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Stress Management for Stressful Times

Sue FirthMembers from experiential business learning group Academy Group 32 enjoyed a very timely and useful session on Stress Management with Sue Firth in November. In these times of great business uncertainty and insecurity (not say “fear”) our organisations and the people within them are under elevated levels of stress: this was certainly true of the 11 Chief Executives in the room with Sue!

We learned 3 major signs to watch out for in ourselves and the people who work for us:

  1. Sleeplessness, or an inability to switch-off (symptom of excess adrenaline in the body);
  2. Digestion problems or loss of appetite (also a sign of excess adrenaline);
  3. Stiff or painful neck/shoulders (indicating that our adrenaline reserves are used up and we are flooded with cortisol, which has a similar but even more aggressive effect upon our bodies/systems and causes the muscular pain).

These are the top 5 tips that I took away from Sue to deal with stress:

  1. Build exercise into your routine (even light exercise helps use up the excess adrenaline). Works even better if taken outdoors during the daytime – see 4 below;
  2. Build “me time” into the day (watching the news in the evening does not count!!);
  3. Physical human contact is good: a massage is great for dealing with the cortisol;
  4. Get plenty of sunlight (this builds up your serotonin which promotes feelings of happiness and positivity). If you spend much of time indoors, get a daylight lamp to give yourself a 15 minute blast each day;
  5. Seek professional help if you are struggling to easily deal with the stress on your own.

Peter PritchettTo find out more about Sue Firth, visit her website at

Peter Pritchett,
Chairman Academy Group 32

The Academy for Chief Executives, a leading provider of experiential business learning® facilitates peer groups of CEOs and Managing Directors who meet together every month to network and take full advantage of experiential learning. To hear great speakers like this every month and engage in The Board You Could Never Afford®, or to find a local group near you, visit

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