September 15, 2020

CRC’s Scott Hamlin, VP of Multifamily Division Shares Thoughts on Stress

CRC's Scott Hamlin, VP of Multifamily Division Shares Thoughts on Stress


Recently, I read an article from the Harvard Business Review called “Making Sure Your Stress Isn’t Contagious” by Kristi Hedges, and it brought up a lot of great points. I would like to share some of the ideas from the article with you as I think they apply to this crazy 2020 and beyond.

Stress is not something we enjoy for ourselves. Frankly, it’s something none of us even like to be around. Stress is a contagion in an office and can quickly spread – just watching someone else tense up can trigger a release of the stress hormone (cortisol) in your own body.

Ever see a co-worker and think, “when he gets stressed, I try to avoid him” or “everyone knows when she’s having a bad day, it is all over her face?” This is your stress impacting others, and if we do not deal with stress appropriately, our colleagues, friends, and family may actively start avoiding us.

So how can you stop some of your stress from impacting others and then eventually wearing you down?

Pinpoint your true stressors. Ask yourself questions like “what conditions caused me to feel stressed today” and “what about that situation felt important at the time?” You may be surprised to find what the small triggers are in your day-to-day life.

Change your reaction first and the workload second. The work at the office and home will always be there, so start thinking about how you feel about the workload. You may find a change of attitude towards certain tasks relieves stress.

Create pockets of sanity. We are all busy, and it feels like the work is only growing. If you don’t take time away at a natural break or create one for yourself, your stress level will skyrocket. Even micro-moments of sanity like walking at lunchtime or to grab a cup of coffee offer a needed breather.

Don’t just say you’re stressed; share how you’re working to manage it. Just saying you are stressed, often just stresses out the other person or even creates a game of ‘who is more stressed.’ Talk about what is causing you stress and how you are working to reduce it. It may also help others get their own stress out or help you work together. 

Plan for stress by planning around it. Even though we know stress is always around, we are often surprised when it happens. Worse yet, we might develop meta-stress where we stress about having stress. Look at your upcoming schedule, and plan for it. Think about a couple weeks back where many of us needed to plan for the first week of virtual school. Prepare for the stress. While it will still come, we can be better about preparing to deal with it.

But in the end remember: we are all in this together, and none of us are helpless. The article does point out that while stress is contagious, so is calm. So, think about these tips the next time it feels like stress is getting the best of you.