Simply S-T-O-P to reduce stress

March 3, 2022  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

Kelcey Stratton, program manager for resilience and well-being services, shared the following article plus a simple practice for making time for rest during the day. The S-T-O-P technique is a reminder that we all need to slow down and stop at times to re-energize and reconnect.

The ever-changing professional and personal demands on our time and energy can make it difficult to find time to slow down, rest, and recover. And yet, all living things require periods of rest. 

For some, rest may mean slowing down the pace of activities and tasks, or a simple moment of pause or reflection that allows a break between demanding tasks. For others, rest and rejuvenation may be found by creating connection, offering assistance, or sharing a laugh with colleagues or loved ones. A period of rest allows us to reflect and prioritize, and to give care and attention to our essential needs.

There is no easy, one-size-fits-all solution for coping with feelings of stress or fatigue, but a few things can help. 

Find moments to pause, even if that means just a few seconds in the midst of the busyness of life. Make it a priority to give care and attention to your essential needs by finding opportunities to slow down and check in with yourself and those around you.

We can maintain community by reaching out and practicing compassion for one another. Expressing gratitude and practicing kindness toward others can result in feeling more connected and valued. Express thanks and send an encouraging word to a colleague. Check-in with your team and listen for what each person needs. This has been a difficult couple of years, and many are holding worry, grief, exhaustion, and uncertainty. Practice patience and gentleness in your interactions.

Mindfulness practices can help us stay focused on the present moment and meet difficult moments with insight and flexibility. Practice letting go of expectations and be kind to yourself. When you have moments for rest or positive experiences, refocus on savoring and appreciating the moment as it is.

Learn more about mental and emotional health support available to you as a member of our faculty and staff community. 

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