If you’ve been following along in our series about burnout and mental health in customer success, then you already know how to spot signs of burnout on your CS team and ways to help fight burnout as a CS leader. But even when we do everything right and create a culture of positivity and open communication within our organizations, occasional stress is inevitable – especially in a high-pressure industry like customer success. So, in this final blog in the series, we’re going to take a look at five stress management techniques to help you not only survive but thrive even during the most challenging seasons.
Top 5 Stress Management Techniques for CS Professionals
Wondering why something as simple as taking a few deep breaths is almost always on any list of stress management techniques? Because it works. There are numerous studies that show practicing deep breathing techniques can help to lower your blood pressure and slow your heart rate, calming you down. For example, imagine you’re on a call with an unhappy client. After listening to their issues and trying to facilitate a solution, you finally hang up and realize your shoulders are tensed up to your ears, your heart rate is elevated and your breathing is shallow. Take a minute, close your eyes and relax your shoulders. Inhale for a count of four, hold it for a count of four, exhale for a count of four and then hold it at the bottom for a count of four. Repeat this exercise a few times until your heart rate comes back down. This is an immediate and simple way to clear your mind and release tension before it gets out of hand.
Walk Away. Literally.
In hectic and stressful seasons, getting away from your desk may seem impossible, but it is necessary for your mental health. If you have 30 minutes to an hour, take lunch away from your desk. Grab lunch with a coworker or friend if you can, or at least eat your sandwich in the break room or your kitchen if you work from home. If eating lunch away from your desk is a luxury you can’t afford right now, then try to take a 10-minute break and walk around the block or even your office building. Stop by and chat with a coworker or listen to music while you walk. Walking away from the stress of your desk for just a few minutes can have a powerful and positive effect on your mental state.
Pump Up Your Playlist
Music can be an instant mood booster, so if your company allows it, create a playlist of your favorite songs, slip on your headphones and let the music soothe your mind. Another great option is creating playlists of your favorite podcasts. There is a podcast for just about anything right now – from inspirational speakers to business gurus and comedians to true crime. If you’re able to listen and work at the same time, try tuning out the office stress and tuning into a great playlist.
When you’re in the middle of a stressful time, it’s easy to let your desk slip into a state of chaos as well. But not being able to easily access files you need or even a pen and sticky note when you have to jot something down only adds to your overall stress. Taking a few minutes per day to straighten up your desk, clean up your email inbox, and write down your tasks, meetings and goals for the day in a planner can help to give you a sense of control and clarity during times of chaos.
During stressful periods at work, the lines between work time and free time often become blurred. This is especially true for remote workers whose office and home are the same or for people who work for large companies with coworkers and clients in different time zones. However, setting boundaries around work time and personal time is essential to your mental health. Yes, we all have to work late or on weekends occasionally, but don’t make this a habit. If your office hours end at 5:00, turn off email, Slack and Teams notifications on your phone until the next morning. Try treating your weekends like you’re on vacation. Sleep in, take a yoga class, see a movie, go to a nearby beach or pool, or simply do something that you enjoy with friends, family or all by yourself. Protect your mental health by setting boundaries around your personal time and taking full advantage of your time away from the stress of work.
Manage CS Stress with the Right Tools
Stress happens in customer success, but utilizing the right tools can help. Totango’s all-in-one CS software has everything you need to accelerate your customer success and manage your entire customer journey in one platform. Featuring out-of-the-box templates, campaigns, best practices, KPIs and more, to take the stress out of starting from scratch. And the best part? It’s free! Sign up today to start optimizing your customer engagements and driving growth.