- What We Do
Today is National Stress Awareness Day, a day to increase public awareness and help people recognise, manage and reduce stress in their personal and professional lives. According to the International Stress Management Association (ISMA), stress is a fight-or-flight mechanism that can become triggered easily when there are too many stressors at one time. Stress can lead to serious health problems – from hypertension, heart disease, decreased immunity and decreased mental vitality. It’s not something to be taken lightly!
We often think of stress as something that’s inescapable from our everyday, working lives. But it doesn’t have to be. There are ways that we can lessen its impact. That’s why we’ve researched the top 5 ways to cope with stress in the workplace.
1. Schedule Your Day for Energy And Focus
Our productivity levels peak and trough throughout the day. We often try to push through at a continuous pace to fulfil the full 8 working hours. However, as productivity dips our stress levels can go up. Working with our natural energy levels can help to reduce pressure and stress that we place on ourselves, that’s why it’s important to take regular breaks throughout the day.
2. Eat Right and Sleep Well
Not eating a balanced diet can also put stress on your system. According to nutritionist Rosie Millen, a low-sugar, high-protein diet is the most efficient way to ensure your body has enough energy to get through the day. It’s also important to get the right amount of sleep for your focus and energy. Sleep has natural stress-relieving, rejuvenating effects, making it critical to recovery.
3. Relaxation Techniques
Intentional forms of relaxation can really help to counter the physiological effects of the body’s fight-or-flight stress response. You can use techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, also known as a body scan. This can help to reduce muscle tension associated with anxiety. Getting out the office and taking some light exercise can also help – even if it’s just for 10 minutes after lunch. This will help you to recharge and do your job more efficiently.
4. Be Your Own Best Critic
Our brains are wired to think – around 60,000 thoughts stream through your mind every day in fact. Some of these are bound to be negative, and this internal negativity can stress you out just as much as the external event taking place. Instead of being self-critical, it’s important to practice positivity and optimism. Encouraging these thoughts will help you to achieve more and inspire others.
5. Get Some Support.
Sometimes we don’t realise how helpful it can be for someone to simply listen and give us support. Accepting help from friends and family members can significantly improve your ability to manage stress. Your organisation can also offer stress management resources. That’s why at Barker we have the Employee Assistance Programme. The programme helps our team to manage stress by sharing wellbeing events, running classes and providing a safe space for people to talk about their concerns.
If you want to learn more about ways to manage stress in your personal or professional lives, you can read more via the International Stress Management Association website: https://isma.org.uk/