5 Tips for Managing Stress and Facility Demands
April is stress management month. 73% of people have stress that impacts their mental health and 80% of people say it affects them at work. I don’t think it’s any surprise that these numbers are high.
Learning how to cope with stress can lead to living a healthier life and having more joy at work.
Running a treatment facility is fulfilling and demanding, but it comes with its own unique challenges from stress. It is especially difficult for owners who started their facility out of empathy and a desire to serve but are uncertain how to manage operations effectively. There is a growing care gap between facility operations and the clinical care which leads to unnecessary stress.
Stress is one of the challenges that facility owners are always faced with. This stress comes in various forms such as hiring employees and ensuring customer satisfaction. Sadly, stress does not only affect the physical well-being of an individual. It also affects mental, emotional, and psychological being.
work-related stress Management
Running a treatment center is a lot of work and being available for your staff and patients, while also paying attention to facility operations is essential. Success is only possible when you can avoid becoming overwhelmed and proactively practice ways to reduce stress.
Here are a few ways you can be more mindful of your stress and how to manage it:
- Express self-gratitude
- Intentionally schedule time for yourself
- Delegate & Outsource
- Do things that bring you joy
- Develop a schedule and stick to it
Express gratitude for yourself
Gratitude is essential for every facility owner. If you struggle to recognize gratitude for yourself or others throughout the day, actively schedule a reminder or set aside time to focus on it.
Acknowledge your daily accomplishments. Acknowledge how much effort you have put into work that day, or even in the past hour. Even if you didn’t get through your entire to-do list, you still accomplished something that day. The work you are doing matters.
While it may always feel more rewarding when gratitude comes from others, taking time to recognize yourself and your journey is just as important (although it may be the hardest).
You are an excellent provider, co-worker, leader, and mentor. You have helped lots of individuals recover. Take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back.
Schedule ME time:
Practicing mindfulness and stepping away from the source of stress is a good way to find relief. There are a variety of ways to put this into practice throughout the day, including during work hours.
Take a walk outside and admire the beauty around you. Separating yourself from stressful situations is key to being more self-aware and resetting.
Have you ever been so conscious of your breathing that everything else around you kind of slows down? It’s amazing how just five minutes of conscious breathing can reset the mind.
My favorite breathing activity is one I learned from Thich Nhat Hanh, in his book “Peace Is Every Step”. Simply put, with every breath in, say to yourself, “breathe in”. With every breath out, say to yourself, “breath out”. I think you’ll be amazed at how relaxed you’ll find yourself and how much more in control of your thoughts you’ll become.
If you’re interested in practicing this technique, here is a YouTube video to help get you started: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_iDaIAPrGo
Pull the Plug
Turn off the computer, put down the phone, shut the door and just be with yourself. Maybe you put on some peaceful music to guide your thoughts. Disconnecting from the daily grind for a few minutes is a great way to reset and find some relief. Oftentimes, this will need to be intentional. It’s too easy to just look at the next notification, or mindlessly browse something online.
Find a way to just be with yourself for 5-10 minutes a day. I promise this will help you be more successful with your day-to-day responsibilities.
Delegation & Outsourcing:
Are you a perfectionist? Maybe afraid somebody else could do a task better than you? Or maybe you need to feel in control of the situations around you. Whatever it is, it’s OK to feel this way. However, developing a healthy habit of delegation and outsourcing can be one of the biggest strengths and strategies for a facility, including you.
You’ve sacrificed and done the best you could, hiring and piecing together your business operations. You continue to sacrifice because you’re building a world-class facility. No one knows your business as you do. Patient care should always be your priority, but oftentimes, operational care can get in the way.
Delegating tasks to staff members is a great way to help your patients get the care they need and gives the business room to grow. But at some point, the work increases, internal delegation gets harder, and business operations need some serious attention.
Outsourcing operations to an Operational Partner is a great way to help you realign the business and help reduce stress. An Operational Partner can help with employee retention & recruiting, managing payroll, taxes, PTO, and policies, as well as remove the burden of waiting on hold or fighting with insurance companies for the treatment your patients deserve.
Do Things That Give You Joy
Reading that title, I’m sure you immediately thought of a few things that bring you joy. Can any of those be done at your facility? Maybe you enjoy spending time with patients, being part of or directing group sessions, maybe it’s a staff lunch, or going to networking events.
However you find joy during the work hours, make an effort today to do one of those things. Remember, tasks that don’t come naturally to you, and the tasks that you don’t enjoy doing can be delegated or outsourced.
Develop a System, Create an Agile Schedule:
Having structure is important as it sets the foundation for any plan you hope to achieve. It improves your confidence in your abilities and makes your challenges and demands more manageable.
If you’ve made it this far, you may already have a few ideas on how to improve your daily schedule, including some of the things we’ve mentioned.
Now is the time to act!
Pull out your phone or open your desktop calendar… I’ll wait.
Find a 5-10 minute slot every day to prioritize yourself. Maybe you practice breathing on Mondays, go for a walk on Tuesdays, and get out of the office for lunch on Wednesdays. More importantly, switch it up so you can find a flow that benefits you.
Be intentional about managing your stress. Simply thinking about ways to take care of yourself is never enough, you know that!
What other tips or suggestions would you recommend to other facility owners to manage their stress?