Take Care of Yourself, so You Can Look After Others

Do you even remember what life was like before we had to worry about COVID-19? You could dash into a store, greet an acquaintance with a hug, and have loud and enthusiastic conversations with strangers who were seated very close to you at your favorite restaurant. But now, depending on where you are in the US and where you’re going, you probably don’t leave the house without a mask. The point is, we have a whole lot of new and different things on our minds these days. So, it’s not surprising that people are feeling stressed.

You might feel stressed, too. But day to day, you’re focused on maintaining a safe and productive jobsite. We often use this space to talk about how you can support your people so they’re better able to work safely, but this month, we’re going to talk about you.

You’re a supervisor, so responsibility rests upon your shoulders. Today, take some time to think about ways you can relieve your stress.

  • Exercise: Perhaps the best thing you can do to counteract the stress hormones your body produces when you’re under pressure, is to exercise. A good workout can make you feel good, calm you down, and help you to sleep better at night. As long as you don’t overdo it, there’s almost no downside.
  • Consume less caffeine: Coffee is amazing. But your coffee (or pop, or energy drink) can increase your anxiety and disrupt your sleep. If you have a particularly busy week ahead, consider trading in some of the coffee you drink for decaf coffee or tea.
  • Spend time with friends: Both men and women benefit from friendships and studies have shown that people who have good friends are less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. It’s not uncommon for adults to have few, if any, close friends. So don’t be afraid to reach out and try to make a new friend. It’s likely that the person you reach out to could also use a friend.
  • Practice box breathing: Take a slow, deep breath. Pause for a few seconds. Exhale slowly. Pause for a few seconds. Repeat. This type of breathing can relax your nervous system and reduce stress.

We know more about mental health and wellness than we ever have before. But just because we know more doesn’t mean that we remember to put that knowledge into practice. Take care of yourself, so you’ll be there for others when they need you.