once. Today, using unroll.me I found 132 subscriptions. There are far fewer now. We all “sign up” for activities and relationships that may work in the beginning, but over time we outgrow them or our needs change. Any time we buy something online, the merchant has permission to email us.
It’s okay –- unsubscribe.
Think about it this way.
Unsubscribing is freeing. You don’t have to feel guilty about it. As a person who sends out a regular email newsletter, I only want subscribers who find value in what I provide. If you don’t have time to read it, if it doesn’t fit your needs, if it is just cluttering up your inbox, please unsubscribe. I won’t take it personally, really!
Unsubscribe for productivity, low stress, and great success this holiday season.
Due to election stress caused by an unprecedented level of turmoil in the 2016 presidential race, professional women may find themselves, and their hearts, in danger. More than 60 percent of professional women report a high level of stress on an average day, and nearly 20 percent report an acute level of stress in our job stress study. Stress at these levels already increases the risk of heart disease and heart attack, which is one reason workplace stress induced cardiovascular disease is recognized as a global epidemic. Election stress increases these risks.
More than half of American adults are experiencing significant stress as the result of news stories, social media posts, ads, and arguments about the election, according to an American Psychological Association survey. Regardless of party affiliation, this election is ramping up stress levels. For already at-risk professional women, this increase in emotional stress is of particular concern.
Decreased blood flow to the heart, or myocardial ischemia, causes heart attacks. While the decrease in blood flow is often caused by blockages in the arteries leading to the heart, it can also be caused by emotional stress. Women are twice as likely to reduced blood flow to the heart due to stress than men. Even more concerning, physical exertion while angry, or emotionally stressed, can triple the risk of heart attack. The increased pressure on already constricted blood vessels can be deadly. In other words, an intense run may not be the best way to deal with anger or stress created by election coverage or conversation. Paying attention to stress levels and watching for danger signs is critical.
Symptoms of heart attacks in women can be very subtle, but most women report some signs that something is wrong. Women with additional risk factors for heart disease including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and smoking should be especially vigilant.
Don’t ignore danger signs such as:
Any of these could be a sign of a heart attack. Play it safe and call 911 to get help right away.
Fortunately, the stress caused by the election is likely temporary. However, the high stress levels of professional women will still need to be addressed. Putting good stress recovery strategies in place now, and paying attention to stress levels, will build good habits for the future.