Working the long hours of a contact center job can often be stressful, especially when people are constantly calling you to solve their problems. This stress can grow exponentially when the calls keep coming in without any time to relax and take a breather. Here are several tips that contact center team members can use before, during and after a tough day to ensure they keep coming back.
Get Enough Sleep
This may seem like a basic idea, but you might be surprised at the number of Americans who don’t get enough sleep every night. Lack of sleep causes your brain to work more slowly and makes seemingly simple tasks harder then they should be. If you do stay up late the night before work and are struggling through the day, stay away from sugar and caffeine―instead stay hydrated. Sugar and caffeine may seem like a quick fix, but will actually cause you to crash and feel more tired a couple of hours later. Drinking a tall glass of water instead will make you feel more calm and alert for hours to come.
Take Your Vitamins
We all remember the days that our mom or dad would make us take our vitamins and eat our green vegetables to “grow up big and strong,” but making sure that you get those vitamins and vegetables is just as important now as an adult as well. While you’re not still growing in inches, our bodies continue to replicate and grow cells and need the vitamins to do it. The lack of vitamins and protein will not only slow down these processes and make you feel more sluggish, but will also increase your susceptibility to losing your temper over minor situations in the contact center.
Skip the Talk, Take a Walk
After a tough situation, it’s easy to use your lunch break eating with your contact center coworkers and re-hashing every detail, but that will only lead to more stress. Eat a quick lunch and then spend the rest of your lunch break on a walk. Exercise helps control anxiety and increases oxygen flow to your brain to get rid of stress, whereas dwelling on the situation only increases stress.
Focus on Positive Words
In high-stress conversations, words are often said that could negatively influence your psyche and, in turn, could easily inject stress into an otherwise normal day. Find a couple of quotes that motivate you and put them on a sticky note next to your computer, or stick one on your monitor. That way when you feel like you’re about to burst, you can look up and find inspiration again. Here are a few suggestions: “A mind at peace, a mind centered and not focused on harming others, is stronger than any physical force in the universe.” (Wayne Dyer) “One important reason to stay calm is that calm people hear more. Low-key accepting people are the ones who keep people talking.” (Mary Pipher)
Don’t Forget to Breathe
This doesn’t just mean a quick breath. It means closing your eyes, breathing deeply, holding it for three seconds, and then letting it out. If you still feel stressed, do it again. The first time you try this, you may feel silly, or be convinced you won’t feel any better. However, you will be surprised when you begin to feel calmer right away. Just as exercising increases oxygen flow to the brain and decreases stress, so does taking a deep breath.
In fact, you may be feeling calmer already. If not, all of these tips are easily repeatable and will continue to have an effect no matter how many times you do them. If all else fails, remember this: It’s not the end of the world. Just pick yourself up and keep working. That’s what separates the great.