Empwr.life

Categories
emotional wellness

Manage your emotional wellness during the holidays

Manage your emotional wellness during the holidays

 

Many of us have coped with uncertainty, tiredness, and alienation during the last two years. As the year draws to a close and the threat of the pandemic fades, many of us find ourselves fighting to maintain our mental health during the holidays once more. So, as the year 2021 draws to a close, how can you cope with Holiday stress?

The following are five tips:

 

1 – Make choices based on your core values.

 

You don’t always get to pick what happens to you or how you react in a world full of challenges both in and out of the job. Whether you’re celebrating with family or friends or on your own, this is especially true during the holidays.

 

You can, on the other hand, choose how to respond to events and feelings in a way that is consistent with your beliefs. Examine your emotions and make decisions that help you improve in line with your values this year, and use your values to guide your conduct rather than your emotions. Even if you have no control over the result of an incident, you will be proud of how you handled it in the end.

 

Keep in mind that emotions and values are not the same things. Values are components of life that you believe are important, and they have an impact on how you live and what you emphasize. Community, love, and friendship are examples of values, so you can act lovingly even if you’re dealing with Christmas stress. Take a minute when you’re feeling overwhelmed to recall how you want to be–for example, keeping calm and compassionate with your family as they argue over a meal, regardless of whether you feel calm and compassionate yourself. This is a value-based decision.

 

2 – Choose beliefs that will aid you.

Our thoughts fill in the spaces with concern when we don’t know what the future holds, which is a natural reaction to the uncertainty that comes with a lack of information.

 

Unfortunately, oftentimes worry doesn’t actually serve the worrier. For example, you might be concerned about your vaccinated children acquiring COVID on the journey home from college around Thanksgiving, but you’ve addressed the risk with them and determined as a family that you’re willing to take the risk. Although it’s reasonable to be concerned about this condition, it doesn’t change their risk of infection. That’s why, as anxiety rises, it’s critical to pay attention to what’s going on in your head and notice the thoughts that arise.

 

Slow down and ask yourself three critical questions before you let anxiety take over and start treating those thoughts as facts:

 

  • What evidence do you have for and against your concern?
  • What is the point of your anxiety?
  • What is a more productive way of thinking?

 

Answering these questions might help you stay in the present moment and reframe your worries into positive thoughts. If, for example, you’re concerned that you’ll be trapped indoors this winter, surrounded by the gloom and dread of the chilly months, answering the questions above can help you transform that concern into something more constructive. “This winter may be more difficult, but it’s only temporary,” you may remind yourself. “I aim to get outside when the weather permits and find methods to stay entertained and connected to others.”

3 – Acceptance should be practiced.

We often think to ourselves, “This wasn’t intended to happen,” or “I shouldn’t have to deal with yet another thing,” when confronted with an undesired scenario or behavior–for example, relatives being unhappy that you won’t visit for the holidays because they aren’t COVID-19 vaccinated. We often desire that people might act in ways that benefit us.

 

The truth is that we have no control over other individual choices, so the best you can do when faced with situations that make it difficult to manage your mental health during the holidays is to take a step back, understand the situation for what it is, and make decisions based on reality and your values. Address the following questions to yourself:

 

  • What do you have control over in this situation?
  • What can you do to make yourself feel better?

 

Remember that you can’t control your emotions, and you shouldn’t want to, because emotions represent the truth of your internal situation and serve adaptive purposes. You can, however, regulate how you react to your emotions. Remember that guilt generates unnecessary suffering, but acceptance allows emotions to ebb and flow, ending the battle.

 

Consider these mindfulness-based strategies to develop acceptance:

 

  • Concentrate your attention on the present moment.
  • Observe a situation without trying to change it. Notice your emotions and how they feel in your body.
  • Feelings aren’t “correct” or “bad,” they’re just feelings.

 

4 – Prioritize your wellness.

 

The more hectic life becomes, the more important it is to prioritize self-care. Holiday seasons can make it harder to take care of ourselves since they break our routine and influence our mood.

