According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), work-related stress, depression or anxiety is ‘a harmful reaction people have to undue pressures and demands placed on them at work.’ In 2014-15, the HSE reported that stress accounted for 35% of all work-related ill health cases and 43% of working days lost because of ill health.
Stress has a knock-on effect on other areas of our health and day-to-day wellbeing. To avoid work getting the better of you, there are 5 keys steps to staying calm.
1. Spot the warning signs
In stressful situations we can feel angry, irritable, tired or withdrawn. You can also have physical symptoms, such as fatigue, inability to concentrate, and headaches and muscle tension. Keep an eye out for how you are feeling, both at work and at home, as it is the first step to tackling the root of the problem.
A problem shared really is a problem halved. Bottling up anxiety only serves to make it worse, so find someone, whether it’s a colleague, family member, or friend, who you can talk to when you feel stressed. It is also important to communicate to your manager or employer when you feel that your workload is having a negative impact on your ability to get things done.
3. Eat well and get moving
Diet and exercise make a huge difference to how we feel. Avoid substances that can alter your mood, such as sugar, caffeine, nicotine and alcohol – it will reduce the peaks and troughs in your system that cause you to become reliant on them as stress relievers. Exercise that raises your heart rate is a great mood lifter, as it encourages you to releases endorphins.
4. Get enough sleep
Getting a good amount of quality rest every night will help you approach stressful situations with a clear head. Try to stick to a schedule of regular sleep and avoid anything stimulating before bedtime – which includes watching TV, or using a smartphone or tablet.
5. Prioritise what’s important
Make sure work is not overwhelming every aspect of your life. Create a schedule with time reserved for the things you enjoy in the evenings and weekends, so you don’t get burnt out. During the day, break your work into chunks and give yourself short breaks in between, away from your desk.
For advice on how to manage stress in the workplace, click here.
Published date: 21st October 2016