It’s Stress Awareness Month, and this April all our blogs will be centred around Stress, Mental Health, and Wellbeing, with our first blog looking at how to recognise and manage stress at work! Stress affects everyone in different ways and people have different tolerance levels of stress. Having a healthy stress tolerance and being able to manage stress means paying attention to building pressures and acknowledging your limitations.
There are a few common symptoms that can help in recognising when things are getting unmanageable:
- Physical symptoms can include tension, high blood pressure, fatigue and low energy.
- Mental symptoms such as over-worrying, irrational thoughts, forgetfulness, inability to focus, and being overly negative.
- Emotional symptoms include feeling overwhelmed, out of control, agitated, frustrated, lacking confidence, self-esteem, and motivation.
Everyone deals with stress in different ways, but there are some simple ways to help manage stress healthily and effectively, both for yourself and for those around you.
Recognise the signs
Being able to understand the root cause of stress is an important factor in helping to overcome it. Write down and keep a note of your thoughts and feelings about a situation, how you reacted or dealt with it and any relating circumstances that can help you to better understand why you are feeling how you are.
Develop healthy responses
If you are feeling your stress levels rising, try to manage positively and make healthy choices to minimise the impact on your wellbeing. Getting enough sleep is also super important, so if you’re feeling burnout, make sure you get in a few early nights and try to develop a healthy sleep pattern. Limiting stimulating activities such as watching TV or scrolling your social media before sleep can also help with this.
With the constant availability of emails and mobile phones, it’s easy to feel that pressure to be available 24 hours a day. Establishing some work-life boundaries for yourself can alleviate some of that pressure and allow you to cut off for a period.
Take time to relax and recharge
We need time to relax and recharge our batteries to avoid any negative effects of stress and workplace burnout. This requires “switching off” from work by having time when you are neither engaging in any work-related activities nor thinking about work. This will allow you to get a break and unwind so you can come back to work feeling reinvigorated and ready to perform at your best.
Build a supportive culture
Employee health and wellbeing is essential for a motivated, productive workforce so as an employer, creating an environment to promote this is important! Have regular check-ins with employees, monitor any behaviours or signs that may indicate a problem and you can even offer external confidential support such as an Employee Assistance Program.
Reach out for support
If you are struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Everyone needs support from time to time and should not be seen as a weakness. Talking about any issues can often make a difference, getting things off your chest, and working with someone to set realistic targets to prioritise tasks to make them more manageable. Make use of any resources provided by an employer such as an employee assistance program (EAP), HR departments, or using the many free helplines or online resources.
Taking these small steps can positively impact your mental well-being and make a big difference in helping to tackle stress in the workplace. If you need help with mental health and wellbeing whether it’s policies and procedures to training or strategy plans, just get in touch! Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started today!