5 Tactics for Managing Stress

by Mar 17, 2022

Not too long ago, I had a hectic experience while traveling. My 5:30am flight was canceled 30 minutes before boarding, while I was waiting in a 200-person long security line. As expected, I had to jump through hoops to get onto another flight that got me to my destination on time, running through the airport to barely make it to my gate.

As I spoke with staff both from the airport and the airlines, I felt I was met with curt tones, lack of eye contact and dismissive communication. 

In the moment I thought, “wow all these people have been so rude, all I’m trying to do is get on a flight to see my family.”

As I collected myself, I reflected on my interactions and the state of the airport that morning. What I realized is that all these people were overworked, and the airlines were understaffed – and frankly everyone was simply STRESSED OUT. 

Now, I’m juggling my own workload and feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day to make everyone happy. I’m stressed too – finding myself feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and struggling mentally (I’m not afraid to admit it!)

I started doing some research on tactics for managing and alleviating my stress and what I found shocked me. According to the American Institute of Stress, 73%-77% of people experience stress that affects their physical and mental health. 

So, I decided to share some tactics for managing stress both in the moment and long-term, figuring I’m probably not the only one in the world feeling this way. 

Here are five tactics I found:

  • Practice deep breathing: The 4-7-8 breathing technique is my personal go to. Start by finding a comfortable position and close your eyes. Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds and then exhale for 8 seconds. Repeat for a total of 4 cycles. 
  • Explore company provided resources and benefits. Some employers provide an an employee assistance program (EAP) that offers stress management resources. Depending on the EAP, there may be online information, available counseling, and a database of mental health professionals.
  • Have an open conversation with your supervisor. Discuss what has been creating stress for you and work with your supervisor to build a plan for mitigating that stress, whether it be through delegating, making changes to your physical workspace to reduce strain, or anything else.  
  • Ensure you’re meeting your body’s basic needs. I know when I’m stressed, I forget to eat throughout the day. To function as your best self, you need to meet inherent needs such as getting enough sleep, obtaining nutrients through a healthy diet, and drinking lots of water. Regular exercise can also help relieve tension and stress. 
  • Reframe your internal voice. When you’re stressed out your internal monologue might sound something like, “I don’t have time for this,” or “I can’t do this.” Be kind to yourself and try to reframe your language in a positive way. You might say something like, “I can do this, I just need to work with my supervisor on what to prioritize.” A simple twist in words can do wonders! 

At the end of the day, we are all trying to make it through, and we can’t do it all. Whatever your stressors may be, the ultimate message is to remember to take care of yourself! 

Take care, 

Rebecca and the Civility Partners Team 

About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

5 Steps for an Efficient Succession Planning

What happens when the CEO of your organization suddenly resigns or retires? Are you confident that there is someone ready to step up and fill the leadership gap?  That is why succession planning is vital to every organization. Succession planning can help ensure a...

How to Establish a Budget for Training and Development Initiatives

Training and development is a vital aspect for any organization that wants to invest in its employees' growth. Over here at Civility Partners, we often receive inquiries from people seeking guidance on developing their training programs and wondering how we can help....

The Connection Between DEIB and Mental Health

In today's ever-evolving work landscape, it's refreshing to see organizations finally acknowledging the pivotal role of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) in cultivating a thriving workplace. At the same time, the growing recognition of mental health's...

Rebecca Del Secco: Six Years With Civility Partners!

We would like to take a moment to celebrate and recognize the incredible contributions of Rebecca Del Secco, our exceptional People & Culture Consultant, who has dedicated six remarkable years to Civility Partners.  Rebecca began her journey with us as an intern,...

Recognizing 5 DEIB Influencers in Unexpected Places

Picture this: a world where workplace culture is transformed not just by well-known DEIB influencers, but by unexpected heroes who wield the power of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) in their own unique ways.  DEIB are increasingly recognized as...

10 Songs About Inclusion to Play in your Office

In a diverse and inclusive workplace, it's important to create an environment where all employees feel welcome and valued. One way to promote a sense of unity and acceptance is through the power of music.  Playing songs about inclusion in your office can help inspire...

It Starts with You: The Power of Being an Upstander

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you witnessed behavior that made you feel uncomfortable or uneasy, but weren't sure how to respond? Maybe it was a situation where someone was being bullied or harassed, or perhaps it was a situation where someone was...

Three More Brilliant Tips for Dealing with an Angry Boss

A few years ago, we shared five simple tips on how to deal with an angry boss, and the response was overwhelming! We're back with even more tips to help you navigate this challenging situation with civility in mind. According to a survey conducted by the Workplace...

Insights from the Craft Brewers Conference

Last Sunday, May 7th, I had the honor of being a keynote speaker at the THRIVE pre-conference, which was a roadmap to a safe, inclusive, and equitable experience at the Craft Brewers Conference (CBC). As a conference held in Nashville, TN, a city known for its musical...

3 Tips to Leverage Positive Psychology at Work

In the world of traditional thinking, the notion that success leads to happiness is a commonly held belief. We're taught that if we work hard and achieve our goals, then we'll be happy. However, research in positive psychology has revealed a new perspective: happiness...