Stress and Work-Life Balance Voices of the Staff Leadership Conference May 22, 2007 Peggy Sheagren, Michigan Healthy Community
Why is stress so pervasive? • Job burnout experienced by 25-40% of US workers is blamed on stress • Depression, only one type of stress reaction, is predicted to be the leading occupational disease of the 21st century, responsible for more days lost than any other single factor • $7,500 per employee is spent annually in the U.S. on stress-related compensation claims, reduced productivity, absenteeism, health insurance costs, direct medical expenses (nearly 50% higher for workers who report stress) and employee turnover • The leading six causes of death in the U.S. are linked to stress: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide • Also linked to stress: immune response and deficiency, obesity, memory loss, lowered motivation, impaired decision making, degraded problem solving, decreased prosocial behavior such as helping others
Because we can’t handle it all… Current consensus on the definition of stress: Stress is a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize
To gain better balance, we can: Increase supply: Of personal and social resources Reduce demand: The number of demands placed upon us
The Economics of Life Balance • Demands on our time • Work demands • Family demands • School • Social obligations • Traffic • Etc… • Supply of Resources • Time management • Delegation • Relaxation techniques • Social Support • Exercise/eating well • Going to bed earlier • Etc… Optimal Balance
Asking the tough questions in order to protect and preserve our life • What do you value most? • Do the demands being placed on you currently reflect your innermost values?
A Few Words About Supplyand fostering resiliency • Good nutrition • Good sleep • Exercise • Social support • Spiritual support • Intellectual stimulation • LAUGHTER!
How do these ideas apply to your work culture? • Some comments from fellow UM employees on work-life balance • Flexibility is key • Lead by example
Read more about it! • “The Four Agreements”, Don Miguel Ruiz, Amber-Allen Publishing • “Changing for Good”, James Prochaska et. al., Avon Books • “The Question of Happiness”, Tal Ben-Shahar, iUniverse • “Lessons in Living”, Susan Taylor, Anchor Books • “Appreciative Inquiry”, David Cooperrider et. al., Stipes Publishing • “A Pretty Good Person”, Lewis Smedes, HarperSanFrancisco • “How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work”. Kegan and Lahey, Jossey-Bass
Parting Words… • In the bigger picture, life balance is all about connecting our minds and hearts with the belief that we are living the life we were meant to live • If you were to write a book about your life legacy today, what would the title be, and is it the title you would want? • A personal story • Anyway
Thank You! Peggy Sheagren, M.P.H., M.B.A. Project Manager, Michigan Healthy Community firstname.lastname@example.org