Did you know?
Work related stress, anxiety or depression are the most common reasons for time to be taken off work according to the Health and Safety Executive.
Given that we work in a stressful and pressured environment, how can staff best mitigate this and take care of themselves?
There is no one size fits all approach, but alongside the well publicised ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’, the following things are helpful.
When we’re scared, anxious, or stressed, we start to breathe more quickly and shallowly. This can cause light-headedness or dizziness which then leads to feeling panicked and can create a vicious cycle. Practise calm, regular breathing (not too deeply). Breathe into your belly, so it rises and take the focus off your chest. Breathe in for a count of 4 and out for a count of 4. It’s best to practise lots when you’re calm so that it’s easier to use this technique when you need to.
We all have finite resources at our disposal. Take notice of what depletes your energy resources and limit those things. Say no whenever possible. Set timers for tasks and know that the to-do list never ends, so prioritise things that are good for you. Save your resources for the things that are truly important to you. There will also be things that increase your energy reserves – notice what makes you feel energised, motivated and able to do more and build some of those things into each day.
Check in with yourself often and notice early warning signs of burnout. Perhaps you feel stuck in a rut, don’t feel joy for things you used to, or maybe you feel tearful, irritated or tired all the time.
When you notice the signs, step back and ask yourself what things you enjoy when you are in a good place. Maybe it’s reading, or getting out for a walk, or meeting friends for a coffee. Aim to build one of those things into each day.