Stress reduction techniques for busy leaders and managers - Leadership Development Blog | The Mindful Leader

Stress reduction may seem impossible in the current circumstances we find ourselves in. I know I speak for us all when I say that COVID-19 has drastically changed our lifestyles. For the safety of individuals and communities, companies have been forced to take radical steps to curb the spread of this highly infectious disease. For many organisations, this has also meant heavy layoffs and uncertainty about the future.

The adverse impact of these circumstances on mental health cannot be overstated. 

We all have had to deal with the uncertainty of the virus itself, as well as the devastating impact it’s having on all those infected, their families, and loved ones. There is also the anxiety of keeping ourselves and our loved ones healthy, while finding ways to survive. 

COVID-19 has definitely forced us to second-guess our actions in completely unprecedented ways. 

On top of these concerns, the workforce has also been destabilised by this uncertainty and our economic future is unclear. The same concerns that plague the workforce also apply to the managers of these businesses, but as leaders they must, in addition to their other commitments, ensure the continued wellbeing of their employees. 

Employee wellbeing must always be a priority for company leaders. With remote management being the only safe way to continue operations, however, it can become challenging to identify in which ways teams need support.

Leaders and managers must undertake proactive stress reduction techniques because at this point of time, this is the only way in which they can remain effective and cater to multiple needs. 

I can personally attest to the benefits of incorporating stress reduction methods into your daily routine. 

Practising meditation for stress reduction 

One important – and easy – stress reduction technique is practising meditation. Taking a couple of minutes every day to recharge, and focus your attention on one repetitive action, such as your breathing, can lower your stress, blood pressure, and help clear your mind.

Guided meditation tracks, in particular, help you focus and practise meditation minus any distractions and racing thoughts. 

Effective stress management among leaders sets the right tone for the rest of the organisation and helps employees deal with their own stress more effectively. In my own experience, meditation is a very useful tool for this purpose. 

Maintaining a positive mindset through mindfulness

It’s common for the human mind to cling to the negative when things don’t go right, wonder why certain things are happening, and resist these circumstances. This mindset, alone, adds to overall stress levels and can make things more difficult. 

I struggle with a negative mindset from time to time as well, but a few minutes dedicated to mindfulness, every day, makes these thoughts a little easier to control. 

Mindfulness helps you become less resistant to adverse circumstances and gives you a greater degree of acceptance. You’re able to almost embrace what’s happening, rather than question unavoidable circumstances – a useful skill to have as a business leader. 

Creating a culture of corporate wellness

A culture of corporate wellness is a business model where employees’ emotional, mental, physical, and occupational wellbeing are enriched. This type of workplace is supportive of healthy behaviours and ensures that employee wellbeing is a priority. 

While this may seem like a distraction from the work that needs to be done, it can help you and your employees be more productive, feel more fulfilled, and much less stressed in your working environments.

Working at a company that values the wellbeing of its employees will automatically help leaders and managers take the time to practise stress reduction techniques and value their own health. 

Stress reduction resources for leaders and managers 

My team and I facilitate hands-on stress reduction workshops and offer other mindful leadership resources through our comprehensive mindfulness meditation programmes.

Make use of these resources today and ensure that you’re taking the right steps to improve your health and wellbeing during COVID-19 and are managing your teams effectively.