HOW OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY CAN SUPPORT YOU IN STRESS MANAGEMENT

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

It is ok to be surrounded by scattered piles of files but do not let that become the state of your mind.

The Occupational Stressors:

Stress can develop from various sources in a work environment - role ambiguity, schedule, lack of support, job insecurity, organizational politics, work overload/underload. These stressors may exert a negative impact on your performance, satisfaction, behaviour and commitment.


The present situation of Covid-19 has added to these stressors. In a survey conducted by John Elfein (2020) in countries including the US, UK, Australia, Singapore, Germany and France, almost 67% of workers indicated higher levels of stress since the outbreak of Covid-19. There has been a drastic change in working styles and environment. There is increased stress due to career transition, unemployment, working from home, invisible working hours, or working full time and being concerned about catching the virus.



Occupational Therapy for stress management:

How seeking professional assistance can improve your mental wellbeing and support in preventing/managing work stress.

“Occupational therapy is a profession concerned with improving well-being for persons of all ages through enabling occupations to promote health and participation in society. Occupational therapists do this by supporting persons’ engagement in occupations and activities that they want, need and choose to do in everyday life. Occupational therapists explore new ways of doing things by adapting activities and physical and social environments to improve function, capacity and participation.” - OT-EU Occupational Therapy Europe, n.d.

Five reasons why occupational therapy is necessary for work stress management

  1. Professional stress management techniques. - Occupational therapy may include interventions such as mindfulness, relaxation, meditation and lifestyle management. Through these interventions, you can develop adaptive techniques to both prevent and regulate stress.

  2. Prevention of burnouts - Repeated exposure to stress can lead to burnout. It can include physical, emotional and attitudinal exhaustion. Burnouts can be prevented through energy conservation training.

  3. Avoid self-defeating talk - In the face of stress, you might get stuck in the loop of negative self-talk. Constantly reminding yourself of your failures and weaknesses. You might start to catastrophize how terrible it will be to be unsuccessful at the task at hand. This awfulizing thought pattern increases the levels of stress leading to poor performance. An occupational therapist can assist you in recognizing such irrational thought patterns and modifying them.

  4. Work-life balance - An imbalance between personnel and personal life can act as a stressor. This stress can disrupt both relationships and work. Learning to acquire this equilibrium can make you feel in control and at peace.

  5. Reduction in tension arousal - Through cognitive restructuring, you can learn to react differently to anxiety-inducing situations. You will learn how to modulate your behaviour and interrupt the ever-rising tension chain accompanied by stress.


Occupational therapy can be conducted individually or in groups. ManoShala provides various therapies based on individual interests, these include mindfulness, mandala, music and movement therapies. You can also find counselling and clinical consulting for specific issues such as career stress, de-addiction, family/relationships, anxiety, depression, OCD or anger management.


By

Muskan Gupta, Psychologist, Manoshala