Let’s talk about stress, baby

Let’s talk about stress, baby

Hey guys, this post is a little off from what I normally post, but it’s one that I genuinely want to talk about. 

Today, November 7th, is National Stress Awareness Day – stress is something that affects a lot of adults to different degrees. Whilst a lot of us might be happy to say “Oh yeah, today was stressful”, it’s important to be aware that stress and not dealing with it correctly can be incredibly harmful.

If you saw my recent instagram post for World Mental Health Day, you’ll know I alluded a bit towards why I did some much travel at the beginning of this year.

Basically, I quit my job due to stress. It’s not something I’m proud of, but I’m also no longer ashamed. It was what I needed to do at the time and it’s an experience I’ve learned from. 

Out of respect to my former employer, I won’t go into any more detail than that, but hopefully you’ll see why the below research struck a chord with me. 

According to the Mental Health Foundation, over 50% of British adults think life is more stressful now than five years ago, and stress in work plays a big part in that.

You could feel stress because of a heavy workload, poor work-life balance, or feeling like you don’t have enough support. The feelings these situations produce can cause someone to feel overwhelmed, or like they can’t cope (Yep!).

Stress is a natural response, and part of human nature – it’s that old fight or flight response rearing its head. However that fight/flight response was designed to alert to you danger, not to be active throughout everyday life. Sometimes nowadays, we can struggle to tell the difference between a mild stress and something that is a genuine danger. I know I’ve hurtled down mountains at high speed before without being afraid, yet in that difficult period at the end of last year I found myself panicking at having to make phone calls, or make relatively simple business decisions. Having this overactive ‘flight’ response leaves you feeling out of balance, and symptoms can included feeling tense, having trouble sleeping, changes to eating habits and lack of concentration.

If you’re recognising that you might be experiencing stress at work, trust me, take action to manage it sooner rather than later.

If you’re recognising that you’re feeling stressed in work, take action – try and recognise where the stress is coming from to stop it developing into a more serious mental health condition. Kalm’s have sent me some simple tips to help with managing stress at work.

8 tips to help manage stress at work

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – a super simple one, but we often forget that we can’t do everything and we all need some help now and then
  2. Make sure you have realistic targets – If your targets are too hard, then you are less likely to reach them. Setting targets which are more achievable, could make you feel less stressed – talk to your manager about what you’re working towards.
  3. Take short breaks – Make sure you tak your lunch breaks! Have at least half-an-hour away from your desk at lunch time and try to go for a short walk if you can. The fresh air and break from work could help you to feel more relaxed
  4. Don’t forget to think about what you have achieved – It is easy to only focus on what needs doing so that you can forget what you have already achieved. Thinking about your achievements could help you feel more positive about your work. When you finish a task or mini project, take note and read over it at the end of the week and celebrate those achievements! 
  5. Take up a hobby outside of work – Don’t let your life be just about work – focusing your attention towards something you enjoy could help you have more of a work-life balance. I have my blog to work on, and a drama group that I’m involved with.
  6. Try a traditional herbal remedy – Kalms Day tablets are used for the temporary relief of mild anxiety such as stress and nervousness exclusively based on long standing use as a traditional herbal remedy. Contains Valerian Root. Always read the leaflet.
  7. Surround yourself with a strong support group – Try and connect with the people you work with and your friends and family. A close network of people to support you can help ease your troubles and make you see things in a different way
  8. Avoid unhealthy habits – don’t rely on alcohol, smoking or caffeine as ways of coping. These substances in the long term could create new problems

I hope these tips can help someone. Don’t forget, if you’re feeling really down and need to talk to someone, Samaritans are always on call to help. You can reach them for free on 116 123.

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