Mental Health//

The Microsteps That Are Helping Me Manage Stress During COVID

This Accenture Role Model shares the small tips that are helping him destress and connect with his family.

Photo courtesy of Rajesh Pillai
Photo courtesy of Rajesh Pillai

Committed to the mental resilience of its people, Accenture partnered with Thrive Global to create Thriving Mind, a cutting-edge mental well-being experience based on Stanford Medicine’s renowned Precision Health approach. In this five-part series, Accenture Mental Health and Well-being “Role Models” from around the globe open up about how they prioritize their well-being, and how Thriving Mind has improved their approach to managing stress.

Thrive Global: What are the things that stress you out?

Rajesh Pillai: A lot has changed during COVID-19, and it’s impacted the way we live. Working from home, which sounds very lucrative, took a toll on me. I was apprehensive about managing the team remotely, and it seemed challenging to maintain meeting timeliness. Staying indoors all day isn’t easy, either. 

TG: What are the signs that you’re starting to reach your breaking point?

RP: I wasn’t feeling like myself. I was working longer hours, and I was also trying to micromanage the team, constantly checking about their progress on work. Unfortunately, my family was at the receiving end, too. 

TG: What steps do you take to recharge your mental batteries?

RP: After long meetings, I take a few minutes of time off. I walk around in the house, meet and greet some family members, stretch, and come back with a fresh outlook. At the end of each day, I try to analyze the cause of stress (if any) and redesign to handle it better. I’ve been practicing Microsteps, too. I read, pause, and take time to respond to each email. I try to have regular interactions with team members, where we connect beyond work. I’ve also been taking the weekends completely off from work, starting on Friday evening. We plan family activities, watch movies together, and I make sure to spend some time with just myself. It really helps to relax, reflect, and come back to work on Monday with renewed energy. I also believe that hobbies are a must. A hobby helps you spend time with yourself, which also helps you grow as a person. It is important to set aside time for your hobby to energize yourself and keep the learning going. I love photography, and I’m reading about new advancements. Planting has piqued my curiosity as well, and I see myself spending a lot of time in my small home garden.

TG: How did the Thriving Mind experience help improve your mental well-being?

RP: First and foremost, it helped me accept that stress exists, and that it was impacting my well-being. It’s helped me understand my stressors and find Microsteps that help to reduce stress. The training sessions helped me acclimate to the change happening around us and realize how ignoring smaller concerns can create stress in the long run. Some of the small steps that have been helping me are practicing conscious breathing, and blocking time on my calendar for workouts, yoga, and meditations. 

Sign up to receive the Thriving Mind resource kit here

For more on the importance of mental well-being in the workplace, check out this conversation between Thrive Global’s Arianna Huffington and Accenture’s Chief Leadership and Human Resources Office Ellyn Shook. 

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Photo courtesy of Thainá Saba Penha
    Mental Health//

    How Thriving Mind Has Changed My — and My Grandparents’ — Approach to Stress Management

    by Alexandra Hayes
    Photo courtesy of Hanna Kelley
    Mental Health//

    How Thriving Mind Made Me Feel Less Alone — and Why I’m Sharing the Course With Others

    by Alexandra Hayes
    Photo courtesy of Jagoda Ciepla
    Mental Health//

    How Thriving Mind Taught Me to Spot My Signs of Overstress

    by Alexandra Hayes

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.