No matter how good your project management skills and how much real-world experience, you will still get stressed in this profession. Project managers tend to be passionate, driven, motivated and focused. The problem is, that makes a PM much more likely to literally work themselves into the ground. This is never going to be beneficial. For the PM they may experience:
●Appetite issues (overeating, undereating)
●Emotional issues - feeling upset, angry, irritable - generally overly emotional
●Issues with personal life - not having the time or energy to see loved ones, not feeling able to enjoy time with loved ones
●Issues at work - not performing well, feeling unable to cope
The organization will also find they notice the person's abilities decrease, although sometimes a person is putting a great front on the outside when they crumble inside. That being said - nobody can keep that up forever.
Of course, in addition to providing a break from the stressful routine project management courses also offer general advice on minimizing stress, such as using delegation, planning and preparing. The problem is, these aren't going to help provide a balanced lifestyle, only the odd temporary relief from a hectic one. Combining our PM career with wellness is the solution to managing stress.
Here are some ways to include wellness in your career as a project manager:
Grabbing a processed, high-calorie pastry or wilting sandwich whenever you remember to eat, will not do anything for your brain. You stuffed years of project management training in there, it deserves better nourishment! Get yourself into a habit of eating and drinking high nutrient food whenever you do eat and drink. That way, even if you're forgetting to eat normally, when you do eat or drink your body is getting maximum benefits. Consider fresh juices (green juices and cold pressed juices, not the type you get in the supermarket), fresh smoothies, whole fruit and vegetables, salads and raw high energy mixes. Raw bliss balls take two minutes to make in the blender and it is minimum effort to keep them in a tub in the fridge and take a few to work every day. Try to also drink tons of water - a lack of water can cause fatigue, headaches and a lack of energy.
Yoga is a fabulous way to massage yourself. Sound strange, but a great yoga session feels like you have had a deep tissue massage, and you can do it anywhere. There are videos for seated yoga, and there are plenty of online videos of yoga classes you can follow at home. Just half an hour before eating or before bed, or even half an hour in the morning. You stretch out all that stress, all whilst gaining strength and taking half an hour out just for you.
Meditation is fabulous for stress management. It is a way to let all the worries wilt away, even if just for ten minutes a day. Try using an app for guided meditation when you get started.
Aromatherapy is a great way to add an extra element to your wellness, just by using smell. Use vibrant oils like peppermint on a piece of material in your bag, and give yourself a waft when you need more energy. Use reeds with relaxing scents like lavender and cedarwood in the home or even in your office. You never know, these scents could even calm your team down as well!
Remember, a well rested, healthy, relaxed PM is a superhero, because they not only have all the project management training, experience and passion a PM has, but the means to use and project those skills for success.