Leadership is not easy. Leading can be hard and stressful. It’s not for the weak at heart. No matter your leadership position, stress comes with the job. If the stress is unmanaged, it can cause a person to quickly burn out and become ineffective. Every leader should implement stress relieving techniques into their regular routine and especially in times of high stress. Below are 5 effective techniques to relieve the stress of leading.
1. Spend 5 minutes in silence
Silence is powerful. Lao Tzu said, “Silence is a source of great strength.” When you are feeling the stress of leading, consider finding a place of solitude and spending 5 minutes in silence. You can go for a walk at a local park, sit in your car or office, or find a noise free location to spend time in silence. Silence allows you to slow down, refocus on your priorities and what really matter in life, and clear your mind. Focus on your breathing and begin to clear your mind and let go of the stress you are feeling. Your stress level will decrease in a short amount of time in silence.
2. Spend time with a friend at work
Having a close friend at work can help you not to carry around as much stress. My leadership position has a normal amount of stress, but the stress can substantially increase during times of crisis like when a child is being aggressive or assaultive and I’m called to assist. No matter what your leadership position, the roles and tasks of leading will bring stress.
I have built strong friendships with several of the other supervisors. Having friends beside me during times of crisis eases the tension of the situation. We mutually know we will support, can trust, rely on, and have each other’s backs. After the stressful situation or when we are feeling the stress of leading through our different routine roles or tasks, we support and can talk with each other about it. You should begin to build strong friendships with your co-workers and when the relationships is established spend time with them when you are feeling stressed.
3. Spend 3-5 minutes in prayer
You should spend time praying during times of high stress. A short amount of time praying can remove a mountain full of stress from your shoulders. Prayer communicates your requests, needs, and concerns to God. We have a God who wants to hear from you and support you in life. So when you are stressed out or overwhelmed, start to pray, because He wants to relieve your stress and bring you comfort. Start praying the next time you are feeling the stress of leading.
4. Start listening to your favorite music
In How to use Music to Positivity Impact your Leadership I shared 5 benefits of listening to music. The surprising benefits are that music: lifts your mood, provides healing for the soul, inspires creativity, sparks motivation, and increases courage and self-esteem. Most of this list can also assist you to lower your stress. Have a playlist of your favorite songs and listen to them on a regular basis and especially during times of high stress or demand. Make sure the content is good and nourishing for your soul and mind. American singer Macklemore said, “Music is therapy. Music moves people. It connects people in ways that no other medium can. It pulls heart strings. It acts as medicine.”
5. Get off work early
You should consider getting off work early or taking an extra day off during the week. In times of demand or high stress situations, this is not always an option, but if at all possible you should think about leaving work a few hours early or planning an extra day off so you can have extra time to relax and rejuvenate. Stepping away from the stressful situation or time can allow you to recharge and refocus so you are ready for the next day of work.
Question: Can you add to the list? How do you relieve the stress of leading?
Subscribe to Dan Black on Leadership to receive fresh leadership content delivered to you inbox. PLUS two free quote books. All you need to do is to enter your email in the box below then push “Subscribe”: