Today is National Stress Awareness Day and we take mental health really seriously at The Works. In fact, so much so, we are putting on a mental health training event in December (watch this space for more details!)
The statistics show how big this issue really is…..with 526,000 UK workers suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2017. So what can you do about it, and how can you help yourself become stress free?
- Start off with you! Do you ever put yourself first? Or are you after your partner, the kids, the job, the housework, and even the dog? Well it’s about time you starting thinking about yourself and your mental well-being. Looking after yourself doesn’t just mean eating a healthy balanced diet and getting involved in regular exercise. You also need to make sure you are relaxing and mentally unwinding after work. Did you know that relaxation, breathing & meditation exercises have been proven to be effective in reducing stress & anxiety? They are ideal ways to switch off and they boost your immune system. Might be something worth investing time in (and a nice hot bath of course!)
- Stop taking on too much. A lot of us are guilty of it. If you work full time, have a family and lots of family and friends, it can be really hard fitting it all in and keeping everybody happy! Don’t feel pressured to do things that you don’t enjoy, or that you don’t really have time to do. This relates to your time at work too – if you prioritise your most urgent tasks each morning and make them your priority, you will have more control over the rest of the day. And if you have too much on, do something about it. You can reschedule, renegotiate or delegate – it’s not the end of the world to ask for help or to say No!
- Don’t get distracted. Now this is a tough one, and takes some practice. It can be really hard to stay focused on a task at hand if you are being interrupted by a ringing phone or pinging emails. It may help to ask for support from colleagues or friends and just focus on the most important tasks. If it helps to turn off the phone, close down the emails or go into a quiet room for some head space, then do it! We’re sure your boss won’t mind (and remind them how much more productive you will be!)
- Appreciate the simple things in life. This could be time with your family, the view from your office window, a smile from a stranger on the train to work. Try to spend a few minutes each day appreciating the good things that you have in your life. Thinking in a more positive way, and seeing things in a different light, can help you to see opportunities for grown and learning. Mindfulness techniques are also a really good way of helping you to see things more positively and appreciate the amazing world around you.
- Stop putting off those dreaded tasks! Whether it’s the large pile of filing, an uncomfortable phone call or a dull work project, putting them off will only turn them into more of a worry. Take control and promise yourself a reward when you complete them. We all have to do things that we don’t enjoy doing at work, but the quicker you get them out of the way the better. And you never know, you might actually enjoy doing them!