15 Mar Top 5 Ways to Manage Stress at an Association
Regardless of the type of community you manage – high-rise, low-rise, luxury condominiums or quaint single-family homes – things are bound to get stressful at certain points. Managing an association is difficult and with the added pressure from Board members, your management company, other team members, and especially from residents, it can be tricky to ensure your own health and wellness is aligned with the wellbeing of the community and its residents.
It is your responsibility as a community manager to maintain the overall contentment of your community by fulfilling your duties and making sure your team members are too – and the expectations of today have moved far beyond what these roles originally were and can be overwhelming at times.
A recent survey of Americans done by the Center for Disease Control found that nearly 31 percent of participants reported at least on mental health condition, 26.3 percent attribute trauma or stress-related disorders to the recent pandemic and an undisclosed percentage mentioned their jobs as being a large origin of stress. Internal tension can arise no matter how much you may love your job, and sometimes you just need a break! Managers wear many hats during their time onsite and need assistant every now and again. Here are some ways you can manage your stress and keep yourself happy and healthy, so your community can be, too!
1. Take a step back.
When you take some time to yourself, it can make a huge difference. Working too much can, without a doubt, lead to feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, and with a negative attitude. Try taking some vacation time or using a mental health day to step back from the stressors of your job to relax. Use this time to get that much needed extra sleep, spend time with your friends or family, or simply set your phone to silent and read a book at home on the couch. A mental reset is often needed and there is no shame in admitting you need one! If you are unable to take time off from your job, instead take a step back in the form of finding a quiet spot on the community grounds to take a break. Take a walk around the courtyard or find a peaceful space in the back office to rest for 10 minutes. You will come back feeling better and your brain will thank you for the break, too!
2. Revisit your hobbies!
Remember that one hobby you had several years ago that you threw yourself into and spent hours doing for days on end? Remember how relaxed and happy that hobby made you feel? Relive it! Hobbies are incredibly important to separate yourself from your workday and unwind. Whether you define your hobbies as spending time with loved ones, taking a walk around your neighborhood, or getting outdoors for a hike or bike ride, do whatever makes you happy!
3. Open up to those around you.
You may feel like you’re the only one at your association who feels drained or stressed, but you can rest assured there are others who may be in the same boat as you. Opening up to a trusted friend or team member can be a huge mood boost and remind you that you are not alone. As long as there is time, you can both take a break together to simply talk or take a short walk around the community and reset. Empathy and seeing that others relate to us is a powerful tool!
4. Lean on your property management company.
Don’t think you have to run a community all by yourself! If you have an HOA management company, talk to them about your community’s needs to see where they can improve processes or ease financial burdens. You hired them for a reason, so trust their best judgement when it comes to your association. Companies such as Worth Ross Management Company are there for your association, and you are their first priority! They want to see your community thrive and have everything your association needs in order to create a place that your residents are happy to call home. Reach out to their client support line to see how they can help you, no matter your situation.
5. Prioritize tasks and delegate them accordingly.
When you see a long list of maintenance orders, questions, or comments that need tending to, you can feel like you’re drowning in a never-ending catalog of “to-dos”. Go through this list with the appropriate team members (based on what needs to be done) and delegate tasks to the right team members. If outside vendors need to be called to the property for certain tasks, enlist the help of others to make some calls! If there are maintenance orders that are piling up, perhaps you can help your maintenance team knock some of them out with the easier tasks like changing light bulbs for example. If your front desk team members are getting overloaded with tours, calls, or helping residents with other situations, you can take the initiative to help or greet when current or potential residents come through the door and have other questions! Remember that the people who work at your community are all a team, and that includes you!
It can be easy to feel like you as the community’s manager are required to be there for everything, know everything, and have the solution to everything, but that is far from the truth. Trust in your team members for support and help, and trust in your HOA management company, who are experts in what they do! With the proper guidance and encouragement, you’ll be back to operating at 100% in no time at all. If your community does not yet have an HOA management company and you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider having a discussion with your Board about hiring the right one to manage your community and take over some of the more daunting tasks.