This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (14 – 20 May) is focusing on stress and how individuals can cope with this.
Most people spend a third of their life at work, and working conditions can have a huge impact on mental health, which in turn can have a significant impact on an individual’s ability to perform well at work:
- 14.7% of people state that they experience mental health problems in the workplace1
- Around 80 million workdays are lost each year to stress, depression and anxiety2
Stress is a key factor in the development of mental health problems, with over a third3 of UK residents feeling stressed for at least one full day per week. By tackling stress, we can go a long way in tackling mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2018, we wanted to look at ways workers can tackle stress in the workplace to improve their mental wellbeing and ultimately get more enjoyment out of their work!
A common cause of stress is the feeling that things are slipping out of your control, so we can limit this by planning ahead. This can be by creating to-do lists that help you keep track of outstanding tasks and deadlines to give yourself a visual reminder of your workload. You can also schedule regular meetings with managers and colleagues for progress updates and to stay informed with upcoming projects.
2. Take time to relax
Here in the UK, we work the longest hours in Europe, so it’s extremely important to make time for the things we really enjoy. You can do this by setting aside a couple of nights a week for activities away from work to avoid the temptation to do overtime.
You should also be taking regular breaks away from your desk during work hours to refresh and refocus.
3. Connect with people
Sometimes stress arises because we feel like we’re coping with our workload in isolation. By building a good support network of colleagues, friends and family can help you see things in a different way as well as find solutions to your problems.
Also, working closely with others can help you relax and enjoy your work – laughter is an excellent stress reliever!
4. Be active
Exercise won’t make stress disappear, but it will help reduce any intense emotional build-up. Not only is it great for your physical health and fitness, but it can greatly improve your mental wellbeing.
This doesn’t necessarily mean joining a gym, but think about perhaps walking or cycling to work, joining a sports club or using your lunch hour to get out and about.
5. Work smarter, not harder
Don’t try and reinvent the wheel – utilize templates and processes that have worked well in the past, rather getting stressed trying to create things from scratch all the time.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by your workload, so try to focus your time and energy on a few priorities – this will help improve the quality of your work, as well as your mental wellbeing.
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