Stress Awareness Month

Published: 16th April 2020

April is National Stress Awareness Month and we know that many of you experience stress in your everyday life, and will also be experiencing different kinds of stress in this turbulent and unprecedented period in all of our lives. Working from home, attempting to home school children, managing altering finances and coping with the complete change of lifestyle we’re currently experiencing, can all lead to stress and anxiety.

The Mental Health Foundation reported that in the last year, 74% of adults have experienced stress and have felt an overwhelming pressure to cope. Stress can have a huge impact on both mental and physical health and can lead to anxiety, insomnia and even heart disease. Another study also found that just 1% of employees claim they never experience work-related stress, an incredibly low number.

Clearly, it’s crucial to try to avoid stress as much as possible and learn to cope with the pressures of everyday life in order to avoid these dangerous side effects. So, what simple but effective things can you implement into your life during this strange time and beyond as we ease back into normal life (whenever that might be!)…

Take ‘me’ time

Many people think the idea of ‘me’ time is nothing more than a cliché, but in fact it’s so important to take time out for yourself. It might be as simple as using your government approved daily exercise slot to get out for a walk, run or bike ride alone, or running a lot hot bath and locking the bathroom door on the noise and disruption that lies outside it. It could be losing yourself in a really good book, learning a new skill, or just simply plonking yourself down in front of the television for 15 minutes of peace. Whatever makes you feel good and helps you switch off is perfect and is something you should set aside time for regularly.

Build and use your support network

Everyone has a support network of people around them who are happy to help and this includes friends, family and colleagues. Right now you can’t just pop round for a cuppa and a chat, but why not stick the kettle on and arrange a video call online, or just pick up the telephone? Chatting to others about your problems and struggles can help provide perspective and allow you to feel as though a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. Sometimes just having a good old natter can solve so many problems and make you feel so much better.

Ask for help if you need it

If you find the stresses you experience at work are really weighing on you and having a negative impact on your physical or mental health then you should be prepared to ask your employer for help. Great employers should be happy to introduce strategies to ensure happier and healthier employees as this will help with the wellbeing of their employees and therefore also improve company performance. If your employer is unwilling to support you in attempting to improve your wellbeing, perhaps it might be time to look for an opportunity with an employer who has a better reputation for supporting and encouraging their employees. If that’s the case, we’d be more than happy to assist you every step of the way.