April is National Stress Awareness Month. Recognized every April since 1992, this month reminds us of the importance of practices that help with stress management. It can serve as a reminder to both employers and individuals that a key part of wellbeing is about finding healthy ways to cope with the natural stressors of life.
We all experience stress, and not all of it is bad. In fact, stress can play a healthy role in our lives by helping us accomplish what we need to each day and encouraging us to take the steps we need in order to grow. But when left unchecked, stress can wreak havoc on our bodies and minds.
Work stress was rising even prior to the pandemic – the average worker knows the truth of this. Gallup reports that over 40% of US and Canadian workers say they are facing unhealthy levels of daily stress on the job. The workers surveyed reported high levels of worry, anger, and sadness. Stressed, disengaged employees create a drag on productivity, innovation, and organizational change.
As employers bring workers back to the office, they must consider how they will help employees navigate work stress. We know the successful companies of the future will thrive not only because they are profitable, but because they are driven by the efforts of healthy, happy, and resilient employees.
Stressed employees are less able to perform the duties required of them at work. Happy, healthy employees who are resilient in the face of stress equate to a healthier bottom line for your business.
So, how can employers recognize and celebrate this important awareness month? Here are 3 wellness offerings companies can make to employees during Stress Awareness Month—and beyond.
Ideas to Help Employees Manage Stress
1. Normalize Taking Breaks for Wellness-related Activities
Make it a part of company culture to build in breaks for movement and holistic wellness activities throughout their week. Encourage this by scheduling weekly fitness & wellness classes held on site or virtually – offer a blend of high-and-low impact classes like yoga, t’ai chi, HIIT, or Pilates. Movement of any kind is one of the greatest stress-busters.
Consider making meditation recordings available so employees can listen on their break or offer workplace wellness webinars on topics directly related to stress management. No matter what the chosen offering, be sure to provide paid time for employees to engage in these activities, as well as encouragement from management to do so.
2. Surprise Employees with a Retreat Day
On-site and virtual wellness retreats are a great way to help employees find balance and connection during their workday. They allow employers to offer variety and versatility while introducing employees to the benefits of building consistent wellness practices. They also help bring employees together in the hybrid workplace where connection with co-workers can be a challenge.
3. Prepare Some Food Together
Yes, you heard that right. Get employees together virtually and make food.
Interactive cooking demos are a great way to connect remote workers and bring them together for something fun. No matter the recipes, cooking and baking help to reduce stress by engaging our senses and bringing us into the present moment. Such classes encourage a balanced approach to nutrition, which supports mental wellbeing, sleep and energy levels throughout the workday, while helping employees exercise more creativity in their own kitchen. These sessions incorporate practical nutritional information employees can customize and implement into their meal and snack planning.
As employers bring workers back to the office and restart operations under what will become their new normal, they must consider how they will help hybrid workers navigate work stress. The successful companies of the future will thrive not only because they are profitable, but because they are driven by the efforts of healthy, happy, and resilient employees.
Boost Stress-Reduction Offerings with a Corporate Wellness Provider
Looking to strengthen your organization’s employee stress reduction programming? Urban Balance offers an array of classes, workshops and webinars on topics related to stress reduction. Browse our virtual wellness services catalog and get the scoop on our latest employee stress reduction resource, the Urban Balance on-demand class library.
Curious about how we could work together? Contact us to start exploring options.
Urban Balance is the premier provider of comprehensive on-site corporate wellness services including massage in the Portland, Oregon metro area and offers virtual workplace wellness programming worldwide. We deliver livestream and on-demand classes, webinars, and special events to the workplace environment for happier employees and a healthier bottom line.
Browse our virtual wellness services catalog with offerings including yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Zumba, HIIT, Barre Sculpt, meditation, nutrition, learning opportunities, and more.
Discover the benefits of the Urban Balance on-demand video library, a workplace wellbeing solution with over 350+ holistic wellness classes. Includes membership options for companies and individuals.