25 Nov 2021
With the passing of National Stress Awareness Day, employers and employees alike have been reminded to take the time to recognise, manage and reduce stress in their professional and personal lives. Here, we consider tips designed to help prevent stress in the workplace that individuals can make use of.
In order to properly combat stress, we need to truly understand it. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines stress as 'the adverse reaction a person has to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed upon them'. The HSE states that stress is formed when we experience too much pressure without being given time to recover.
Stress affects everyone in different ways. Those who feel they are becoming stressed at work should try to identify what is causing them stress and search for techniques to make things better. It is always advisable to inform your manager when you are feeling stressed so that they can support you in the best possible way and help identify issues at source.
Top tips for managing stress in the workplace
There are a number of strategies individuals can use to help manage workplace stress. These include:
- Reducing your workload. Carry out tasks in order of priority and don't overload yourself with work. Always ask for help if you are struggling with a heavy workload, and split up big tasks so that they seem less overwhelming.
- Taking time out. Taking time out, such as going for a short walk or even having a cup of tea, can help rejuvenate your mind. Make time for yourself so you don't burn out.
- Voicing your concerns to someone. Communicating your worries is vital. Whether it's with a colleague or a friend, verbalising your concerns will only help you to address and combat them.
- Taking part in stress risk assessments. Taking part in discussions on stress and considering what stresses you at work can help to minimise worries. Attending employer-run stress management courses and utilising stress management tools may also help you to keep workplace concerns to a minimum.
- Planning ahead. Planning ahead for potentially stressful days or events may help to minimise any concerns you might have. Consider creating a to-do list, or mapping out a journey you're required to make ahead of time.
- Challenging your mindset. Our mindset can greatly affect the way we feel. Challenging unwanted and unhelpful thoughts and embracing positivity may help you to feel less stressed when at work.
Whether it's at work or at home, we all experience stress in our lives. Finding strategies to help you manage stress is vital for a happy, healthy future. More information on stress management can be found on the International Stress Management Association website.
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