Having trouble sleeping? Dread getting out of bed and going to work?
If you said ‘yes’ to either of these questions you could be going through work-related stress… and you wouldn’t be alone.
Stress is an increasingly common problem in modern life, affecting more than half a million workers in 2016/17 according to research by the Health and Safety Executive.
Now, the NHS is helping you to focus on tackling stress and the ways in which you can combat it.
Here are the top ten steps to help manage your stress levels:
Taking exercise, even a brisk half hour walk in the fresh air, clears your thoughts, lifts your mood and encourages healthy sleep.
Most problems have a solution. Try to find it and you’ll feel less vulnerable.
Connect with people
Spend time with friends and family to catch up on the news, relax and have some fun together. They will probably offer a listening ear and maybe some practical help too.
Take some ‘me time’
Put a regular slot in your diary if you need to, and do something that you really enjoy.
Set yourself a new goal. Working to learn a new language or master a skill will build your confidence.
Avoid unhealthy habits
Comfort eating, smoking and drinking too much are all avoidance tactics that stop you dealing with your stress, contribute to making it worse and bring more health problems.
It makes you feel good about yourself and builds your social network. Even small things like offering to make coffees for your team can bring positive changes in your mood, especially if you do them often enough.
Work smarter, not harder
Learn to prioritise and focus on the tasks that will make the most difference.
Try to think positive
As a start, try writing down three good things that happened, at the end of each day. Even if it’s just avoiding a traffic jam, having something nice for tea, and sharing a joke with a friend.
Accept that you can’t change some things
This will leave you free to focus on the things that you can influence.
You can help to look after your mental health with You In Mind, an online ‘one stop shop’ for advice when you need it, at: www.youinmind.org