Overview: This one-day workshop will explore the harmful long-term effects of stress on our mental and physical health and provide suggestions for managing our individual stresses more effectively. Strategies may include changes in lifestyle, stress management techniques such as relaxation and exercise, and the use of music or humour as coping strategies.
Recognize that stress is a positive, unavoidable part of everybody’s life.
Identify the symptoms of chronic stress overload.
Identify how lifestyle choices can contribute to stress and how we can work toward making different choices.
Develop some techniques to help manage stress right now
Begin planning long-term protection against the cumulative affects of stress.
Workshop Outline and Methodology:
Facilitators use a variety of training methods for each workshop, including large group discussions, individual work and reflection, small group discussions and exercises, case studies and simulations for role play. Videos that are applicable will form a part of some workshops.
Customization will be based on information provided by the human resource department or the individual department prior to the workshop. These will be interactive workshops with a 40/60 split between concept/theory and practical application of skills discussed. Class size should be kept under 20, whenever possible, so each participant will have the opportunity to gain techniques for the types of situations they deal with or expect to deal with.
1. Introduction, Learning Objectives and Agenda: The workshop begins with individual introductions and a group exercise to put everybody at ease. This is followed by a large group discussion about the effects of stress and why we need to give more than lip service to developing strategies for managing that stress. (3/4 hour)
2. How Does Stress Affect Us?: A large group discussion complete with diagrams to illustrate what stress does to our bodies and our minds if it is allowed to go unchecked. (1/2 hour)
3. What is Stress About? Individuals rate themselves and their stress levels on each of several types of charts or scales, with the understanding that there is no reward for proving that you are more stressed out than others. The only reward is getting a handle on the amount of stress we do feel. (1/2 hour)
Checklist of Stress Symptoms
Holmes Rahe Stress Rating
Hanson Scale of Stress Resistance
The Human Scale
Stress Exhaustion Symptoms
4. Stress and Time: Small group discussion of the everyday things that stress us out and how to better manage our time to avoid this. (1/2 hour)
5. The Stress Tax: A large group discussion about what stress costs us as an individual and what stress costs employers. (¼ hour)
6. Managing Stress: Large group discussion about the three factors of stress management: Personality, Nature of Organization, and Quality of Support. (¼ hour)
7. Stress and Gender: Large group discussion of some of the research that has been done about stress, and how age, gender, and attitude, and occupation figure into our reactions to stress. (¼ hour)
8. Taking Care of Your Body and Mind: Group discussion of the four pillars of stress management: good nutrition, exercise, strong supportive relationships, and relaxation techniques. (1/2 hour)
9. Stress Management Strategies: Discussion of the three strategies: alter, avoid, and accept. Participants will also complete individual charts of drainers and fillers; things that drain and energize them. (3/4 hour)
10. The “Less Stress” Lessons: Discussion and demonstration of ways we can relax, including breathing, body scan, and awareness. (¼ hour)
11. Personal Action Plan: This is a culmination of the day’s discussions and provides individuals with a structured way of planning to reduce stress in their lives. (1/2 hour)