In this interview discover all the useful, theoretical and practical advice given by our life & health coach Teresa Fracasso to help your employees to be well and even better!
Teresa is a co-founder of Plexus and the founder of "the path to well-being", a coaching technique that takes the client first through a workout and then coaching. She helps people to develop adequate strategies to find their balance and mental exercise. Her main idea is that our body is connected to our mind, therefore her coaching style is mainly focused on physical exercise in order to reach a mental balance and well-being. Teresa developed unique coaching techniques which led her clients to re-connect and find a deeper well-being and thus to prevent syndromes such as burnout, chronic fatigue and depression. Thanks to her rich academic and professional background she has developed effective tools to identify the different mental disorders and help her clients to feel well and happy at work.
How to make your employees happier at the workplace?
It is well known that by making employees happier, the company implicitly increases its performance and productivity.
As Teresa underlines, the work environment has changed with the pandemic. A lot of people got used to the remote formula and even preferred to stay at home. However, this work style leads to isolation which also causes more depression and social anxiety. Therefore, Teresa's main point is that more than even we need to "re-learn" to connect.
More specifically she puts forward 3 different aspects towards the path of well-being :
- Learn to re-integrate in the office (some people are happy to be back and others aren't)to offer people the tools to deal with anxiety deriving from fear of being with people again, fear of disease,
- Provide employees the possibility to balance between more home and less office or vice versa to prevent them from falling into the trap of "too much work/too little work" (overloading while in the office, underloading at home or vice versa),
- Offer new "rituals" to deal in the right way with "social closeness at home and social distance in the office and to deal with colleagues with different points of view.
What could a possible ritual look like? For example:
-Establish a morning ritual (breathing, exercise, meditation and/or a welcoming
-Establish small but achievable little break rituals,
-Define for oneself who you'd like to have a little chat with every day and ask colleagues how they're doing,
-Share your thoughts.
What should be the role of the HR according to Teresa Fracasso
The role of the HR and managers should be to communicate with the employees and to educate people not to feel guilty if they wish to invest in their mental well-being. There is still shame when it comes to admitting when we are facing severe stress.
According to Teresa, burnout often appears because of lack of adequate social support, poor self-care, and taking more at work than someone can handle.
"Prevention starts by recognizing signals before you even go into burnout"
Are you sleeping well? Are you eating healthy? Do you take part in social activities?
Where do you lose track of time? How am I feeling today, at this moment? The more we start to ask ourselves these questions the more we can prevent, putting consciousness into our habits and routine.
"Calling out the emotions and talking about it"
In order to juggle private life and work she recommends experimenting in small steps with what kind of activities you like to engage in and then spend enough time to perform them.
A company should respect exactly the different types of personalities and ideally create and build on teams that have all different character types. There is also still a lot of difference between managing the responsibilities between private life and work between women and men. According to Ph.D. and authors Emily and Amelia Nagoski in their book "Burnout" they describe how our patriarchal society has a million expectations for how women should act, look, feel, and speak in any situation. And failure to meet these expectations equates to feeling like they aren't "enough"-humble enough, generous enough, pretty enough, strong enough, and so on.
The result? Physical, mental, and emotional burnout. Women experience 50% more stress than men, because of these reasons. Men on the other hand have different mechanisms to cope with stress, they tend to go into escape mechanisms. A good HR should educate and put awareness on these factors. Having a human approach to and giving the single person a life coach or psychologist to realign themselves.
What kind of physical activities at work can we do to get better?
Meditation and breathing can be done at work. Teresa suggests doing it in a small group or alone, not at your desk. Our mind needs to detach ourselves from being at the work desk. If our work has a space or a gym then find a calm corner there.
She also recommends doing a quick 5 minute meditation no longer first and then you can always build on it. As an exercise, implement some small shoulder, back and neck stretches when sitting long at the desk.
Teresa has a good 5 minute video to follow on her Youtube channel : the plexus (to fix the shoulders : //youtu.be/JreTwYKCf90)
Literary and multimedia advice to help you get better :
-Atomic Habits, J.Clear: has a lot of practical tools
-The Power of Vulnerability", B.Brown: gives a deep understanding of how we could all evolve if we would permit ourselves to be more vulnerable
-"Dear Gabby"G.Bernestein : informative and spiritual
-"Unlocking us"B.Brown : interesting guests and topics that get covered
M.Seligman: https: //www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/
How to cope with stressful situations and help you and your staff to get better despite the difficulties?
Teresa has shared what worked for her.
Step 1. do one thing at a time, not accumulate problems
Step 2. Put structure in your day. Do a few things and therefore be better and focused. I started to do a list of my priorities and what is truly important to me. Thirty minutes of physical activity each day will make me feel better. And scheduling my week so each day has a different priority. On Monday I do social media and on Tuesday I write the newsletter and so on.
Step 3. Be patient with yourself! Even if you manage to not do even all the tasks you wanted to do. That is ok. I still learn this and I remind myself everyday.
Step 4. After work don't talk about work, learn how to take your mind away. I share my business with my husband so that is hard not to do, but I noticed a very positive mind-shift if you can make it to be present in the moment and just to enjoy what is happening. It can be a good dinner with the kids sharing their day. Just practice to be in the moment.
The work of teresa and Plexus in a few words
"We truly think about health as a 360° approach. We have a very long experience in the health and fitness field. And we aim to give this quality and experience to our clients. We have a very personal approach to our customers and we come up with the best plan possible in order to achieve your well life vision. From Life coaching, health coaching, nutrigenetics, Pilates, Yoga and our own method, The Plexus Method we also offer events in order to create community. We aim to provide an oasis of peace and a place where not only you can get stronger but recharge your batteries. I also follow clients online in the States, England, Germany and Chile. Private training and Life Coaching can have the same results as in person".