Human Resource professionals are tasked with several duties ranging from onboarding new talent to maintaining records. However, one of the most critical functions of an HR representative is being able to address employee concerns. But what about HR professionals themselves?

Due to the broad nature of the position, HR professionals can sometimes find themselves in situations in which they themselves are burdened with high levels of stress. When one is overwhelmed and stressed, performing menial tasks can be difficult enough, let alone professional duties. 

As such, HR professionals need to have tools, techniques, and habits that ensure that they can operate at a high level — even in stressful situations. Here are some ways that HR professionals can manage high-stress work environments and perform their jobs effectively while maintaining good mental health. 

Risk Management 

Risk management is a process that HR professionals typically utilize for other employees and workplace operations. It involves detecting risks and taking precautions to ensure that these hypothetical worst-case scenarios never come to fruition. 

Though this is commonly utilized as a job duty to evaluate risks in the workplace, HR professionals can utilize this technique to manage their own stress levels. By analyzing how certain events or duties could potentially cause one to feel overwhelmed or unmanageably stressed, HR professionals can improve their mental health and avoid situations that cause them to underperform — or worse — have an outburst of some form while on the job. 

Having a Plan 

For HR professionals, the practice of having a plan in place in the case of a significant negative event is commonplace. For example, HR professionals sometimes prepare plans for public health crisis scenarios, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. 

When it comes to managing one’s own stress, HR professionals can utilize their planning skills to create a plan for when they begin to feel themselves becoming overwhelmed. As different HR professionals work in different work environments, these plans can look different for various individuals. For example, an HR professional may request time off when feeling overly stressed, or simply take lunch in a garden or some other relaxing setting. 

maintaining good mental health
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Finding a Mental Health Resource 

For any employee who works at an organization, HR representatives are the professionals that one goes to as a mental health resource. Which begs the question, who do HR representatives go to when they struggle with mental health?

As HR departments are found in a variety of fields and industries, this answer can look different for everyone. If multiple employees are working in an HR department, then one may be able to go to a colleague when in need. 

However, some may not have colleagues available as a mental health resource. Whatever the case, having a mental health resource — either within or outside of the workplace — is a vital part of maintaining good mental health and dealing with stress. 

Managing One’s Workload 

HR managers have a wide range of duties that have the potential to pile up and increase their workload. Unfortunately for HR professionals, studies have shown that a heavy workload is one of the main culprits of work-related stress.

As such, HR professionals need to be open and upfront about how much of a workload they can handle. This can be tricky for some, as some employers may not seem open to hiring more employees or lessening one’s workload. 

However, HR professionals typically have the soft skills to be able to communicate effectively and get their point across. This being the case, HR professionals must speak up when their workload becomes too heavy and it is beginning to cause high levels of stress. 

Cultivating a Habit of Mindfulness 

Though mindfulness can sound like a pseudo-scientific buzzword to some, it is a habit that has the potential to allow one to be more present, and as a result, reduce the experience and effects of stress. With the broad range of duties that HR professionals are tasked with handling on a day-to-day basis, mindfulness can act as a potent antidote to the problem of HR-related stress. 

When one has a large number of tasks to accomplish, it can feel overwhelming and cause one’s mind to race. As a result, one’s performance may suffer. Mindfulness has the power to allow HR professionals to take moments throughout the day to become present and alleviate some of the symptoms of their stress. The more one practices mindfulness, the more effective it can become at reducing work-related stress and allowing one to find respite amid a busy schedule. 

Making Work More Manageable 

HR professionals have been found to have some of the most stressful jobs of any professionals. As a result of having heavy workloads and a wide range of duties, HR professionals can easily find themselves in high-stress situations that could affect their ability to perform tasks. Given this possibility of stress, HR professionals need to be aware of ways to manage their stress in ways that help them perform to the best of their abilities. Fostering techniques and strategies to manage stress can ultimately help HR professionals improve their mental health and prevent burnout in the workplace.