• Cyril McAree

Festive Stress Management Tips For Hospitality Professionals By Clayton Hotels

The Hospitality Industry is known for being busy and demanding but, for most of us, the good outweighs the bad when it comes to working in hotels and restaurants. However as we get closer to the festive season, an extremely busy time, the pressure can turn into stress.

What is stress?

The Stress Management Society define stress as your body’s way of reacting to a lot of pressure. Your body releases chemicals into your blood that give you more energy and strength. This is a good thing if the threat is physical, as it allows you to get out of a dangerous situation quickly. The difficulty is, our bodies cannot tell the difference between physical danger and emotional pressure. We react the same way, so too much to do at work can have us unable to think clearly and feeling like we want to run away.

As busy hospitality professionals, we need to find ways to alleviate the physical symptoms of stress in the moment, because we usually don’t have much time:

  1. Stretch

As our primary response to stress is physical, stretching or progressive muscle relaxation can help refocus. There are lots of easy exercises you can do while sitting at a desk, in a back room or in a bathroom if you are feeling overwhelmed.

  1. Short walk or exercise

We asked Deputy Sales and Marketing Manager at Clayton Hotel Leopardstown, Lauren Flynn for her tip for beating stress in the moment, “if you can get out even for a short walk in the grounds of your premises it is likely to help.” This is firstly because it helps your body deal with the excess stress chemicals, and secondly a change of scenery can help you prioritise the tasks you have to complete. Even better again, visit the fitness suite or gym to really get your heart pumping.

  1. Use your senses

The 5-4-3-2-1 coping technique is a fantastic way to bring your mind away from stressful thoughts and back to the present moment. It’s simple too, all you have to do is acknowledge: 5 things you see: could be a mug in front of you, signage in the lobby, an armchair or a book on a shelf.

4 things you can touch: maybe a desk in front of you, a couch in the lobby, the frame of a picture. 3 things you can hear: prep from the kitchen, phones ringing or people using the lift. 2 things you can smell: could be herbal tea or coffee.

1 thing you can taste: could be gum you are chewing or a sweet from the welcome jar. Going through this process in your mind doesn’t take much time and helps your brain relax and refocus on the task at hand

  1. Breathe deeply - another symptom of stress is shallow breathing. We do this to get more oxygen into our system if we are in physical danger. If the threat is not physical than breathing deeply can help you relax and refocus.

  2. Go somewhere quiet. If something particularly stressful has happened, take a few minutes to yourself. There is likely to be somewhere in your premises where you can have a short break, a library room, quiet corner or outside area where you can spend two minutes and complete some of the ideas above to help alleviate the pressure you are feeling.

Finally, a small amount of stress has been found to be a good thing. It keeps us sharp and on our toes. However, if it ever feels too much, speak to a trusted colleague or your manager. Stress, if left unchecked, can have a serious impact on your long-term health and wellbeing. Everyone wins if you are feeling busy but happy while you are at work.

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