 

Self-care is defined as a set of activities that can boost your energy and motivation while also increasing your stress resilience. It counts as a self-care practice if you know that your 10-minute morning coffee routine will help you generate the energy to get the house ready to host Thanksgiving dinner.

 

Self-care isn’t about luxury or extravagance; rather, it’s about doing the simplest but most important things to promote your emotional and physical wellness. The following are some of the fundamentals:

 

  • Defining parameters
  • Taking time off (including paid time off)
  • Exercise
  • Hobbies and interests are a great way to pass the time.
  • Taking good care of your diet
  • Getting the proper quantity of sleep and of good quality
  • Socializing

Even though holiday stress can throw these routines off, it’s critical to keep to a self-care routine. To improve your self-care, make sure to create specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely (SMART) goals. When it comes to your self-care goals, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What specific steps will you take to look after yourself?
  • What metric of accountability will you use to track your self-care progress?
  • What is an acceptable objective for self-care?
  • What is the significance of it?
  • What is the action’s time frame?

“I’m going to run for at least 20 minutes between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays each week to match my fitness value,” says one SMART self-care goal.

 

5 – Participate on your own terms.

 

It’s essential to connect with family members in a way that is both realistic and achievable while also being non-harmful. Don’t feel obligated to compare your reality to fantasies like Hallmark movies, your Facebook feed, or Holiday greeting cards while doing so. If you’re worried about the possibility of conflict when you interact with family and friends, remember to take the following steps:

 

  • Instead of seeking agreement, seek mutual understanding.
  • Reassure your intentions: For example, if your parents press you to visit despite the COVID risk, tell them that you love them and want to spend time with them, but only in a safe manner.

 

  • Request permission to offer counter-information: If you’re having a disagreement with a family member about their fears about the COVID vaccine, for example, ask, “Can I share some credible and valuable information with you?”

 

  • Validate the feelings of the other person.

 

  • Give people the benefit of the doubt: Is someone’s “selfish” or “ignorant” behavior, for example, really a reflection of their loneliness or fear? Empathy should come first in your conversation.
  • Maintain clear boundaries and avoid putting others’ demands ahead of your own: “I respect that you feel differently, but this is the decision I’ve made for myself,”.

 

Maintaining emotional wellness over the holidays can be difficult, especially following the events of the previous two years. Remember not to let your need for perfection get in the way of having a nice time. The holidays don’t have to be stressful or pressure-filled, and they may even be enjoyable if you follow this emotional wellness advice throughout the holidays.

Categories
Uncategorized Anxiety

How empowering employees to overcome performance anxiety will help you retain your top talent

Performance anxiety at work is not a new issue, but it is one that is on the rise due to the shift in work expectations. When not addressed, it can lead to toxicity in the workplace, emotional wellness issues such as anxiety attacks, and even resignation.

To keep your top talent, it is imperative that you, as their leader, provide the necessary tools for and model healthy anxiety management.

Business as usual in 2021

“Business as usual” is no longer a term that can be used. Change has occurred on such a large scale that businesses and the employees that work for them (in person or hybrid) have the potential to succumb to the strain. Contracts have been canceled, expectations are shifted, and while many employers have risen to the challenge to pivot for the customer, they’ve forgotten about the emotional strains placed on not only themselves but also their employees.

Consumers have lost trust in the brands they frequent and are taking it out on employees who maintain the company’s front lines. They are not shy about demanding more regardless of whether or not those demands are even possible.

customer getting mad that ice floats in a drink

 

Whether in person or virtual, the consumer expects to be placated and wowed. This can lead to a significant increase in anxiety at work.

What is performance anxiety?

Performance anxiety and stage fright go hand in hand. However, employees who you may have turned to for their excellence in presenting to large crowds may now be experiencing it with the shift to virtual meetings and conferences.

Employees carry a heavy burden. According to Hubspot, 55% of consumers do not trust the companies they buy from and “are more impatient, more demanding, and more independent.” Unfortunately, those demands are being placed directly on the everyday worker who stands in the front lines between your company’s success and failure.

