Feeling overwhelmed and stressed out lately? As a job seeker or an employee, it's not uncommon to experience stress during the recruitment process or at work. It's important to take care of yourself first to manage stress effectively and maintain your physical and mental health.

Earlier this month, the NLS Talent Strategies team shed some light on the ways in which stress can take a toll on our bodies and provided tools to our employees for ways to cope with those stressors.

Whether you’re a job seeker, already employed or a reader who just happened to stumble upon this blog and are looking for some help human-ing, here are some tips to keep stress in check and the programs and tools we offer to our employees at NLS:

Take care of your health: Prioritize physical health by making time for regular checkups and seeking help from your health insurance provider if needed. At NLS, we understand the importance of maintaining good health, and our HR team is always here to help with questions related to our insurance benefits - regardless of what location you may be in.

NLS Provides: A full suite of top-tier benefits including health, dental and vision. We also provide company-organized wellness events, walking groups, ergonomically friendly in-office workstations and an office furniture reimbursement program for our remote staff.

Exercise: Physical activity is a terrific way to reduce stress levels and improve overall health. Whether it's a walk, jog, or bike ride, any activity is a good activity. Just get up and move!

NLS Provides: Encouragement to employees to get moving by offering friendly competitions like our “Steps Challenge,” a fun, engaging (and slightly competitive) way to stay active while having fun and egging on your colleagues. We also offer a unique and expansive Wellness Reimbursement Program which includes coverage for things like massages, personal coaches, equipment, fitness attire and more!

Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet: The food you eat has a direct impact on your physical and mental health. We understand the importance of a well-balanced diet, and by fueling your body with the right nutrients, you can improve your overall health and reduce stress.

NLS Provides: Our internal “CRUSH Initiative” and dedicated “Healthy Living” channel is a great resource for employees to learn from others about what is working well for them, and offers a place to share recipes, encouragement, and general knowledge.

Get support from friends and family. Stay connected and reach out when you need reinforcement, motivation, or validation.

NLS Provides: A dedicated Employee Resource Advocate who serves as a trusted advisor, focused on serving others to better help them achieve success.

Recognize signs of stress such as difficulty sleeping and lack of energy. On average, getting 7-8 hours of regularly recurring sleep is the most powerful health supplement you can give your body. Nutrition, exercise and supportive relationships are also paramount.

NLS Provides: Flexibility. We understand that life happens, and sometimes you might need the option to come in a little late, leave a little early or adjust your schedule. We want you to take care of YOU first and our teams are open to communicating about your needs and the best approach forward.

Make a to-do list to get your priorities in order. Having targeted, purposeful items to check off a list can not only create a powerful sense of accomplishment, but also aid your organizational skills that lead to less stress. It’s also quite gratifying.

NLS Provides: Tools like Trello & Jira, Microsoft To-Do, Office 365, an unlimited supply of post-it notes and enough pens and notebooks to survive the apocalypse.

Give yourself a pat on the back for what you’ve accomplished each day. If your inner dialogue is filled with unkind negatives, it's difficult to accept anyone else's kindness, which can lead to isolation and increased stress. Try talking to yourself the way you would a friend.

NLS Provides: We love to lift each other up, give recognition and let people know when our colleagues #dogoodwork. We have an internal employee rewards system, but NLS also holds popular, informative, monthly company-wide briefings (many with in-house entertainment) in an effort to celebrate and educate the entire team on all of our wins and challenges throughout the year. These briefings contain things like employee of the month nominations and winners and updates on new initiatives from various departments.

Let go of problems you cannot fix. This is easier said than done, but a helpful life-skill for all of us to learn over time.

NLS mantra: Assume positive intent. Everyone is operating with the intention to #dogoodwork.

Schedule time for yourself to relax. Whatever that means to you. Do something that recharges your batteries.

NLS Provides: In addition to our generous PTO offering, you can GET PAID TO GO ON VACATION. Yes, you read that right. NLS has implemented an exciting new vacation incentive program encouraging our employees to book that trip and clock out for consecutive days at time so you can get that rest and relaxation.

Consider yoga or a form of positive meditation. Research has shown that Yoga is effective for depressive disorders, general anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder (PD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults.

NLS Provides: A mindfulness journal to jot down thoughts and habits.

Give breathing exercises a try. These tools can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and reroute prior negative neurological pathways that lead to stress.

NLS Provides: Our health plan comes with access to a FREE app which includes these kinds of exercises and more. Employees and their family members (16 and older) can use the app.

Spend time outdoors for a change of scenery and a natural anti-depressant. Getting sun, especially first thing in the morning, increases serotonin and helps us stave off Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD.) Sun exposure can also help people with anxiety and depression, especially in combination with other treatments. Try putting a reminder on your calendar to get outside.

NLS Provides: Whether you join our walking club at the office or you work remotely, we encourage movement by continuing with competitions like our seasonal steps challenges and joining in on outdoor games when the weathers nice.

Managing stress is critical to maintaining your overall health and wellbeing, both personally and professionally. By taking care of your health, you can reduce stress levels and feel better overall. We will continue to prioritize our employees' health and wellbeing, and we encourage our people to take care of themselves both on and off the job.

*Note – the information included in this blog was provided by NLS’s internal Talent Strategies team using data from sources like stress.org and The Center for Disease Control/National Institute on Occupational Safety & Health. If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, please seek help immediately from a qualified, mental health care provider. Help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.

Wondering if you’re experiencing too much stress? Take a stress test.

Liz Cotreau is the Director of Recruitment Marketing at NLS. Personality assessments will reveal she is natural “promoter,” an impassioned extrovert, and someone who takes personality assessments maybe a little bit too seriously. Liz is skilled in Full-Cycle Recruiting, Building Interpersonal Relationships, Strategic Planning, pointing everything back to a “Friends” episode and has a special knack for pin-pointing doppelgängers. Could she BE any more talented?

As a daily practice, Liz has a recurring, 15-minute block scheduled on her calendar to “GET OUTSIDE AND MOVE” (yes, it’s in all caps). She finds this makes a significant impact on managing her stress and helps to hit the reset button on the day. She also keeps a gratitude journal, reserves time for daily stretching and starts most days blasting Beyonce while making her coffee.

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