Stress is an unavoidable part of our daily lives. Its causes and manifestations differ from one person to the next. But no matter how insignificant you think its effects are, it’s important to address them before they worsen.
In the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, some of the common stressors are:
• long working hours,
• shifting schedules,
• massive volumes of tasks,
• the repetitive nature of customer service work, and
• the pressure to perform well.
In addition, call center agents often deal with a good number of irate customers. While trying to appease clients, agents also need to keep their level-headedness in check to effectively handle complaints or conflicts. Apart from this, their body clocks are often disrupted just so they can follow the time zones of global clients.
When stress isn’t dealt with properly, it can affect your physical and mental well-being, job performance, and personal relationships. Check out these five stress management tips to stay healthy and productive.
1. Practice breathing and grounding exercises.
When things start to overwhelm you, take the time to step back and breathe. Sometimes, all it takes is a breath of fresh air to clear your head. You can try this simple breathing exercise, called 4-7-8 breathing, which you can do right from your office desk.
Grounding exercises, on the other hand, are used mostly to address anxiety and panic attacks, helping bring you back to the here and now. This way, you can recover your mental focus and steady your emotional state.
2. Don’t forget to play.
As you age, you can overlook the importance of having fun. When adulthood and responsibilities start to take priority, you may think that play is no longer necessary or is reserved only for children.
However, play in adulthood can take on different forms, most of them simple ones—walks in the park, leisurely trips, art shows, and more. Your idea of fun need not be grand or expensive. What matters most is that you find time to do the things you enjoy, as this is essential for your well-being.
3. Leave work at the office.
This could be tricky. Working in the field of customer service means you often have to face long work days, and thus, you might sometimes end up carrying your tasks and your stress with you at home.
On such occasions, remember that even bad and stressful days come to an end so you can start to relax. Overthinking your responsibilities at work can negatively impact your health, well-being, and personal relationships in more ways than you care to admit.
4. Be social.
Most of the time, it helps when you spend time with your friends and family. Unwinding with them may bring you positive feelings and help you cope with the negative ones. Having a few laughs with your loved ones can be a very powerful means of addressing life’s stressors.
5. Look after your body.
Between erratic call center schedules and body clock shifts, try to keep a balanced diet and get enough sleep. Although these may be difficult to achieve, keep in mind that the more you waste away your body, the harder it will be to repair.
Also, incorporate exercise into your lifestyle. Aside from the its physiological benefits, being physically active triggers the release of endorphins, hormones that create feelings of happiness.
Stress is unavoidable, especially for customer service agents who work long hours and unpredictable schedules. The stress management tips above would help you combat its negative impacts and allow you to achieve work–life balance.