Is there any wonder that they are experiencing performance anxiety at record numbers?

Performance anxiety has increased with online meetings

A survey conducted by Doodle found that 34% of employees put in more effort for virtual client meetings than in-person, 46% are dipping into their personal time to meet the higher demands created by virtual clients, and 55% are overcompensating for the lack of in-person contact.

Nearly a third of those interviewed by Doodle admitted that their new realities and performance anxiety at work have led them to engage less with the client.

Employees are feeling the pressure and it’s leading to exhaustion, anxiety at work, burnout, and the Great Resignation.       

The answer doesn’t lie in canceling virtual meetings or doing away with remote work. The truth is that the new “business as usual” includes these dynamics. There is simply no way around the benefits remote work and online conferencing have brought to the workplace.

How to break the cycle of performance anxiety

Online meetings on zoom jumped from 10 million to 300 million each day at the beginning of the pandemic, with Microsoft Teams now coming in at 75 million and Google Meet at 100 million daily active users (https://www.insider.com/why-you-stare-at-yourself-zoom-calls-psychologist-2020-4).

Productivity anxiety and stage fright play a large part in what has come to be known as zoom fatigue (regardless of the platform) for both students and workers. But you can break this toxic cycle.

Here are some of the tips leaders (as well as parents and teachers) can take to improve anxiety management within the workplace and within their own homes:

  • Shorten meeting times and move some to actual phone calls. Not having to perform constantly for the camera will quickly improve self-esteem. The complaint “why wasn’t this meeting an email” still applies even with all the changes your company has experienced.
  • Encourage employees to spend as much time off the computer as on. Implement the 20-20-20 rule to combat exhaustion and eye strain, and then model it in your own workday.
  • Lead mock presentations. Invite employees who are nervous about their productivity or have admitted to stage fright to run through their presentations with you or a co-worker they trust. 
  • Encourage recording online presentations. One way that performance anxiety in sports is addressed is by rewatching games and analyzing what was good and what could be improved. Offer to sit with employees and give them constructive KIND feedback regarding their presentations.
  • Turn off the self-view! Anxiety increases, and it is difficult to focus on your work when you can’t take your eyes off how you look to others. The advice our parents gave us in middle school regarding our imaginary audience applies here – chances are high they are so busy looking at themselves and their own insecurities they haven’t noticed yours.
  • Prioritize Emotional wellness in the workplace and model what that looks lie

Why the Great Resignation is a GOOD shift leaders need to pay attention to

Employees are leaving the workforce in record numbers because 2020 showcased important aspects of their lives that they want to change. People are placing a higher value on their Emotional wellness, happiness, and work-life balance. They want to work for companies that value people above profit and align with their morals.

Employees don’t want to leave their jobs, and they want their careers to value them and empower them to live meaningful well-balanced lives.

The truth is your employees do deserve the best – including an employer who cares about their emotional wellbeing.

An integrated approach to emotional wellness rooted in evidence-based science is key to combatting performance anxiety at work, prioritizing employee wellbeing, and reducing burnout and turnover. Don’t let your top talent leave you a victim to today’s Great Resignation. Instead, put a plan in place today to help retain and mentor them to greater success.

At Empwr.life we are passionate about changing lives and creating systems that focus on early intervention and/or prevention. Are you ready to put the power of personalized, high-tech, integrated emotional wellness into the hands of those you lead? Request a demo today

Categories
Workplace emotional wellness

Investing in Workplace Emotional wellness Solutions Can Save You Cash

Workplace emotional wellness is a big topic these days. Post-pandemic and right in the middle of the Olympics, the evidence is clear.

We all experience emotional wellness issues of one type or another. How we deal with our emotional wellness and personal wellbeing also plays into how we perform at work.

If you’re an employee, the good news is that your bosses are scrambling right now trying to figure out how to provide you with the most affordable and effective solutions to keep you on the top of your game and in their employment

If you’re the employer, yes, we know it’s rough out there right now.

