Stress should motivate rather than hinder us. That is the theory, but modern-day practice shows something else. This powerful drive, so profoundly embedded in our nature, turns from an acute motivator into a chronic saboteur.
Students who can’t cope with chronic stress abandon their studies; stressed employees leave their jobs. Stress management group activities and games have become the last resource instead of first, simply because of the costs of expertly led group stress relief.
Managers should understand that not investing in stress coping tools will cost them even more.
Stress management group activities for adults
Companies that invest in their employees’ mental health report higher job satisfaction and higher efficacy. Worker retention is tightly connected with happiness at work, which relies on proper stress management activities.
While most techniques are intended for groups and teams, stress management starts on a personal level.
What an individual can do to take control over stress?
- Proper nutrition regime. Resilience to stressors is based on a healthy, balanced, and regular diet. Eating nutritious meals and drinking enough water leads to fewer sick days and better performance.
- Regular exercise and stretching. Physical activities provide a sense of accomplishment and self-belief, improve blood circulation, and boost mood. Stretching relaxes and calms the body.
- Breathing and meditation. Stress comes from the uncertainty of the future. The focus of meditation is on the present; acknowledgement and acceptance of one’s thoughts and feelings. Deep or belly breathing reduces anxiety symptoms.
- Reading, writing, and online classes. Through self-improvement and imagination development, individuals empower themselves and become more stress-resilient.
- Sufficient quality sleep. Working for clients in different time zones can disrupt biorhythm, making sleep deprivation a common occurrence. A good night’s rest can be attained, but it requires sticking to healthy routines.
- Socializing and support network. Being in touch with others is as important as being in touch with oneself. Assistance coming from a support network is key to stress relief. Ideally, it should be found in the work environment.
Stress management activities for students
The concept of college studies puts students under constant strain, even more so if they need to work and study. Accumulated stress either leads to abandoning studies or physical and psychological conditions. Students can conduct stress management activities in groups or by themselves; either approach helps.
The 3R tool, or Reminder, Routine, and Reward. Better stress resilience comes with maintaining healthy habits. Distinguish the reminder that acts as your stressor. Change your routine that leads to the heightened stress level. Reap the reward coming from a new good habit.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR). Willfully tense and relax all major muscles in your body, one group at a time. While this exercise may take time to perfect, effects are visible instantly. It can be practiced anywhere, anytime; before an exam, job interview, or before sleep.
Fun stress relief activities for students
Visual imagery exercises
A simple but effective exercise, visual imagery training is best done in pairs. One student comfortably sits or lies with their eyes closed, and the other reads or speaks in a calming voice. The text should describe a relaxing or funny scene or activity. After fifteen to twenty minutes, students switch places.
Arts and crafts projects
For creative students, arts and crafts come as a natural antistress activity. If a simple artistic project (like collaging) involves a group of two or three students, it brings cooperation and socialization into focus.
Spending time with animals
Even if you don’t own a pet, perhaps your friends do. Arranging a meeting where you play, pet, and run with animals outdoors is a healthy and fun stress relief activity for students.
Stress management activities for employees
It is important to remember: chronic stress can be fought, reduced, and eliminated. There are always additional ways to deal with it, to avoid burnout and other serious health issues. If one stress management method doesn’t work for you, try another.
- Team buildings, field trips, and other fun stress management activities. Most activities conducted outside the workplace have a singular goal – relieve accumulated stress. Careful selection of stress management group activities and games will have a lasting positive impact on employees.+
As long as activities are not counterproductive (alcohol abuse, for example), they will improve communication and create authentic bonds between colleagues (create support network), promote health through outdoor physical activities (field trips, hiking), and develop senses of accomplishment and self-esteem (quiz games, talent show games, sports fundraising activities).
- Peer sharing exercise. While commonly reserved for best friends, peer sharing is sometimes best accomplished at the source location of stress – the workplace. This is an excellent stress management group activity for small teams. While a group intentionally listens to a speaker, they explain the reason for being overstressed.
The activity helps the individual bond with the group over everyday stressors and allows the management to recognize the general issues. The exercise results in stress relief, a sense of understanding, recognition, approval, and empowerment.
- Working with relaxing music. Employees should discover if working with music helps them relax or distracts them. Music is undoubtedly a mood booster, one that can set a positive and productive note in an otherwise hectic workplace.+
- Afterwork coffee time as a way to socialize. Clearing up thoughts and getting more alert is often accomplished by drinking enough coffee. How much is enough depends on the individual but more than three or four cups a day is considered harmful in general. Most people use coffee as a reason for socializing. However, too much coffee can lead to increased anxiety levels.
It is important to stress (excuse the pun) that even though the therapeutic value of quality social gatherings is immense, it may be a challenge getting the time to attend them.
Distancing from acquaintances and loved ones leads to a feeling of separation, loneliness, and even depression. Unless needed for relaxation, solitude is seldom healthy.
Regularly talking to employees will help managers determine who responds best to particular stress management activities and who doesn’t. It is critical for tailoring the activities to fit a specific team.
Stress management group activities include games for adults but also workshops and counseling with a professional. To make the efforts successful, it is vital to start with healthy practice as soon as one enters a stressogenic environment.
Only through vigilant monitoring and a careful, tailored approach can managers improve their employees’ wellbeing. And, in turn, ensure their devotion and highest possible productivity.