• Nikki Trotter, MS, M.A., SHRM-CP, ACC

Keep Calm! Stress Is Contagious!

Updated: Jul 13


Stress is not your enemy. It’s how you respond to it.

One of the top issues that I work with my coaching clients on is time management. Their struggle with managing their time effectively has led them to be overwhelmed, and often feeling like they are out of gas and running on nothing but fumes! But being mentally and physically spent and depleted doesn’t just affect them as leaders, it also has a major effect on their employees as well. In a recent survey, 30% of individuals stated that they have experienced “second-hand” stress and increased cortisol levels. What this means is that stress is 100% CONTAGIOUS! So, as a leader, when you are stressed, your team is STRESSED OUT, when you are burned, your team is BURNED OUT and when you are maxed, your team is probably MAXED OUT as well. But you can be just as contagious on the other side of the spectrum by creating healthy work habits for yourself that will also have a positive effect on you and your team! In fact, 20% of individuals experience an increase in wellbeing when their leader and colleagues have healthy habits. Here are some healthy habits reminders that you can do:

  • Take your lunch and your breaks AWAY from your desk!

  • Set aside 5-10 minutes of #MINDFULNESS (Calm is a great app).

  • Block OUT focus time on your calendar. If you use #Microsoft, #Cortana is amazing!

  • Take a midday nap (20-30 minutes) to reset and revive yourself! Studies show that it can boost memory, improve job #performance, lift your mood, make you more alert, and ease stress (WebMD).

  • Dedicate at least 1-3 hours a week to your own personal #development (DID SOMEBODY SAY, LEADERSHIP COACHING? I KNOW AN AWESOME COACH NAME NIKKI:)! We spend so much time taking care of our teams' development that we often neglect our own.

  • Get an #accountability partner to check in on you and hold you accountable for violating your unhealthy habits.

  • Have crucial wellness conversations with your team on a weekly basis. Ask your team what can be done to identify stressors for you and for them, and discuss how you all can work together to reduce them.

Because, if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of your #team. So, what other kind of creative and healthy work habits can you create for yourself as a leader? I would love to hear your thoughts.


Nikki Trotter is the Founder and CEO of IO, LLC., a transformational coaching company. I specialize in coaching professional women in leadership from the front line to the C-Suite. I help my clients master the art of resilient leadership to take control of their careers with courage, clarity, and confidence.





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