It’s Stress Awareness Month: Here’s What You Should Know

It’s Stress Awareness Month: Here’s What You Should Know

Posted on April 26, 2024 0 Comments

April is Stress Awareness Month and Progress is showing support with research and resources to combat workplace stress.

This April is Stress Awareness Month. In the past four years, we’ve survived a global pandemic, built home offices in our bedrooms and taught our children long division.

So, yes, we’re stressed.

But Stress Awareness Month is about more than recognizing stress. It’s about understanding our own personal stress triggers and developing healthy coping mechanisms to maintain a less stressful life.

“Managing stress is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle,” according to the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. “It’s critical to recognize what stress and anxiety look like, take steps to build resilience, and know where to go for help.”

Historically speaking, the workplace is a consistent source of tension. We devote so much time and energy to our jobs, and we’re invested in the outcome of our work. But we also face competing priorities and struggle to maintain a healthy work-life blend. There’s a fine line between healthy pressure that drives performance and excessive demand that causes more intense strain.

Signs of Stress

Recognizing when you’ve crossed over from challenging work to stressful work is the first step in the stress awareness journey. So how can you tell when you’re stressed? Look for these signs, courtesy of the World Health Organization.

  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Headaches or other body pains
  • Upset stomach
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Changes in appetite

Combatting Stress at Work

After you acknowledge that you’re feeling stress, it’s time to take action. To learn how others deal with stress during the workday, I reached out to some of my colleagues at Progress and asked them to share their best tips for beating stress at work. Here are their responses.

“Honestly, sometimes I just step away from my computer and take a few deep breaths—eyes closed. So I guess it's a form of meditation. It helps me get back to myself. Also, finding moments of laughter helps.”

-Danielle Sutherby, Marketing Communications Manager

“I would recommend working outdoors on a deck or patio space when the weather cooperates. I've done that for the last two days and my heart rate instantly stabilizes.”

-Katie Montgomery, Content Manager

“Cross-stitching with a Netflix show or an audiobook on in the background.”

-Iva Koevska-Atanasova, Technical Writer, Senior

Helpful Resources

As a people-first company with a strong support network, you can probably imagine how many wellbeing resources we have available to us here at Progress. Here are a few that have helped many a Progresser who has reached peak stress capacity.

Educational content: The Progress Learning and Development team manages an e-learning catalog, called the Learning Hub, which is chock-full of interesting content. When we want to improve decision-making skills, generate ideas for better collaboration or spark some creativity, we head to the Learning Hub.

During Stress Awareness Month, or at any other time during the year, we can check out courses like The Basics of Managing Stress, Dealing with Stress, Pressure, and Burnout and Emotional Life Skills @ Work.

Blinkist: We’re fortunate to have a subscription to Blinkist, an online platform that offers 15-minute summaries of notable nonfiction books in audio or text format. During the month of April, our team created a collection titled Top Titles on Handling Stress. The collection includes:

  • How Not to Worry, by Paul McGee
  • The Happiness Track, by Emma Seppälä
  • The Miracle of Mindfulness, by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Breath, by James Nestor
  • Self-Compassion, by Kristin Neff
  • The Stress Code, by Richard Sutton

Employee Assistance Program (EAP): As part of our global well-being program, Progress offers support for employees’ physical, mental and financial wellness. Some of the features of our program include financial webinars on topics like budgeting, investing and financial family planning; a subscription to KGA MindTide, an anytime, anywhere mental health support app; and regularly scheduled events focused on building healthy habits.

Work Demands and Wellbeing Assessment: A homegrown tool developed by leaders on our People Team, this self-paced assessment helps identify aspects of work and workplace experience that impact wellbeing, based on what’s important to the individual taking the assessment. Progressers use the results to identify the way certain activities affect energy levels or impact their level of overwhelm and prioritize those that make a positive impact.

During Stress Awareness Month and beyond, we hope that you’re able to take advantage of some of these resources and others available to you to banish stress at work and at home.

Cait Merry

Cait Merry is a Marketing Communications Manager at Progress.


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