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.

What Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Really Mean

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are essential to creating a positive work environment where employees are happy and thriving. We work with organizations to assess and address any issues related to DEI, and we provide training and resources to help create a...

5 Action Items for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Building a healthy workplace where employees feel appreciated and respected requires, among other things, making it diverse and inclusive. It is essential for organizations that want to attract and retain top talent, foster innovation, and stay competitive in today's...

Toxic Work Culture: Three Behaviors That Contribute

Way before working at Civility Partners, I suffered from a toxic work culture. Even though I loved my job, it was very tiring—emotionally, mentally, and physically. The work environment was very unhealthy, and because of that, I made the best decision of my life by...

15 Tiny Habits To Kick Off Your New Year

If you’re anything like me, you kick off your New Year with all the lofty resolutions you can think of. In theory, it’s a great way to be intentional about your future. My problem in checking off those resolutions (and maybe yours, too) is twofold. First, I set...

Civility Partners 2022 Highlights!

2022 was full of learning opportunities and growth. And we had the privilege of sharing some of that knowledge with you, via our blog posts! See below for our highlight reel, in case you missed anything… *All of the resources referenced are re-linked below the video*...

In the Words of Luke Bryan…

I believe most people are good.   Working in an industry focused on toxic workplaces can often seem like the world is full of bullies and ill-intentioned people. I can imagine that working in a toxic environment could lead to similar sentiments. This is why it’s...

Can music at work constitute harassment?

After a recent webinar, a listener sent over this interesting article about a former Tesla employee who’s asking the US District Court of Nevada to agree with her claim that the “obscene and misogynistic rap music” played on site and the resulting actions of her...

Tis’ the Season of Thanks!

It’s the season of thanks and we want to recognize everyone we’re thankful for! We are so thankful to our clients, friends, families, pets, and awesome blog readers like you! We are thankful you take the time to read our content, and even more importantly, deliver on...

4 Ways to Level Up Your Delegation Skills

According to research by The Strategic Thinking Institute, 96% of leaders struggle with finding enough time for strategic work in their roles. They find themselves doing the daily tasks of the job, instead of thinking strategically about the business and taking the...

4 Ways To Overcome Loneliness in a Remote World

Written by: Suzzane Dickman-Perla   When the world first went into lockdown a couple of years ago, I was thrilled with the idea of working from home. Finally! No more waking up at 5am to make the two-hour commute to work. I could wear what I wanted and spend as...