How to Manage Stress in the Workplace
It is Mental Health Awareness week and the theme for 2018 is Stress. Mental Health Awareness Week takes place 14th to 20th May.
While some workplace stress is normal, excessive stress can interfere with your productivity and performance, impact your physical and emotional health, and affect your relationships and home life. It can even mean the difference between success and failure on the job.
According to the HSE (Health and Safety Executive), in 2015/16 over 480,000 people in the UK reported that work-related stress was making them ill. This amounts to nearly 40% of all work-related illness.
Many employees are reluctant to talk about stress at work. There is still a stigma attached to stress and people still think they will be seen as weak if they admit they are struggling. But stress is not a weakness and can affect anyone at any level of an organisation.
Some of the most common causes of workplace stress
- Fear of being laid off
- More overtime due to staff cutbacks
- Pressure to perform to meet rising expectations but with no increase in job satisfaction
- Pressure to work at optimum levels—all the time!
- Lack of control over how you do your work
How to deal with Stress?
At Ajuda we have compiled a list of things to do to help reduce Stress in the workplace.
- Reach out
Sometimes the best stress-reducer is simply sharing your stress with someone close to you. The act of talking it out and getting support and sympathy—especially face-to-face—can be a highly-effective way of blowing off steam and regaining your sense of calm. The other person doesn’t have to “fix” your problems; they just need to be a good listener.
- Talk to your colleagues
Try to develop good relationships with your colleagues – this can help to create a support network at work.
- Go for a walk at lunch time
Too many of us get into the bad habit of eating lunch at our work desk. This would mean that you spend all day at the computer and not allowing yourself to take a break. The best way to step away at lunch time is to leave the office and go for a walk. If you’re lucky enough to be close to a park then that is ideal, or just a walk around the block will help. Even if it is just for 10 minutes so you have time to sit down and eat your lunch.
Exercise is also very beneficial when it comes to stress and mental health.
- Have a healthy snack
During stressful times it’s easier to eat junk food or snack on crisps, sweets or chocolate. Try and go for fruit instead. You will start to feel much better. Eating small, frequent and healthy meals, for example, can help your body maintain an even level of blood sugar, keeping your energy and focus up, and avoiding mood swings. Low blood sugar, on the other hand, can make you feel anxious and irritable, while eating too much can make you lethargic.
- Get more sleep
Try going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Aim for 8 hours a night—the amount of sleep most adults need to operate at their best. Turn off screens one hour before bedtime. The light emitted from TV, tablets, smartphones, and computers suppresses your body’s production of melatonin and can severely disrupt your sleep. Avoid stimulating activity and stressful situations before bedtime such as catching up on work. Instead, focus on quiet, soothing activities, such as reading or listening to soft music, while keeping lights low.
- Don’t take on too much
It’s ok to ask for help or say if you’re taking too much work on. Learn to say no if you can’t take on extra work or responsibility – make sure you’re able to explain why.
Work regular hours and take the breaks and holidays you’re entitled to – it’s important to take time off work.
Want to know more about Stress Awareness in the workplace?
We have an online training course that you can take
To find out more email the team at *protected email* or give us a call on 02920 576883