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When stress and anxiety build up in the workplace, the results can be bad. Reduced productivity, a seriously dissatisfied team, and a workplace that is just not a nice place to be – this is what happens when we let stress get the better of us.

The coronavirus has pushed those stress levels to the max, so how can we work against this? Let’s look at how we can achieve positive leadership in a stressful business landscape.

Maintain communication, no matter what

Put the right video conferencing, document sharing, and chat tools in place and keep that communication flowing, even in this time of COVID-19. For your team members, knowing they are not going through problems alone will alleviate stress.

Take ownership, demonstrate responsibility

Your team is ready and willing to take responsibility, but sometimes stress and anxiety can get in the way. Lead by example, taking ownership of responsibilities yourself, and your team will follow.

Understand what can and can’t be controlled

Make sure you are on top of all factors within your control, but be realistic. Don’t waste time trying to manage things that cannot be managed.

Turn negative thoughts into positive ones

What causes stress? There are many sources, particularly if you are living in a community hit hard by the coronavirus, but all of these sources are fueled by negative thoughts. Turn these thoughts into positive ones by reframing the challenge or by trying to look at the problem differently.

Encourage positive routine

Routines give us a sense of regularity, a key weapon in the fight against stress and anxiety. Making time for exercise, meditation, and things that are simply fun is great for mental health. Encourage this in your team.

Hold relaxed discussions

Constant crisis meetings push stress through the roof, so consider moving meetings out of the formal meeting room environment from time to time. Perhaps take a walk.

Make your team feel valued

Everything from days out (when conditions allow) to ordering in pizza can make life that little bit less stressful in the office, as well as underline how valued your team really is.

Me Time: Managing That Internal Stress

We’ve looked at how to manage your team in uncertain times, but what about managing your own life? The emotional and physical effects of stress take their toll, so how can you manage stress for you?

Meditation and breathing practice

These are common anger management techniques, but they can be applied to all forms of stress.

Staying informed, but setting boundaries

A crucial one: watching the news is great, as is reading articles that give us a well-balanced opinion. But overwhelming yourself with negativity is not a healthy way to manage stress.

Making the most of the work/life balance

Pick up a new hobby, play some relaxing music, or step outside and take a walk. You’ve earned that time out of the office, so make the most of it.

Decluttering, figuratively and literally

When it comes to managing stress, decluttering your work and home space plays a big role. This will help you declutter those tangled thoughts, too.

Engaging in positive self-talk

Give yourself positive reinforcement, out loud! Yes, you may feel a little silly, but this does wonders for combating stress and boosting mental health. Also, take the opportunity to share your feelings with others.

Retaining those personal connections

COVID-19 has left us all living with uncertainty, so keeping connected with friends and family is important as we pursue a sense of normality. Video calls and chat apps make this possible.

Remember that we will weather this storm, and the next, and the next. Let’s see if we can learn to effectively manage stress, and come out the other side stronger than ever.

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