How to deal with stress at work

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The month of April has been Stress Awareness Month since 1992. This month is a time for people to reflect on the modern stress epidemic, and raise awareness on how individuals who are experiencing stress can eliminate the causes. According to the Mental Health Foundation, 74% of the UK are 'overwhelmed or unable to cope' at some point in the past year.

It is common that the workplace is an environment that influences people to feel overwhelmed or challenged. These feelings at work can often progress into stress with the risk of developing into a mental health problem like Depression or Anxiety.

Promoting a good stress management strategy at your workplace can help to prevent the common causes of stress and build resilience to challenging circumstances.

"Not taking control of the situation and doing nothing will only make your problems worse."

Below are 5 top tips that may help you to implement healthy habits into your working routine.

1. Recognise the signs of stress

The first step you should take is to recognise the signs of stress and consider whether you are experiencing these symptoms. In some cases, people think that the emotions they are experiencing are normal requirements of work and think that they should 'Just deal with it'. However, not dealing with emotions that you are experiencing can often make the situation worse in the long term. You can view all the symptoms of stress here.

2. Identify what is making you feel stressed

In the majority of job roles, you will have to complete a variety of tasks and responsibilities: some are more stressful than others. If possible, write a list of all the tasks and responsibilities that you complete on a regular basis and consider which are overwhelming or challenging. By identifying these tasks, you will be able to consider a plan of action for how to make your role more manageable, maybe you need further training or support. In addition, it may be that you are feeling stressed at work due to the environment or social aspect of the workplace. If the environment doesn't suit your working style, or your colleagues are too demanding or not supportive this can often lead to you feeling uncomfortable at work. We recommend raising these issues with your manager or team leader, they will be able to help by offering support tailored to your needs.

3. Talk to somebody

If you are experiencing stress at work, it is really important that you speak to somebody about your feelings. Although speaking to your manager or boss sounds daunting, a key thing to remember is that this is nothing to be ashamed about as stress at work can affect anyone. Your manager will be able to provide support and they have a duty to find a solution to the cause. For more information about support from your employer, click here.

If you feel like you need to speak to a mental health professional about your situation. Please contact the Mind Charity on 0300 123 3393. If you need urgent help, call the NHS Helpline on 111.

4. Improve your physical health

You may think that exercise and diet only have an impact on your physical appearance, but several studies have proven that exercise and diet have a direct link to improving mental health. When completing exercise, chemicals called Endorphins are released, which positively impact our mood. Equally, when eating a healthy balanced diet, our bodies receive a positive impact. You can read more about how a healthy diet and exercise can alleviate stress, by clicking here.

5. Healthy work-life balance

According to the Mental Health Foundation, 'More than 40% of employees are neglecting other aspects of their life because of work'. This is why a healthy work-life balance is so important. A great start is to identify clear working hours and stick with them. If your work-load cannot be completed during these set hours, it may be worth thinking about working smarter to be more productive. You can read our blog post on staying organised here.

Another way to keep a healthy work-life balance is to make plans with your friends and family that help you to keep your mind away from work. This can often be done by going out and taking part in a fun activity where you have no time to look at your E-Mails or answer phone calls relating to work. Finally, your work place may also be able to help by offering training or having a relaxed and open culture in the working environment.

#StressAwarenessMonth

Below are some resources that you may find useful: