May is Mental Health Awareness Month: Help Reduce Stress At Work

Work-related stress comes in many forms for REALTORS. From burnout to anxiety about uncertain markets and yet another rate increase by the Fed. 

You can love your job, your clients and your co-workers, but you can also need a break from it all. Managing work-related stress can be a difficult task for many in the real estate world, but it’s not impossible. 

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, and the perfect time to explore ways to manage and alleviate stress in the REALTOR world. 

The National Association of REALTORS provides a number of resources for members seeking to explore ways to better cope with stress, understand the importance of mental health and search for help when needed. 

A Growing Problem 
According to the American Institute of Stress, nearly 83% of working Americans suffer from work-related stress, with 25% of those saying their career is the largest stressor in their lives. 

For REALTORS who are responsible for setting their own schedules and often work solitarily, it can be hard to prioritize mental health and breaks over work. But failing to do so can quickly lead to burnout. 

The World Health Organization describes burnout as an occupational phenomenon that results from chronic workplace stress that isn’t addressed. Feelings of exhaustion, increased negative feelings and lack of motivation are all symptoms of burnout. 

While burnout is bad enough - losing the desire to do a job that was once your passion - unaddressed work-stress can also take a toll on your physical health. Harvard University researchers found that fatigue, substance abuse, heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes or other illnesses can be caused by failure to take care of one’s mental health. 

Recognizing and taking steps to address burnout and mental health struggles related to your work should be a priority. 

Reduce Your Stress
Support your own, and your colleagues' mental well-being by taking small steps to help reduce work-related stress. The following are suggestions provided by NAR to assist members in addressing mental health and work stress. 

  • Prevention and planning: Search for risk factors that can be modified in the workplace, such as safety and health hazards, workloads and unhelpful management and leadership practices. 
  • Promote mental health literacy: Provide materials from reputable sources like the American Psychiatric Association, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, and others. 
  • Take the time: Utilize vacation and personal time off. 
  • Separate work and home: NAR suggests keeping business-related materials in a dedicated workspace, avoid electronics tied to work after your day is done, and set firm stop-times for your workday. 

Find Help 
Local non-profit health organizations and state agencies are dedicated to helping Iowans address their own mental health concerns and issues. 

The map below provides a guide and list of resources. While this is not an extensive list of all organizations that may be of help to Iowa Association of REALTORS members, we hope that it can serve as a jumping-off point for your research and assistance.  

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