Stress is something that we all cope with on a daily basis and rather than let the anxiety and sleepless nights affect you, we listen to what the professionals have to say and offer 5 ways to cope with stress at work.
For employers, the ability to help staff with their stress can help retain key members, maintain job satisfaction and contribute to organisational goals.
Common sources of stress include:
- Being overworked
- Unable to cope with a large workload
- Conflict with other members of staff
- Not getting your voice heard
- Problems with family life affecting work
- Long hours
- Low or poor salary
- Poor conditions
Tip 1: Establish boundaries
The American Psychological Association suggests that workers today need to establish boundaries. Especially in this digital age where we have 24-hour access to emails and phones on days and weekends, there is little opportunity to disconnect from work obligations.
Establishing clear boundaries means that you do not answer your phone or check emails after certain hours e.g 7pm and that you do not respond on weekends. Above all, being able to switch off during your annual leave and time off is essential to help you recharge.
Putting on the out of office and making clear boundaries with your staff and clients will help you reduce work stress.
Tip 2: Create some ‘me’ time
The NHS explains that you need to put some time aside for you and this includes doing routine exercise and socialising with friends or family. The NHS website explains that ‘if you can put two days or evenings aside a week, you will force yourself to relax and have fun, rather than overwork.’
The NHS continues to explain that resorting to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as smoking or drinking is strongly not advised when trying to deal with workplace stress.
Tip 3: Exercise during your lunch break
Wellness magazine, Very Well Mind, recommends doing exercise during your lunch break. You are often given a statutory hour as part of your employee contract and this is a good opportunity to get healthy exercise and take your mind off work. You will usually come back feeling refreshed and it will help break up the day, allowing you to blow off steam and get into better shape.
Tip 4: Recognise your stress and how to deal with it
Mental health charity, MIND, advises you to recognise the signs of your stress and its causes and this should be your starting place.
Do you get annoyed when someone does not listen? Do you get anxious before a presentation?
If you can work out what your ‘stress triggers’ are, you can plan how you cope with it better – whether it is through being more prepared beforehand, putting time aside for exercise or speaking to your employer about your concerns.
Tip 5: Speak to your boss or manager or a professional
Jon Gregory, interview coach, explains that bosses and managers are there to be spoken to and you have a right to tell them about your problems and concerns.
Stress-related problems at work usually arise due to pay, decisions or responsibilities – but having clear objectives with your boss and regularly assessing these can help ensure that you are both on the same path.
If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to your boss or a colleague and prefer a confidential chat with trained professionals or counsellors, see if your employer provides access to a service such as an employee assistance programme.
What can you do for your team, as the boss?
At Equipsme, we’ve also made it possible for the business owner to add Stress Support when choosing the levels of cover for their business and it applies to all members no matter what level they are on.
Stress Support includes a confidential telephone service 24/7, counselling by phone and up to 5 face-to-face sessions by phone or online.
We work with the provider Health Assured for stress support, who are a leading UK provider of telephone and face-to-face counselling support.
Click here for more details of our Stress support cover with health insurance plans from Equipsme.