The current emotional wellness crisis

The experts have been telling us that this crisis was on the horizon. The aftereffects of the pandemic are still rippling through our social lives, the economy, the supply chain …. and our emotional wellbeing.

All of this adds up to costs.

If you are an employer, pay attention. Your employees’ productivity and your company’s profits may be suffering due to emotional wellness problems.

Why employers should focus on workplace emotional wellness breaks down the numbers but the one to really pay attention to is that emotional wellness costs US businesses, just like yours, approximately $100 billion annually.

Want to know how depression alone impacts your company? Head over to the Depression Cost Calculator. A few demographics combined with the latest research will tell you just how much cash is slipping through your fingers.

You’re not alone

While the pandemic may have left us all feeling isolated, the truth is that misery loves company. You’re not alone in these struggles.

The worker shortage in the US is complex and impacts every industry.

A combination of realigned values following the pandemic, a demand for better work environments and better benefits, and suddenly the worker has the upper hand. Employees are more focused than ever on the culture and mindset of the places they choose to work.

Your competitors have the same problem, and they are searching for the answers to attract your top talent to their team. The good news is, you are one step ahead of them. You’re here!

You’re about to discover how a small investment in your workplace’s emotional wellness will lead to large increases in productivity and profitability.

Employees are demanding more

This cultural shift towards emotional wellness awareness and personal care is touching every industry, including the Olympics.

Simone Biles stepped away from the Olympic Gymnastics team final choosing her emotional wellness and wellbeing over the pressure of performing for others.

Others will follow her lead.

But is that such a bad thing?

Of course, you want your employees to feel valued and well cared for. You want them to perform at their best. But health care in the United States is simply a beast that most companies, especially small to midsize, struggle to provide.

What does it look like to value the well-being of the employee over the immediate output?

For Simone Biles, it means she’ll vault again, and she’ll do it with a deep love and appreciation for the sport. Her values will line up with her passion and she will go on to continue doing what she loves rather than prematurely burn out or be injured.

Be the example

The number one way to change the dynamic of how emotional wellness in your workplace is viewed, is to lead by example.

Start by:

  • Opening up to others about your experiences and your struggles
  • Create a safe and supportive work culture
  • Take paid emotional wellness days for yourself
  • Reassess the company’s work-life balance policies
  • Look critically at the benefit package to make sure it is matching the need
  • Advocate for more resources  

When employees see the boss being authentic and vulnerable, they will feel more open to do the same.

However, talking about emotional wellness in the workplace is only one piece of a much larger problem. We can provide tips and methods to improve wellbeing in the workplace all day, but until access and affordability of emotional wellness services are addressed, you won’t be able to plug up the leaking cash flow.

Access to emotional wellness

emotional wellness care is often more costly than physical health care, and more difficult to access.

CNBC published a report on America’s emotional wellness care cost and accessibility. Here are some of the highlights you need to know:

  • 112 million Americans live in emotional wellness provider deserts
  • Shortage of emotional wellness professionals expected to continue in the US through 2025
  • Only 56% of psychiatrist accept commercial insurance
  • Less than 10% of patients with a emotional wellness disorder obtain effective treatment

So what can you do to improve access and affordability?

We’re glad you asked.

Be proactive

The best solution to any crisis is to be proactive. It’s the systems you have in place long before the problem surfaces that help you navigate the storm.

We all know that to keep our bodies healthy we have to pay attention to what we consume and how much exercise we are getting.

The same is true with emotional wellness.

The food we eat directly affects our emotional wellness and the health of our brain. Exercise has been shown to release feel-good endorphins while meditation is effective for stress management and emotional control.

There are steps you and your employees can actively take to strengthen workplace emotional wellness. Learning to navigate the ups and downs of life requires both the body and the mind to be active.

To strengthen emotional wellness a balance between biological, psychological, and gut health is necessary.

Sounds complicated, but it isn’t.

A simple workplace emotional wellness solution

Put the power of AI, the coordination of emotional wellness services with primary health care, and the expertise of biology, psychology, and nutrition in the hands of your employees.

The Empwr App is the perfect addition to any benefits package. It works alongside the individual’s personal healthcare provider to provide additional data and solutions.

