National Stress Awareness Day
Today is National Stress Awareness day with November hosting Stress Awareness Month. Everyone experiences stress during their lifetime, sometimes it can be positive and spur us on, but at other times it can be overwhelming and debilitating. National Stress Awareness Day is an excellent opportunity to take a moment to think about your wellbeing and find advice or support on managing stress.
Creating a stress awareness space at your workplace
The charity Mind is encouraging employers to start the conversation about stress in the workplace. By creating a Stress Awareness Space, staff can share their thoughts and feelings when they are feeling stressed.
Sharing your thoughts and concerns with colleagues can make a positive difference in how you feel and allows you to receive great advice and tips, or you may find you can support other colleagues who need help.
Mind have posters that you can download to help with creating your stress awareness space, you can access them on their website here.
If you are an employer and have services that your workforce can access as part of your company’s benefits offering, then ensure this information is easily accessible. If you have an employee assistance scheme that gives your staff access to professionals who could support them with their concerns, then display and disseminate the details for the scheme to all employees, reassuring them that it is free and completely confidential.
Make sure that you display information about where to seek help outside of the workplace. Organisations such as Mind, the Samaritans, the Mental Health Foundation and the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute are just a few of the places where individuals can seek information and support.
Signs of stress
It can be difficult to spot the warning signs early on, meaning that many of us suffer for longer than needed before seeking help. Here are some of the things to look for:
- Feeling anxious, irritable or depressed
- Problems sleeping
- A dread of going to work
- Constant fatigue
- Muscle tension or headaches
- Social withdrawal
- Using drugs, alcohol or stimulants like caffeine to cope
- Feeling overly emotional
A warning sign could be anything that is not normal for you. You may experience several stress-related symptoms, or it might only be visible in one area of your life. The trick is to try and notice these developing or getting worse over time as that may indicate your stress levels are becoming less manageable.
National Stress Awareness Month
The Stress Management Society suggest that during National Stress Awareness Month this November, we could all play a part by:
- Talking about Stress and it’s effects – working together to reduce the stigma that is associated with stress by talking about the topic openly and freely with friends, family and colleagues.
- Sharing your coping mechanisms – if something has worked for you why not share it. It might benefit someone you care about, and in the meantime, it might help you take your focus off your own challenges.
- Being kind to those who are stressed and anxious – we are all undoubtedly going to experience stress and anxiety in our lifetime so treat others going through wit with compassion and empathy.
Look after yourself – we all need to think more about self –care. Take time out of your day to relax or do something that you enjoy. Don’t forget to exercise and eat well, even when you feel too stressed.
What to do when feeling stressed
The Mental Health Foundation recommends taking these 3 steps when feeling stressed:
1. Realise when stress is causing you a problem
Look out for warning signs and physical symptoms such as migraines or feeling tired and unwell.
2. Identify what’s causing the problem
Try to identify what it is that is triggering the feeling of stress. Is it paying a bill or dealing with a personal situation? Do the things causing your stress fall into one of these three categories – issues that have a practical solution, situations that will improve given time or things that you can’t do anything about? Try to let go of concerns in the second and third categories to help reduce worry and stress.
3. Review your lifestyle
Are you taking on too much, could you delegate some of the things you’re doing to someone else? Could you be more relaxed in the way you do things? You may need to reprioritise your commitments and re-organise the way you currently manage your life to help ease the stress you’re feeling.
To help with corporate stress, try doing the following:
- Confide in friends and colleagues at work about how you’re feeling
- Ask for help with your workload if it’s becoming too overwhelming
- Acknowledge when you do well at work to balance out any negative feelings
- Take adequate breaks away from your desk
- Increase your self-care
- Get sufficient rest and sleep
- Prepare at the end of the workday for the next morning to help relieve anxiety
- Realise that nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes
If you found this information useful, you may also want to check out the following:
- How to deal with corporate stress
- Misconceptions About Employee Benefits
- Tips for a work life balance you can achieve
MRA help individuals, businesses and families achieve the best quality of life they can with the resources they have. MRA specialise in corporate solutions, cash-flow analysis, taxation, debt management, savings and investments, lifestyle planning and much more.
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