It seems almost silly to ask folks these days if they’re feeling stressed. Sure, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, but we’re still in the midst of a pandemic. So it’s likely that most of us are feeling stressed these days.

April is national Stress Awareness Month, so it presents a perfect opportunity to share how some Indiana tech community leaders are combatting stress personally and/or helping their teams deal with it. We hope you find some new ways of combatting stress in a positive way in your own life or with your teams using these de-stress-ing examples!

Don Brown, LifeOmic Founder and CEO

“At LifeOmic, we encourage our employees to take 20 minutes a day – whether at once or small 5 minute breaks- to practice mindfulness. This is not the same thing as relaxing or watching Netflix. Mindfulness quiets areas of the brain associated with mind wandering, anxiety and negative thought loops. It may even lower blood pressure and levels of inflammation in your body. There is power in just turning off all the tech around us and focusing inward for a bit. We even created a fun course on ‘What is Mindfulness’ to help others learn more and incorporated it into our corporate wellness program as a tool for preventing chronic diseases.”

Sherry Slick, CIO Marathon Health

Managing a health tech company through a merger, global pandemic and combining two tech stacks has left little personal time for Sherry. To unwind, she’s thrown herself into her one of her personal passions – DIY. “I’ve been designing a new master closet, master bath and bedroom and recently started a blog. It’s been an awesome creative escape for me,” she said, adding that she’s also adopted healthier eating habits and invested in a Hydro rower. “I’m down 11 pounds and feel great!”

William Birdsong, DocuMentor Founder & CEO

Starting a technology company and growing through a global pandemic comes with a unique type of stress. Through participating in multiple accelerator programs and trying to grow our business nationally, I have found a few things helpful to keep the stress at bay. Daily physical activity for 30 mins minimum. This could include walking, weight lifting or intense aerobic activity. I also find it helpful to connect with a therapist, or someone you can talk to honestly about your struggles. These things have helped me find physical and mental balance needed to thrive against any adversity.”

Nick Tippemann, Greenlight Guru VP of Marketing

“Working for a high growth tech company can be stressful on its own. Add COVID and other world events on top of it and there’s no doubt everyone on our team has dealt with a fair amount of stress in the last year. Here at Greenlight Guru, we have the benefit of having a mindset coach who works with our teams on strategies and tactics to combat stress and keep a positive mindset. Some of my personal favorites that I practice are mindful breathing, mediation, gratitude and as-if journaling. All of these tactics help keep you out of fight or flight, reduce stress, and help you stay in a state of abundance. The key though is that you must consistently practice! As our mindset coach, Kevin Bailey, CEO and founder of DreamFuel likes to say, ‘working on your mindset is no different than working on your physical fitness at the gym.’ You need to continually practice these mindset techniques to build the positive neural networks in your brain. If you start slacking, expect your mindset and those neural networks to deteriorate. No different than if you quit at the gym, you’d expect those muscle fibers you’ve built to start to deteriorate, and you’d get physically weaker. Consistency is the key!”

 Kip Zurcher, Authenticx COO

“Back-to-back video calls have made my schedule seem even busier than pre-pandemic levels. I intentionally schedule most meetings to be 25 or 45 minutes instead of 30 or 60 minutes. The extra 5-15 minutes gives enough time to stand up and step away from the computer. For high-engagement meetings, I try to have a “warm-up” for a few minutes to allow for normal human connections that were a lot easier when the team was in one physical space.  Starting with a trivia question or an open response prompt offers a little moment of humanity that brings the group together and de-escalates some stress.”

How do you deal with stress? Share with us via social media @TechPointInd and help your fellow techie out. We’re in this together, friends!