Not every day at work is going to be perfect. But sometimes the pressures of the job can really bring you down, affecting your performance, productivity and your mental health. Instead of attempting to eliminate workplace stress completely, try to adopt the mindset of coping with the stress and limiting its side effects. We’ve compiled the best advice from the UK’s leading mental health charities to help you deal with stress in the workplace, including some relaxing animations that reduce anxiety and help with breathing.
Make a Wellness Action Plan
Mind UK recommends mapping out the causes of your workplace stress, and also identfying the positive aspects of your work environment that keep you well. These plans establish practical steps to ensure you are supported when you feel under pressure.
Learn relaxation techniques
The Blurt Foundation recommends taking time for yourself and investing in activities that relax you and improve your mental wellbeing. Go for a walk in your nearest park at lunchtime, set yourself a fortnightly cinema date, read the novel that you never find time for or book a meditation class. Sometimes even relaxing your muscles, getting a glass of water and taking some deep breaths can reduce your symptoms of stress.
Workplace stress often results in stress-eating. At some point, we’ve all stuffed our faces with fatty and sugary comfort food after a particularly bad day, or even just a normal day, and felt bad about it afterwards. Healthy foods release their energy slower, leaving you feel more energised. Reduce the risk of spiralling into a binge by planning healthy meals that you can take into work. GOSH has some great resources for planning healthy breakfasts, snacks, lunches, dinners and even tips for eating out. You might also like to try disassociating the feeling of guilt with eating – all things in moderation!
It is estimated that nearly 10% of the UK’s GNP is lost to workplace stress, according to Together UK. They recommend providing constructive feedback in regular meetings with your line manager, and making the most of your human resources mental health policies. Often the easiest and most reassuring way to resolve stress is through open, face to face communication. This ensures that your expectations are understood , adjustments can be made and goals and objectives can be set.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, mindfulness is “an integrative, mind-body based approach that helps people to manage their thoughts and feelings.” Mindfulness-based stress reduction has Buddhist origins and has been developed and studied since the 1970s. It has been shown to reduce anxiety levels by 58% and reduce stress by 40%. You can check out their dedicated mindfulness website Be Mindful for more information.
What do you to combat workplace stress? Tweet us your tips @FlowCaritas.