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7 Steps to Manage Stress and Increase Resilience.

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

For years I suffered with anxiety. Through the help of a supportive partner and therapist, a coaching mindset and team coaching culture I learned how to manage stress and grow in resilience.

Team Coaching Session
Team Coaching Session

In recognition of International Stress Awareness Week 2023 I have been sharing steps on how to manage stress and increase resilience at an individual and team level. These steps come from my own experience and tools I use to help develop high performing teams via SMART: Stress Management and Resilience Training workshops.

Here is a summary of my 7 steps:

Step 1: Self-awareness
  1. Reflect on stress. Ask yourself (or a version of these questions with your team if you have trust/psychological safety in place): How do you feel? What’s causing you to feel stressed? (your triggers). Where does it come from? (most stress is fear based). What story are you telling myself? (mostly catastrophic thinking). How is stress impacting you? How is it impacting others? (your friends/family/team). What support do you need?

  2. Find perspective. Perception is your view of the world and is often biased and can be unhelpful. Whereas gaining perspective is the act of trying to view situations objectively and from different angles. What is the truth or reality in this situation? How would someone else view or think about this?

  3. Understand yourself and others better. Explore your C-me colour profile: your drivers, strengths, preferences and blind spots to understand why you think and act a certain why, how to adapt and how to stay in the stretch zone and avoid the stress or panic zone! Seek to understand individuals on your team through their C-me profile and preferences so you know how to support, communicate and get the best out of them. Team coaching with C-me is a great way to do this.

Step 2: Mindset
  1. Choose a growth mindset (by Dr Carol Dweck). People with a growth mindset see challenges as opportunities for growth and believe that skills and abilities can be developed over time them with hard work and effort. Whereas people with a fixed mindset believe that their abilities are set in stone. Which mindset do you/your team relate to the most? How do you/your team respond to setbacks? Where is the fixed mindset holding you/the team back from performing at a higher level?

  2. Apply your resilient strengths. Be mindful of your strengths, skills and experiences during times of stress and apply them in difficult situations. How much do you know and use your strengths? How much are your team playing to their strengths?

  3. Be grateful. Choose to be grateful and celebrate the small wins. A reflective positive practice is helpful in managing stress and building resilience. What can you be grateful for or celebrate today? How as a team can you celebrate your wins more?

Step 3: Connection
  1. Share and ask for support. Share how you feel with friends/family/colleagues and ask for support when needed. Ask your team how they feel and how you can support them.

  2. Bring depth and lightness. Connect with family/friends/colleagues on a deep and meaningful level but also on a light and joyful level. Facilitate a check-in as part of team meetings and organise or take part in team days or socials.

  3. Recognise others. Look out for positive things people are doing and reflect on the positive impact it has on you/others and share that with them. Be genuine and specific. This builds trust and connection and reduces stress as you uplift others.

Step 4: Clarity

Ask yourself or your team these questions to gain clarity on projects/tasks that seem overwhelming:

  1. Vision (what). What are you trying to achieve? What does it look like? What’s the key thing? What excites you? What challenges do you see? What more information or clarity do you need? When do you want to achieve it by?

  2. Purpose (why). How important is this? What’s important about it? How will it positively impact you and others? How does it align with your goals and values?

  3. Priority (how). How important and urgent is this in relation to the other things you are working on? Identify specific next steps, prioritise them and work through them. Try not to overcommit or set unrealistic deadlines. Celebrate small wins and reflect on learnings along the way.

Step 5: Environment
  1. Have an organised office. A cluttered desk or disorganised day may be impacting your stress levels and productivity. Take 15 minutes at the end of day or start of day to create a tidy workspace and organise your day. I love time blocking!

  2. Change up your work space. Change up your work space to reduce stress and help you to think differently. Try walking meetings or working/meeting the team somewhere new for the day.

  3. Get out in nature. Get out in nature during the day to disconnect from work and connect with yourself. Avoid emails, social media and the to do list and let your mind meditate and be free. I often do my best thinking in this space.

Step 6: Physical Health
  1. Movement

  • Try walking more, taking the stairs or cycling to work.

  • Between meetings or when you get an energy dip, stand and stretch, go for a walk or do a mini workout or housework (if working from home).

  • Book in a regular workout/class/swim or workout in the park.

  • Consider a massage.

  • Try physical icebreakers or standing meetings.

  • Role model and encourage the importance of movement.

2. Nourishment

  • Have a refillable bottle of water on your desk to keep hydrated and fill it up as soon as it’s empty.

  • Try making healthy batch meals or have ingredients to throw together easy healthy meals.

  • Listen to your body and how it responds to food and the time of day that you’re eating.

  • Role model and encourage the importance of nutrition.

3. Sleep and rest

  • Try a sleep routine: turn the TV/laptop and your phone off by a certain time, prepare for the next day, read/journal/meditate/pray and be asleep by X.

  • Listen to your body and slow down and relax more (especially evenings and weekends).

  • Role model and encourage the importance of sleep and rest.

Step 7: Get Help
  1. Get one-to-one support with a qualified therapist or coach.

  2. Get team coaching with a qualified coach or facilitator.

I am a qualified C-me facilitator and International Coaching Federation Professional Certified Coach and I am passionate about supporting individuals and teams to thrive through a coaching approach.

Unlock the full potential of your team with SMART workshops: take the C-me Stress Test, get individualised C-me profiles and your C-me Team Wheel to understand your team and connect, communicate and collaborate more effectively. Discover actionable strategies to boost productivity, enhance wellbeing and create a resilient team as you prepare for 2024.

Book your SMART workshop and empower your team today.

Click here for a free strategy call.


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