A lot of people I talk to are dealing with stress. Long-term stress is unhealthy, of course, and thinking about that may stress you even more – but never fear, the Captain’s here! Let’s discuss stress management and how your benefit accounts can help.
Cleveland Clinic defines stress as a normal human reaction consisting of physical and mental responses to changes or challenges. These responses help us stay positive, alert, motivated, and ready to avoid danger.
Still, when they are always “on,” without relief or relaxation, these natural protections can lead to physical and mental health issues like:
Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report shares that employee stress is higher than ever. Employees are demanding more mental health support, and employers are responding with more creative benefits. But changing your work habits is the first place to start. The Harvard Business Review (HBR) reports the following tips:
While stressors are inevitable, you can help minimize your response. For example, taking good care of yourself, learning to say no to new responsibilities, and stress-releasing activities are all helpful. However, when prevention efforts fail, more help may be needed.
In addition to the work-specific suggestions above, here are some ways to relieve stress from the Mayo Clinic – many of which can be paid for with your benefit accounts.
If you’ve tried different strategies but need more help, therapy may be an effective next step. Your company may offer an Employee Assistance Program covering short-term assistance, or your group health plan may provide benefits for professional counseling. Whether or not these plans offer assistance with therapy expenses, any amounts they don’t cover are likely eligible for FSA and HSA funds,.
Be good to yourself – mind and body – and learn about the ways in which your benefit accounts can help you do just that.