Conall

Stress & Wellbeing

By Madison Hanscom, PhD Most of us know what it feels like to grind for 8 hours at work and feel drained at the end of the day. Micro-breaks are a way to keep us feeling refreshed throughout the day and avoid feeling exhausted later. There are several types of work breaks that vary in length. There are vacations, weekends, the period of time between work shifts (the evening for most people), the lunch break, and then those little breaks we take during the workday, usually in between tasks. Those small, informal breaks during the workday are what researchers call “micro-breaks”. Depending

READ MORE

By Madison Hanscom, PhD It is common to assume that executives, CEOs, and highly successful entrepreneurs just ‘have it all’, but many of these individuals are silently suffering. Executives can have a lot on their plate. They might feel responsible for the ups and downs of employees. They might work long hours and feel pressure to make the company more successful. They also can feel very isolated, like they can’t be vulnerable without looking weak. Despite having a great deal of weight on their shoulders, it is important that leaders are doing well both psychologically and physically. When executives are doing well,

READ MORE

By Madison Hanscom, PhD Virtual work is becoming a part of everyday life for many individuals. What does the research have to say about how it impacts our well-being? Working from home is associated with… • More positive emotions and lower degrees of negative emotions (1,2) • A reduction in work stress (3) • Less emotional exhaustion (4,2) • More physical activity (5) • Less work-family conflict (6) • Increased feelings of autonomy (7) • Job satisfaction (8) Is there a dark side of flex work on our well-being? People are social animals and have better well-being when they feel supported. Many individuals fear they will be socially isolated when

READ MORE

By Madison Hanscom, PhD Researchers collected data from over a thousand adults in US to get a sense of what factors were associated with an individual having greater psychological resilience during the first few weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown (Kilgore, Taylor, Cloonan, & Dailey, 2020). They defined resilience as the ability to withstand setbacks, adapt positively, and bounce back from adversity. Although there are a great deal of factors related to resiliency (e.g., see our blog on The researchers found the following factors to be significantly associated with greater resilience during the COVID-19 lockdown: • More days a week spent outside in the

READ MORE

By Madison Hanscom, PhD Burnout is deep and pervasive. It is marked by emotional exhaustion, physical fatigue, cynicism towards others, and depleted mental resources (1). The bad news: Burnout has negative effects on everyone. It is related to turnover, lessened productivity, counterproductive work behavior, lower motivation, and negative health outcomes (3). The side effects of burnout can last a long time. Burnout in time is associated with diseases in the long term (e.g., musculoskeletal, cardiovascular) and mental health consequences such as depression, insomnia, and anxiety (4). Helping a workforce suffering from burnout is not an easy task. The good news: Burnout does not

READ MORE

By Madison Hanscom, PhD Leaders are in a unique position where they can make positive changes that influence the lives of their employees. Consider the following strategies: • Continually take a pulse. If you don’t check in with employees regularly about their workload and experience, you won’t have any idea about stress levels. When things are overwhelming and more stressful than usual — listen and understand why. This way you can isolate the factors that cause a negative experience. When things are less stressful than usual — also understand why! Particularly in times when workload is high, but stress is low. Those

READ MORE