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What can Minimalism teach us about managing stress at work?

Have you ever thought of minimalism as the answer to work-related stress? Professionals do well to identify time as a precious resource. However, we often fall short in addressing how precious our emotional energy is in our ability to be present, engaged and productive in the workplace. If you want to learn more about what Minimalism can teach you about managing stress at work then keep reading…

At Talent Courtyard, we understand that the impact of work-related stress is felt far and wide. It is also an issue that can easily go undetected in its early stages, with the ability to create big problems for leaders in the long run. That is why we have curated a number of wellbeing workshops for the workplace including “Stress Management”, “Work-Life Balance” and “Positive Thinking Techniques to help your teams gain the appropriate tools to better manage their wellbeing at work, while feeling better connected to their peers. Click here to find out more information about our corporate wellbeing workshops now…

 

What is Minimalism and how does it impact your wellbeing?

Intentional, deliberate simplicity…

If you ever take some time to read up on the minimalist trend that is sweeping the Western world then it is almost guaranteed that you will come across the words “intentional” and “deliberate” in every article you read.

That is because living a minimal life is all about living with intention and making a conscious effort to restrict our physical spaces from the distractions of material items.

Joshua Becker from Becoming Minimalist defines the movement clearly for us. He says, “Minimalism is intentionally living with only the things I need – those items that support my purpose”. Therefore, at its core, the minimalist movement calls us to reflect on our lives with intention. It encourages us to decide what truly adds value to our lives, and as a result, remove ourselves from things that don’t. 

This is something we can all certainly take inspiration from for our mental spaces too. By practicing minimalism, not only in our physical spaces but in our mental and emotional “spaces”, we actively remove ourselves from the prospect of feeling emotionally drained, burned out and stressed.

Most importantly, when we remove ourselves from unnecessary mental or emotional “distractions” or “clutter”, we create space to grow – making for a much happier and healthier version of you!

 

How can conserving your energy reduce work-related stress levels?

Most of us can admit to feeling the impact of work-related stress at one point in our lives or another. Some of us may even feel it frequently…

It may surface its head through sleepless nights spent worrying about a deadline, team targets or even a big pitch. Or it might hit us with nagging anxious thoughts that disengage us from our work, and even our personal time. And the worst part? Both of these scenarios lead to yet more stress as our mental space becomes cluttered, our productivity levels plummet and the pressure just keeps piling on. 

It can be a vicious cycle!

That is why we can take a lot from buying into the idea of “mental minimalism”. In simpler terms, “the process of taking an active role in regulating what thoughts and feelings take our attention and use up our energy”. After all, your emotional energy is a resource that is just as valuable to your team as time and money is…

Don’t be mistaken, conserving your energy isn’t about completely removing negative emotions or thoughts from your mind. It is about getting better at controlling what gets a “front-and-centre” place in our mental space.

So how exactly can you conserve your energy and get better at managing stress at work?

 

Team Members: Start to understand the value of your own emotional energy

Let’s face it, it can often be difficult for us to place value on the things that we cannot see, feel, hear, smell or taste. We are sensory beings! But here’s what we have to learn to understand… without energy, there is little we can do. And most importantly, without energy there is little we can find enjoyment in!

Minimalism teaches us that it is important to take the time to reflect on our personal and professional lives from the perspective of our “quality of life”. We must start making a conscious effort to remove meaningless clutter so to make room for what really makes life worth living to us! By placing a high value on our energy, we start to live happier and healthier lives. And with that comes more balance and more energy for the things that really matter.

Here are some things you can do to start valuing your emotional energy better:

Learn to say no to others
Saying yes to everything others ask of you can be a tough habit to get out of! However, by learning how to say no to the demands of others we are showing others the value that we give to our own energy.

2  Practice mindfulness
There are many easy ways you can practice mindfulness in your everyday life. After all, mindfulness really is all about being present in the moment and indulging in an experience in real time. We recommend taking a tea/coffee break and honing in on the moment. Try focusing on the smells you experience when you prepare it, the tastes, the way your arms feel as you hold the cup, the way the heat feels as you drink it. Try it and see how much more grounded you feel!

 

Team Leaders: Take regular time out to reflect on how you invest your emotional energy 

Just like with any of our spending habits, we should put regular time aside to evaluate whether our emotional “purchases” have been worth the investment. For managers of people and team leaders, it can be tough to put firm boundaries in place when it comes to your emotional spending habits. As a leader, it is your job to support your team. This also involves being a support to their emotional wellbeing needs among other things. Nonetheless, this can be particularly costly to your own professional wellbeing.

If you aren’t at your best, the whole team will feel it and let’s be honest… as a leader, you set a crucial example to your team! So, while no one expects you to be perfect, your professional conduct leaves a lasting impression! Therefore, it is important that you keep track of how you spend your emotional energy and know where your own daily limits lie. By doing so, you will feel less drained, while setting yourself up to be the best support for your team as possible!

So what can you do if you have spent all of your daily “allowance” and a team member needs support?

1  Know who you can lean on for additional support, be it in your personal or professional circles
2  Acknowledge people’s requests for help but communicate your boundaries openly with your team
3  Work together to understand how you can move forward together

Did you know: we curate our wellbeing workshops for workplaces with the specific intention of providing the necessary tools to help teams with managing stress at work, bringing them closer together to feel more capable and confident while at work, meaning a more self-sufficient workforce as a whole?

If you feel this is something you and your team could benefit from, why not consider our Seasonal Packages for Workplace Wellbeing which includes themes such as “Creativity and Nature” and “Back to the Office” to expand your team’s creative and professional boundaries? Click here for more information and to enquire now…

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