Your employees will have on-demand access to diet, exercise, sleep, meditation, relationship help, mood management, and more at the touch of their fingers and at no cost to them.

For the employee, the focus is on personalized health and prevention.

But the result for you, the employer, is

  • improved workplace emotional wellness
  • higher productivity
  • medical cost savings

Are you ready to invest in a Workplace emotional wellness Solution?

Request a free demo today!

Categories
Mental Health

5 Benefits of Preventative emotional wellness Services

Creating a workplace post-COVID with strong preventative emotional wellness services adds major benefits long and short term to your company.

Supportive, safe, productive, and inclusive workplaces are essential as we transition from fully remote work to re-opening our offices and taking on a new normal of changed worked schedules and priorities.

Balancing work life and home life has never been an easy task. As remote work and virtual school took over, more and more employees found it increasingly challenging to juggle everything. In fact, some had to make the difficult decision to leave their careers altogether to ensure the family’s needs were cared for. All of this adds up to lost dreams, uncertainty, and a strain on emotional wellbeing.

According to a recent poll by Gallup, 76% of U.S. adults rate their emotional wellness positively, a nine-point drop from 2019. In the middle of the pandemic, U.S. life satisfaction dropped significantly, matching the same lows experienced during the Great Recession.

COVID-19 has increased the presence of behavioral health conditions by as much as 50% and prescriptions for antianxiety meds increased by 34% in just the first few months of the pandemic. The statistics are staggering, and the numbers are in; COVID-19 exasperated preexisting emotional wellness issues and brought others to light. (https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/emotional wellness-in-the-workplace-the-coming-revolution)

Emotional anxiety is at an all time high as daily stresses, the struggles of work life balance, changes in U.S. culture, and financial pressures continue to wear on individuals.

What’s next for the workforce

Programs that help support employee health and wellbeing are vital as we move toward a post-pandemic future.

As remote workers and those who had to take a pandemic pause return to the workplace, it’s important to hold onto the lessons we’ve learned while away.

The pandemic shed light on a problem that has been there all along. There is a lack of preventative emotional wellness resources for U.S. worker. If there were a greater emphasis in the workplace on emotional wellness, then the stigma surrounding it would be gone and employees would have the tools necessary to be more resilient and productive in good times and in crisis.  

Providing emotional wellness services as essential rather than simply a “nice benefit” goes a long way toward improving your company’s culture. It is essential in communicating that you value the individuals doing the work.

Benefits of preventative emotional wellness services

#1 Lower long term healthcare costs

Companies are starting to take notice of the benefits of preventive emotional wellness care versus the cost.

When an employees’ emotional wellness is not prioritized, it costs the company more in healthcare coverage. Healthcare costs decrease when employers invest in emotional wellness interventions. Simply put, it costs less to prevent than to treat.  

Workplace stressors have been shown to be as harmful as secondhand smoke, something we as a nation have done something about.

By learning to address the day-to-day stressors at work and prioritize preventive emotional wellness services the U.S. could save up to $180 billion and 120,000 lives annually. Employers have the power to actively contribute to better health outcomes and costs in our country (https://pubsonline.informs.org/doi/10.1287/mnsc.2014.2115).

#2 Increase company retention and loyalty

Trust is essential in any work relationship. Knowing that an employer cares for one’s physical and emotional wellness goes a long way in creating a safe space for employees.

Negative company culture often results in poor emotional wellness. Which in turn leads to higher and costly turnover rates.

Preventive emotional wellness that is encouraged and modeled by management can boost the community. It shows that every individual is valued as a human being and more than just the product they produce.

#3 More productivity

Interestingly, when a person is valued for who they are and not what they do, they actually become more productive.  

Behavioral health issues lead to employee absenteeism which means others have to pull the slack or everyone is playing catch up. The business as a whole runs smoother when everyone is working together, united, and healthy.

#4 Better health

A person’s emotional wellness directly impacts their physical health. Unhealthy habits are picked up for quick fixes, such as emotional eating or excessive drinking.  According to WebMD, poor emotional wellness can lead to chronic diseases, sleep problems, and chain-smoking.

