Thrive at Work: 7 Powerful Self-Care Techniques for Stress Management 

Guest Blog by Tricia Maitland 

Wouldn’t it be amazing if work felt less stressful?  

This April, Stress Awareness Month, let’s explore ways to create a calmer, more positive work environment. 

Before becoming a Hypnotherapist, I worked in the corporate world for 20 years in human resources. And this is something I came to believe as I observed a wide range of leaders and managers go about their days, attempting to motivate their teams, ‘fighting fires’, or dealing with pressures whilst not allowing them to filter down to their team members. 

And that belief is, leaders and managers play a key role in a company’s success. In fact, research shows that having effective leaders and managers is one of the most, if not the most important factor in a team member’s success in the workplace. 

Why Self-care is Important 

Now I’ve become a Clinical Hypnotherapist, and helped hundreds of people deal with stress and anxiety, I’ve seen firsthand what happens when people don’t manage their stress and then have to deal with the consequences. 

Because the thing is, some people think self-care is selfish, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. The way I like to think about it is, that you should be helping others from your energy overflow, not dipping into your reserves. Because those reserves will eventually run out!  

Here are 7 powerful Self-Care Techniques to help leaders and managers handle stress in the workplace

  1. Prioritise sleep. 

I can’t emphasise this one enough. Sleep is where the body repairs and replenishes, so we can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to face the day. The part of sleep when we dream is similar to an unconscious therapy session. Because in that state, your mind is processing events from your day to find answers, gain clarity, and remove the worry from your mind. 

Actions like establishing a consistent bedtime routine, not drinking alcohol at least 3 hours before bed, not drinking caffeine after lunch, minimising screen time and stimulation in the hour before bed, and especially not taking your phone to bed can all help. 

  1. Practise meditation the easy way. 

When most people think of meditation, they imagine sitting cross-legged somewhere and softly chanting “OM” while trying not to think of anything. Instead, what if I told you it was as easy as popping on a recording, and then drifting off to sleep to it?  

Well, this is exactly what I get my clients to do, and it works! And clients who listen to one of my hypnotic relaxation tracks every day get better more quickly than clients who don’t. Because it positively influences your brainwave patterns, you can start emptying your stress, and get into the intelligent solution-focused part of your mind. This, of course, will make you feel better and more in control. 

I’ve included a link to one of mine at the bottom of the page, but you could also try Calm or Headspace, which offers a variety of meditations to listen to. 

  1. Make time for physical activity. 

I know when you’re busy, it can be so easy to blow off exercise, telling yourself you’ll do it another day. But exercise doesn’t only have physical benefits, it has many mental health benefits. It helps to produce positive neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which make us feel happier and more capable of dealing with whatever life throws at us. 

Exercise can make us smarter! This will help you perform well at work. If you want to learn more about this, I highly recommend the book Spark by John Ratey. 

Whether it’s a walk at lunch, or half-hour gym session, or online yoga, finding ways to incorporate physical activity into your day will be extremely beneficial on multiple levels. 

  1. Connect with others. 

Humans are social creatures, and when we’re with people we like, we get a boost in positive neurotransmitters. So, ensure you’re getting those positive interactions, through hobbies, social groups, meeting up with friends, having lunch with colleagues, or attending exercise classes. It can make a significant difference. 

  1. Set clear boundaries. 

When people’s boundaries blur, and they keep saying yes to things and take on too many responsibilities, it can lead to overwhelm and inability to cope. 

Practising saying ‘no’, setting specific work hours, unplugging from work, or delegating (where possible), is really important. Your time will be taken if you allow it to be, so treasure it, and know that life is a marathon, not a sprint. Setting boundaries now will benefit you greatly in the long run. 

  1. Practise gratitude. 

This may sound a little woo-woo, but research backs up the effectiveness of practising gratitude. The Emmons Institute, which has conducted extensive research on this topic, has found that people who practice gratitude regularly felt happier, exercised more regularly, had stronger immune systems, felt better about their lives, and worked harder to achieve their goals. Which is amazing, don’t you think? 

And it doesn’t have to be daily, even weekly gets results. A great way is to ask yourself questions like “What’s been good in my day?” “What challenges have I overcome?” What am I proud of achieving?” or “What am I looking forward to?” and then write down a list of answers. So, take a few minutes out of your day, and give it a try; you might be surprised! 

  1. Seek support. 

Speak up if you’re struggling. Or even if you just want someone to talk to. I see what happens when people hold stress and worries inside for a long time, so finding ways to seek support when you need it is important. 

Whether it’s a colleague, mentor, coach, or your work’s Counselling service, or someone like me, it can help you to gain clarity, and tap into the powerful part of your brain that can more easily come up with solutions and find answers to problems.  

Why not start trying one of these self-care techniques today, and see what a positive difference it can make? 

If you would like one of my guided hypnotic relaxation tracks, join my mailing list through this link here. And if you would like to find out how hypnotherapy could help you, please get in touch! You’ll find my contact details on my website

This guest blog has been written by Tricia Maitland, HPD, DSFH, AfSFH, CNHC (Reg), a highly experienced and qualified Solution Focused Hypnotherapist and Coach, who holds the “Gold Standard” qualification in the UK for hypnotherapy – 
The Hypnotherapy Practitioners Diploma (HPD). Learn more about how her bespoke hypnotherapy and coaching have helped hundreds of clients work through their issues, achieve their goals, and improve their lives, particularly in the areas of anxiety, confidence, motivation, and sleep on her website. 

You can also watch my interview with Tricia Maitland on my Mental Health Chats YouTube, about “Why People Get Anxious”. Like and subscribe to my YouTube channel for more tips and topics on workplace mental health and emotional fitness.