Stress at work is a common issue, but it doesn’t mean that you just have to shove it under the carpet. Stress can make us feel tired, tense, and overwhelmed, stimulating physical and negative emotional reactions that can change our normal behaviour, such as making us snappy or intolerant.
According to Sam Barr of Healthy Mind Coaching and Training stress triggers our ‘fight, flight, or freeze’ (stress response), but our bodies are not designed to maintain any of these states for long.
“Stress therefore increases the risk of damaging our long-term health, from issues which can be relatively benign like getting more colds or flus, to more serious immune system compromises and issues such as IBS, heart disease or metabolic syndrome.
Unfortunately, finding a low-stress job is difficult if not going on impossible, so a more realistic approach is to adopt coping strategies to reduce your stress levels and take proactive measures to reduce the risk of incurring stress.”
Sam’s company Healthy Mind Coaching and Training offers a range of services for individuals and workplaces, but often the free 20-minute one-to-one introduction consultation is when the issues affecting individuals can be identified and assessed to see whether further sessions are required and that we are the right help and match for that individual or workplace.
He explained: “The reality is when people are experiencing severe and/or debilitating workplace stress they more often than not don’t consider the importance of looking after their own, their colleagues’ or staff’s wellbeing and mental health.
“Most people can handle certain amounts of stress, but when that stress begins to impact their health that’s when they need to step back and do something about it.
“Whether it’s someone who is a Director, senior manager or an individual who is facing a life-changing decision often we can help identify issues and suggest changes in thoughts, feelings or behaviours,” Sam said.
Sam warned that often delaying seeking help can become a barrier for people – and organisations for their staff.
“Most people do know that they have an issue with their mental health and wellbeing, they just delay taking action” he explained.”
“Too often they come up with excuses, such as they don’t have the time or resources. They do have or find the time to get their car fixed or their boiler repaired when they are broken, and I would encourage them to change their mindset from ‘I can’t find the time’ to ‘I have to do it’.
“By asking themselves ‘What if I don’t get help, where will this end?’ they would be more likely not to make excuses or procrastinate and just go get the help they need and we can provide that help for them.”
Healthy Mind Coaching and Training is a provider of Mental & emotional wellbeing, Positive Psychology-Mindset coaching & CBT, Professional training workshops and courses in personal, professional development and Workplace mental wellbeing.
“There are so many labels around mental wellbeing but we focus on enabling people to find themselves, grow, flourish, excel and realise their potentials, empowering themselves and achieving positive results in their lives, through a positive change mindset,” said Sam.
“The key thing is to take the first step. No matter what your reasons are, or whatever has prompted you to get help, you can change your situation.”
Here are Sam’s top tips for managing workplace stress and what you should do to alleviate the impact on your wellbeing and mental health:
- Create a pre-work ritual
Having a disorganised morning which can include getting kids ready for school, dealing with rush hour traffic, or skipping breakfast, can make you arrive at work with your stress levels already high.
When you start your day with planning and good nutrition, you may find that you are better able to cope with work-related stresses.
- Talk to your manager about your workload
Discuss your workload with your manager, if you have one. Try setting realistic targets and talk about how you can solve the issues you’re having.
- Be realistic
You don’t have to be perfect all the time. You might find that you’re being more critical of your own work than you need to be. Work within your limitations and try to be kind to yourself.
- Try to develop good relationships with your colleagues
Connecting with people you work with can help build up a network of support. Having connections with co-workers can also make work feel more enjoyable.
- Try to balance your time and avoid multitasking
You might be doing too much at once, so choose ‘chunking’ (one task at a time) over multitasking. Multitasking can make the quality of your work suffer, make activities take longer, and leave you feeling exhausted from splitting your focus or spinning to many plates.
- Reward yourself for achievements
Only focusing on the work you need to do next rather than the work you have completed can lead to you overlooking your accomplishments and even make you run the risk of developing imposter syndrome. Rather, reward yourself for your completed tasks, like taking a reading break, chatting with co-workers, or spending time outside.
- Develop end-of-day habits
Finish your working day by tidying your workspace or making a to-do list for tomorrow. This can help you switch off from work, especially if you’re working from home.
- Take some time off
Make use of some of the holidays you’re entitled to: a few days off, a long weekend, or a week abroad can help you feel refreshed and gain some perspective and distance from your work, which can even increase your productivity in the long run.
- Focus on your life outside work.
Nurture relationships with people you don’t work with. Develop interests and skills that you don’t use in your job. This can help you see the difference between your personal life and your working life. Watch out for good work-life balance.
- Seek out support internally and externally
Find out if there is any support within your organisation – some workplaces have employee assistance programmes (EAPs) which offer free advice and counselling, while others have mentoring or buddy systems.
You should hopefully feel that you are able to tell someone in the workplace that you feel unsupported, whether that be a manager or someone in the human resources department.
Another route you should definitely consider is seeking out support outside of the workplace through mental & emotional wellbeing coaching or therapy.
At Healthy Mind Coaching Sam can provide individuals or organisations with effective methods for managing negative emotions stemming from workplace stress, imposter syndrome or any other stressors, fears or worries.
He said: “We offer one-to-one sessions designed to enable you to live a more positive lifestyle by providing strategies designed to challenge and overcome negative thoughts, unhelpful feelings and behaviours.
“All prospective clients are offered a free 20 minute consultation to see how we can work with you to achieve your goals, objectives, ambitions and aspirations or help you to resolve some unresolved issues.”
Learn more about Healthy Mind Coaching and Training by calling Sam today on 07906 869616 or go to healthymindcoaching.co.uk
Issued by Excalibur Press on behalf of Healthy Mind Coaching
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