10 Minute Read

So, You Had A Bad Day: Strategies for Managing Workplace Stress from RBM

At Red Branch Media, one of our daily exercises includes meeting up with the entire “branch” at 9:30 CT. The meeting may look a little different to Shawn, who is checking in from Dijon, France, around 4:30 PM his time, for Cass, logging on from sun-soaked California at about 7:30 AM her time, and for Jake, who will breeze in between visits to Central Park at about 10:30 AM his time.

But, no matter what (sick days, PTO notwithstanding), this 9:30 AM date is on the books and is one thing you can really count on to base your day around. Not only do we get to sync up with our teams and establish expectations for what needs to be accomplished that day, but we also go around and answer a question of the day.

What’s your go-to method of stress management in the modern workplace? For us at Red Branch, a lot of laundry seems to get done on super stressful days. Check out some more strategies Branchers use to keep their cool: Click To Tweet

Depending on the mood of whoever is picking our question for the day, we’ve tackled dozens of topics with these questions spanning from “What celebrity would you cast as yourself if a movie was made about your life?” all the way to “When did you stop believing in Santa Claus?”

(My answers? Florence Pugh and age 9, respectively.)

One day in late November, the question that was brought up and started many subconversations was:

How do you make challenging workdays a bit better? 

And, boy, did the Branch deliver.

“When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I like to put on a great song and dance it out, Grey’s Anatomy style. It clears my head and gets all those feel-good chemicals going, helping me focus better when I return to work.”

– Andrea

“I like to work in short, focused bursts of energy, so I use the Pomodoro Technique to manage my time. In between sessions, I get up and do something else to let my brain breathe before I jump back in. Hot tea, sunshine, fresh air, and doggie snuggles make every day better.”

– Angela

“I like to go outside to get some air and also to take a smoke break.”

– Anna

“I bust out a planner and organize my tasks for the week, assign each task to a specific day and write them down in order of highest priority. Even though it takes more time out of my day, it noticeably lowers my stress level and always makes me more productive in the long run.”

– Ashlei

“I treat myself a delicious, expensive coffee to prepare myself for the day.  I also like to listen to ‘Let’s Groove’ by Earth, Wind, and Fire. It always puts me in a good mood.”

– Caitlin

“I treat myself by alternating drinks every hour. I will switch between coffee, tea, flavored water, energy drinks, and normal water to distract myself from getting too overwhelmed.”

– Carissa

“I work on my different tasks for the day in 30-minute increments each so that I can perform to the best of my ability while preventing project burnout. I’ve also been listening to smooth jazz, which provides a blank space to help me focus.”

– Cassandra

“I try to over-prepare, create a notes doc, create an outline for whatever I’m working on or helping someone work on. I also like schedule-blocking to help me be more productive and tackle large projects piece by piece.”

– Eric

At Red Branch, we manage stress by blasting music, going on “hot-girl walks,” and taking some time to include mindfulness in our days. Find out more in our latest blog: Click To Tweet

“I blare music, and lately, it’s been the new Taylor Swift album. I then make my lists and have coffee.”

– Hailey

“A mid-day shower always helps rejuvenate me and get the creative juices flowing. I also love to take a ‘hot-girl walk’ to get some fresh air and a change of scenery! My fail-safe is to put on Friends in the background; something that I’ve seen enough times where the plot isn’t distracting, but the background noise can help to provide some levity to the stress of work.”

– Jake

Want to go on an RBM-Esque hot-girl walk of your own? Get your walkin’ shoes laced up and queue up RBM’s One-Hit Wonders playlist.

“What I’m listening to heavily impacts it, basically the stuff in the background of Studio Ghibli films; it helps with my stress levels. Or I grab a snack. Eating always helps my mood!”

– January

“I treat myself to a big ol’ coffee. To focus, I’ll put on orchestral cello music or techno. There is no in-between.”

– Jeremy

“I like to take a break and do non-related work tasks, like do a load of laundry or unload the dishwasher. If I need an instant hit of dopamine, I listen to Japanese music or music without lyrics.”

– Kristine

“I like to listen to my screamo/emo/metal music to get tasks done fast and optimally. I also like to use my 20-minute break as a ‘screen break’ to step away from all screens to rest my eyes and possibly do a workout or house chore.”

– Kyle

“I have a yoga wakeup app to take 5 minutes and 10 minutes to calm down.”

– Lindsay

“I love looking forward to something I’ve made, like chicken wild rice soup for lunch. I also have a playlist, ‘Getting Dropped Off at Preschool,’  it’s an early 00’s playlist full of familiar faves I can put on in the background.”

– Natalie

“I live in a state of denial. I eat the same lunch, do the same things, listen to my “Chicken Soup for the Soul” playlist on Spotify (soul music from the 60s).”

– Nick

“I plan to use my 20-minute break for whatever I need that day, whether it be going for a walk outside or simply relaxing. I’m looking forward to working on the rooftop to de-stress when the weather is nice again!”

– Olivia

“Brew a cup of coffee, take a couple of deep breaths, put on some lo-fi beats, and get to work.”

– Shawn

“I make sure to make my bed in the morning because I need to start the day with a win! I also like to sprinkle in a lot of small tasks to cross off throughout the day, so I can continually feel successful and motivated. When all else fails, my vice is fountain Diet Mountain Dew!”

– Terri

“I watch something unimportant or light-hearted on TV while having a snack or lunch. I go on a walk or go out back on the patio and let my cats get some fresh air too. I will also do some chores like laundry.”

– Zuny

No matter how you cope with stress, simply talking about it is a huge step toward destigmatizing workplace stress. Being among coworkers who share strategies on different ways to manage it helps us acknowledge that we’re all in the same boat. Plus, it can add extra helpful tools we never thought about using (cough, hot girl walk, cough) into our wellness arsenal.

Learn more about RBM’s company culture by checking out our blog and following us on socials, where you’ll be sure to see things like Brancher Battles (of the best Christmas Cookies) or some of our frequently updated playlists.