#5 Less regret

Many of us have been in that moment where we’ve said, “if only I had known.”

We’ve lost friends and family to suicide ideation, addiction, and other tragedies that our hearts cry “if only.”

The more we learn, the clearer it becomes that prevention is possible long before tragedy strikes. While we can’t go back and change the past, we can no longer ignore the problem when the solution is in our hands.

Discover why Empwr.life is the solution for better and preventative emotional wellness prevention in your workplace.

Categories
Behavioral Health emotional wellness Workforce Workplace

5 Tips to Improve emotional wellness in the Workplace

When leaders emphasize emotional wellness well-being in the workplace, workers and employers alike reap the rewards. Overall productivity and emotional wellness increase simultaneously for a number of reasons. Simply knowing that the two coincide won’t automatically make your workforce emotionally healthy. Awareness is only step #1.

How to improve emotional wellness wellbeing in the workplace

According to WHO, there are many risk factors for emotional wellness present in the working environment. It’s important to be proactive, address the issues found, and create spaces that encourage emotional wellness.

Following are five actions you can take to help lead your workers toward a healthier tomorrow. 

#1 Educate and break the stigma

Depression, anxiety, and other emotional wellness issues have carried an unfortunate stigma for to long. This stigma has kept employees from reaching out to their supervisors and negatively impacting emotional wellness in the workplace.

Provide your leaders with the necessary tools they need to support the employees in their care. Schedule training and model an open-door policy that makes others feel comfortable recognizing and dealing with the emotional wellness of those they manage. emotional wellness in the workplace starts from the leadership.

When your company encourages leaders to be honest about their challenges and take charge of their emotional wellness, employees will be more willing to do the same openly.

#2 Get HR involved in building a sustainable, healthy work culture

Part of creating a healthy workplace is to maintain emotional safety between coworkers.

Psychological harassment, bullying, gaslighting, racism, discrimination, and more all can lead to emotional wellness well-being nightmares in the workplace for HR and those involved.

According to METRO, too strict of a policy may lead to less reporting while ignoring the bad behavior only encourages it. The solution? Prevention through education and training with a mixture of ownership in creating a thriving and safe culture.

#3 Pay attention to the workspaces

Noise, clutter, and poor lighting can contribute to stress and feelings of being overwhelmed.

Natural lighting provides numerous health benefits. You can play a few ways with natural lighting and the healing power of the sun, plants, and fresh air.

  • Rearrange the desks, so everyone has an outdoor view
  • Get rid of the fluorescents and rely on open windows and softer lights
  • Create a garden space (indoors or out) where the employees can retreat to when feeling stressed

Be preventive. Lesson the emotional wellness burden of your employees by adding natural beauty throughout the workplace.

#4 Take advantage of tech

The global pandemic changed the workforce and the way we integrate technology into our workplaces. We all received a crash course in working remotely, making the argument for rigid working hours in a central location a difficult one to maintain.

Technology allows companies to offer flexible working hours, implement telehealth options into their physical and emotional wellness plans, and have access to more resources and emotional wellness helps than ever before.

Don’t fear the tech. Embrace it.

#5 Adopt programs that offer proactive emotional wellness approaches

Creating an environment that supports and encourages employees to discuss their emotional wellness openly takes work. Our culture has been reactionary to emotional wellness issues for far too long. Make the commitment to actively put an end to the stigma in your own spaces by adopting programs that encourage discussion, buddy systems, and a focus on health. Encourage your employees toward a better, healthier tomorrow.

At Yubi Health, we believe in an integrated approach to emotional wellness that is rooted in evidence-based science. We take a proactive approach with an ecosystem that helps drive members toward emotionally healthy outcomes. Our program is “enabling people to lead fulfilling lives.”

Do you have any additional ways that you support emotional wellness in the workplace? Please share your thoughts below about emotional wellness in the workplace.

You may also find our article about workplace isolation and employer focusing on emotional wellness interesting.