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Overcoming Stress in the Workplace and Beyond

Stress is a normal reaction to a situation where someone feels anxious or threatened. We all experience some level of stress, it's a part of life.

However, too much stress can be detrimental to both physical and mental health.

Learning effective coping mechanisms to help combat too much stress is key to living a healthy life.

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How does stress impact the workplace?

Workplace stress can lead to feeling overwhelmed, sometimes resulting in burnout. Burnout can lead to higher turnover rates, increased absenteeism, and decreased productivity.

When stress is left unmanaged, it can cause health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. In addition to absenteeism and lost productivity, these health conditions can also lead to high costs for employers due to increased health care needs and disability.

Single out sources of stress

The first step is to identify stressors in daily life. Stressors can be a situation or event that causes us to feel stressed. Try writing them down or make a mental note of what events cause stress or if there is a certain time of the day you feel the most stressed.

Stress management with Vitality®

The wellness program through Vitality is available with most plan designs. With this unique program, along with the self-funded plan, employees can get healthier, while enhancing and protecting their lives.

Vitality offers plan members a variety of resources and tools to help manage stress and overall mental health.

  • Mental well-being review — This series of short questionnaires helps users understand the current state of their emotional and mental health. Based on responses, Vitality provides users with a personalized profile and practical recommendations to help them understand and improve their overall mental health.
  • Goals — Through the Vitality Program, members can earn points for setting and working towards their personal goals. These goals can include anything from exercising daily to weight management, but they can also set goals to focus on mental health.
  • Action sets and decision points — Vitality also provides a lot of great, easy-to-read resources. These educational materials can help readers understand different areas of mental well-being and provide practical suggestions to help them improve.

Other coping mechanisms for stress

Once you've discovered some of the causes of daily stress, it's time to figure out the most effective ways to cope. Here are some suggestions to incorporate into your work and personal life.

  • Practice self-care. Eat healthy, get regular exercise, get plenty of sleep, take regular breaks, and take a moment to practice deep breathing and mindfulness.
  • Keep a journal. Writing down and reflecting on the day can help alleviate daily stress.
  • Talk about your problems and how you are feeling. Confide in a trusted family member, friend, or doctor.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol. These can create unhealthy coping mechanisms and increase stress levels.
  • Make time for yourself. Spend time with family and friends that lift your mood or set aside time for hobbies, such as reading a book or listening to music.

When to seek help

It's important to recognize when specialized help is needed. If the stress is beyond control, seek help from a psychologist, social worker or counselor. They can help work through stress and teach effective coping mechanisms.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, there are ways you can help. Read more about getting help here.

The World Health Organization (WHO) offers an interactive guide in various languages to help readers learn different stress management skills.

For more resources on coping with stress check out The American Institute of Stress's online Learning Center.

Reach out to your Allstate Benefits — Group Health sales consultant for more information on options available with Vitality.

The Self-Funded Program through Allstate Benefits provides tools for employers owning small to mid-sized businesses to establish a self-funded health benefit plan for their employees. The benefit plan is established by the employer and is not an insurance product. Allstate Benefits is a marketing name for: Integon National Insurance Company in CT, NY and VT; Integon Indemnity Corporation in FL; and National Health Insurance Company in CO, WA and all other states where offered. For employers in the Allstate Benefits Self-Funded Program, stop loss insurance is underwritten by these insurance companies in the noted states. National Health Insurance Company, Integon National Insurance Company, and Integon Indemnity Corporation are rated "A+" (Superior) by A.M. Best.

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