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Stress – a big concern for some and barely worth talking about for others. It’s usually connected to our work, but wherever it’s coming from, every person has experienced stress in some way. It isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of modern life. You aren’t weak because you sometimes can’t sleep at night, or find comfort in eating whilst working late in the office. But, when your body is filled with stress and anxiety, it’s trying to tell you that you need to make some changes.

The significance of stress and why you need to be aware of it

Today, the 2nd November, is National Stress Awareness Day. So why do we need this day as a reminder, and why is it important to be aware of stress every other day of the year too?

When we feel under pressure, the body’s response to it is stress, and we experience it daily. It can affect our body and our mood and when it happens, our job and relationships often suffer. It can make us feel anxious and ill, and indeed lower our self-esteem. One in 14 UK adults feel stressed out every single day; 79% of UK adults feel stressed at least one day a month (CIPHR).

What can stress lead to

Stress can lead to numerous negative effects on our bodies, mood, and relationships and generally you don’t realise that these symptoms are coming from stress that you haven’t taken care of earlier.

The most common signs of stress are:

  • Depression or anxiety
  • Anger, irritability, or restlessness
  • Headaches
  • Feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, or unfocused
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Racing thoughts or constant worry
  • Problems with your memory or concentration

Long-term stress can even lead to:

  • Weight gain
  • Heart disease
  • Heart attach
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke

Tips to relieve stress at work

  1. Start your day in the right way

The alarm clock goes off early in the morning and you rush out of bed to catch up with everything that needs to be done in the morning. The children need breakfast and to be driven to school. You gulp down coffee in the car instead of eating a healthy breakfast at home. And at the same time, you’re trying not to react badly to the morning traffic and arrive in time for work. Many people arrive at work already stressed out. This will make you more reactive to stress at your workplace. Your morning routine should relieve stress, not create it. Start the day with planning, good nutrition, and a positive attitude.

  1. Know your tasks and what is expected from you

It is very important to know what is expected from you at your work and what your requirements are for your role, otherwise, it can result in extremely hidden stress. Take time to go over expectations and strategies for meeting them, either with your employees for their sake or with your boss for your own sake. 

  1. Be organised

Being organised can decrease your stress at work, even if you are not an organised person. You will rush less in the morning and rush less to get out of work at the end of the day if you have planned what needs to be done during the day and know where you have your stuff. Keeping yourself organised can also mean avoiding the negative effects of clutter, and being more effective with your work.

  1. Focus on one thing at a time

Being organised also means focusing on one thing at a time. Your brain will take it as a stressful situation if you’re concentrating on multiple tasks at the same time. Keep the focus on one thing until you’re finished and you move on to the next task. Also ensure that you prioritise tasks and deadlines before you begin your work, this will help relieve stress and manage your time correctly.

  1. Be comfortable

Physical discomfort when you perform most of your daily tasks can also be another stressor at work. If you are the one in charge of the office, invest in comfortable chairs for your employees, and suggest them to your boss if you are the employee.

  1. Walk during work breaks

Exercise reduces stress hormones and stimulates the production of endorphins, which together help you to relax more. You can reduce the physical and mental effects of work stress by getting some exercise on your lunch break or before or after work, like a walk or a short yoga workout.

  1. Listen to music

Listening to your favourite music can have many benefits to your mental health and can also help you relieve stress before, during, and after work. Play your favourite happy song while making your breakfast and it will help you start the day off feeling more positive. Combat the stress of a long day as well with music on the drive home, and it can help you calm down and feel less stressed.

So, take National Stress Awareness Day as a start to a less stressful work life!

 

Robert Barlow profile picture

About the author

Robert started off in admin, working for a marketing agency based in Manchester, before deciding he wanted to go to university and gain his HND followed by a BA Hons Degree in Business Finance with Marketing. Since then Rob has worked his way up through the ranks and now holds the position of The Oracle at the office! But unfortunately, unlike the character out of The Matrix, he doesn’t have all the answers for the team (but that doesn’t stop the questions)! Rob never says no to a hot drink (tea or coffee) to help keep his mind stimulated. He spends his time working on the business development of the company, liaising with clients and managing the work flow. And most importantly spends a lot of time working on the personal development of the team… answering questions!

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