The workforce has become weary. The Scientific Roadmap to Recovery from Work Stress. However, only 32% of workers around the world report feeling truly flourishing in their jobs. Given that 43% of workers experience high levels of stress on a daily basis, it’s not surprising that many others do, too; in fact, some estimates put the percentage of burned-out U.S. professionals at as high as 61%. Workers who experience high levels of stress or tension during the course of the workday are more than three times as likely to look elsewhere for employment.
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Provision of Mental Health
This has led to a rise in the demand for and provision of mental health support services by employers, who have responded by providing a wider range of benefits such as remote access to mental health professionals, unscheduled time off (sometimes lasting several days), reduced or eliminated meetings, and more adaptable working hours. Even if more and more workers are coming around to the idea that wellness is important, it won’t help if you still can’t get better. If you’re feeling like you’re about to burn out, how can you prevent that from happening?
Getting Past Stress and Back to Normal
Recuperation is the process of bringing stress-related symptoms (such as worry, fatigue, and increased cortisol levels) back down to their levels before the stressor was introduced. Resilience is a skill because it requires both information (about what helps you) and experience to acquire and use effectively in times of stress (actually doing it).
Pilot On A Life-Or-Death Mission
The ability to recover quickly from setbacks is highly prized in professions where failure can have dire consequences. Think about a pilot on a life-or-death mission or a star athlete whose reputation depends on one game. These individuals quickly grasp the importance of rest and rejuvenation in achieving and maintaining peak performance under duress. There is a wealth of research into the best ways for athletes to recover, and some professions, like piloting, have official requirements for rest periods both during and after duty.
It’s important to note that in these fields, recovery is an integral part of training and performance, not just something that happens when people are feeling depleted or burned out. Emotions, moods, energy, learning integration and growth, and, ultimately, performance, mental and physical health, and relationships can all benefit from effective recovery from periods of stress, performance, or concentration.
Recovery’s Perplexing Paradox
Paradoxes emerge during the process of rehabilitation. According to studies, we are the least likely and least able to take action when we need to rest and rejuvenate the most (i.e., when we are at our lowest energy levels). When we’re under pressure at work, it’s easy to fall into the trap of working more without taking any breaks. Even though proper nourishment and hydration are crucial for recharging energy levels, we have a tendency to eat less healthily when we’re under stress. A lack of rest and recuperation leads to even more fatigue the following day, which in turn leads to even less rest and recreation the following day. Continue this process until the desired effect is achieved. It gets worse when the norm at work is to ignore your body’s cries for rest and carry on with your duties as if an emergency were happening right now.
Learn what helps you the most and make a plan to get back on your feet after you’ve been knocked down by this paradox. Recognize that what helps you recover from stress is not always what you would expect it to be. Take advantage of these five insights from the business world and scientific literature to make recovery work for you.
Create Emotional Distance From Your Job.
“It sounds silly, but after a long, intense surgery. What I do to relax is play some video games to disconnect before I go home,” said an orthopedic surgeon in an executive class on stress management. While engaging in a restorative activity such as reading, running, playing video games, cooking, etc. It is important to “switch off” or otherwise remove your mind from work-related concerns (or the particular stressor at hand). The stress of the workplace builds up over the course of the day, causing us to dwell on it well into the evening. Even though you are at the gym, your thoughts are still on the client meeting you had earlier. The mere presence of your mobile phone distracts you, making it difficult to detach from “the office,” and studies show that this hinders your ability to recover from stress. Since recovery is possible only when our minds return to pre-stressor levels, we can help this along by cognitively withdrawing from thoughts of work, effectively giving our minds a break. Separation aids in healing and boosts work-related outcomes like productivity and satisfaction. This runs counter to the common belief that working harder will yield better results.
One way to take advantage of this principle is to schedule regular (albeit brief, if necessary) blocks of time during which you can focus solely on something other than work. Recovery benefits can be realized after as little as a few minutes of practice. Mindfulness practice as a side activity is helpful here because it trains your brain (and its propensity to ruminate) to be in the here and now. Find out what causes you to have trouble mentally checking out of work. It’s a good idea to turn off your phone or disable notifications if, for example, having it around will make you check work emails during your breaks and other free time.
Take Advantage of The Benefits of Short Breaks Throughout the Day.
An executive of a global technology firm said, “During the work week. I set my phone alarm to ring once every two hours as a needed reminder to step away from my computer’s daily work stress. Various job demands are contrary to common assumptions that recovery can only happen after work or during a long holiday. Short periods of meditation or relaxation eating a healthy snack. Engaging in pleasurable social interactions and engaging in activities that require some degree of cognitive attention (such as reading) are all examples of tactics. Can boost drive and focus, mold your disposition, and keep your energy levels up all day long. More energy motivation and focus can be gained from taking longer breaks in addition to more frequent short breaks than from taking only short breaks. Taking short breaks throughout the day actually helps you recover faster if you take them earlier in the day.
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It’s not a good idea to force yourself through the day in the hopes that you’ll feel better later or to “save up” your recovery for the weekend or that holiday that’s still months away. Make sure you have a daily recovery plan you can implement with the help of micro-breaks that you can schedule into your busy workflow with the help of dedicated smartphone apps to ensure you get the most out of your rest and rejuvenation time.