It’s a startling statistic that 40% of all work-related illnesses are due to stress. The 3rd November marks National Stress Awareness day; a day organised by the International Stress Management Association, with the mission of raising awareness of Stress in the workplace, its effects and what can be done to combat it.
Every job comes with a certain amount of pressure, which can be harnessed and used as a motivational tool. But when this pressure becomes too much, it can lead to work-related stress. There are many different reasons that workers may suffer from stress and the side effects of stress can be physical as well as psychological.
It is inevitable that you will feel stressed at some point in your career, it’s a part of life! But if that stress becomes overwhelming, it is important to seek the right support and advice. However, there are many techniques you can use to minimise the stress you suffer and to help you overcome those challenging times.
- Prioritise your Workload: If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your workload, you may be reluctant to set time aside to plan – however it can help you complete your work quicker and take away stress in the long run. Make a full ‘to-do’ list and then highlight the tasks that are time sensitive and prioritise these. Lists are a great way of organising a busy mind!
- Take Your Breaks: It is a common bad habit to work through breaks and eat lunch at your desk – but this does nothing for your stress-levels. Studies have shown that taking breaks make workers much more productive – especially if they get out for some fresh air, exercise and a change of scene on these breaks. It is of course great for your mental health too!
- Identify your Stress Triggers: Keeping a journal or mood diary is a great way to identify these triggers. If you start to see patterns emerge, you will soon identify what the key causes of your work stress are. You can then make a plan of action for alleviating these triggers.
- Talk: Whether you talk to a trusted friend or loved one, a counsellor or simply arrange a meeting with your manager – talking is the key to tackling stress. If you are overwhelmed by your work load or something is troubling you – simply voicing these concerns can help you to seek help or prompt your work place to make relevant changes to relive your stress.
If you are feeling truly overwhelmed, it’s important that you speak to someone you trust, such as a manager, friend, family member or your GP. There are loads of fantastic services and sources out there to help too. Just a few include:
So, this National Stress Awareness Day, put some time aside today to identify a small change you can make to your day that will help to minimise stress. This may be finding a better way to organise yourself, a new way to chill-out or letting your manager know that your workload is getting too much for you. For more information, visit our blog on Managing Work-Related Stress.