Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the ever increasing demands of life. Stress management gives you a range of tools to reset your alarm system. Without stress management, all too often your body is always on high alert.
What can you do about stress?
- Identify what is causing stress in your life.
- Look for ways to reduce the amount of stress in your life.
- Learn healthy ways to relieve stress or reduce its harmful effects.
How can you avoid stress?
- Prioritize tasks that you must complete in a day to a manageable list.
- Find better ways to cope. Look at how you have been dealing with stress.
- Take good care of yourself.
- Try out new ways of thinking.
- Learn to say “no.”
- Speak up. Not being able to talk about your needs and concerns creates stress and can make negative feelings worse.
- Ask for help. People who have a strong network of family and friends manage stress better.
- Start to outsource your honey-do list
- Set “do not disturb” boundaries with your support team when under a deadline
- Communicate your schedule with your team at work
- Prioritize school assignments to get done as soon as possible, so that you have one less deadline to focus on. The longer you wait to complete a task, the more strenuous it seems to become.
Becoming more organized takes focus and dedication. If you develop a method that works for you, it will help you to balance family, work, and school responsibilities, with very minimal conflicts. In addition, the MBA experience can become less about making the highest grades, and more about networking, advancing your career, personal progression, and developing your passion.
On August 23, our Cohort 10 and Cohort 11 participated in a Stress Management Workshop led by Morris Sekiyo Sullivan. The students were led through several awareness exercises to demonstrate the effectiveness of staying present while conducting tasks vs. the overwhelming feeling one can have when constantly multi-tasking. The facilitator demonstrated 3 different stress management activities that allowed the students to witness first-hand the benefits of taking a brief time out to refocus and re-channel their energy in a positive manner.
Cinthia Douglas in Cohort 11 shared that “having the stress management/meditation workshop embedded into our first EMBA course was a nice surprise. As we began the meditation portion, I was open to the experience but hesitant at the same time. I have read about meditation before, but prior to this course was not convinced that it was something for me – when in fact, meditation and practicing mindfulness is beneficial to all. I noticed that the more guidance our group received from the instructor, my thoughts became focused, and it was amazing how relaxed I felt. Taking a step back at the big picture, the EMBA experience looks at each student holistically, providing tools and resources to aid achievement both personally and professionally.”
Students participating in an Executive MBA program know the importance of balancing both professional and personal aspects of their life to minimize undesirable stress that can have a negative impact. Students find that if they can compartmentalize their school and work responsibilities, they will also be afforded some reasonable time for other activities such as exercise or being with family and friends and key events. The alternating weekend schedule of an Executive MBA program also provides the breather and time necessary to be successful at striking this delicate balance.
Students expressed great satisfaction with the workshop results and plan to continue practicing mindfulness, especially in times when an increased work load or demands are required.