A degree of pressure from time to time is actually good for us but it can lead to stress and be the start of a health problem that will impact on our personal and working lives in very negative ways. Here are five ideas for tackling work-related stress, before it takes hold:
Talk: try not to bottle things up and brood about work. Take time out to talk to someone with an empathetic ear and get their perspective on things. If you can talk to your manager about how you feel, they may be able to support you.
Avoid unhealthy habits: this means things that seem like a good idea at the time but can end up making us feel worse. No surprise that alcohol is at the top of that list. Try not to use alcohol, cigarettes or unhealthy foods as the immediate ‘go to’ when you are feeling stressed. Going for a walk would be a better idea.
Keep active: this doesn’t need to be full-on sessions at the gym, but things like walking, cycling or leaving the car at home more often.
Eat well-balanced meals – the problem with long working hours and heavy workloads is that they can create a ‘vicious circle’ of not eating properly, skipping meals and feeling sluggish and low. Eating well balanced meals will help you to keep healthy and maintain your energy for busy days at work.
5 signs to look out for
Here’s a quick checklist. Recognise any of these? They are all signs of work-related stress:
- Performance has taken a dip?
- More random sick days and consistently late for work?
- Low mood – irritable and restless?
- Withdrawing from the team dynamic?
- Drinking too much and not eating properly?
Remember that SAIF provides SAIFSupport for SAIF Members and their staff members. SAIFSupport provides a completely confidential telephone and email helpline. It is run by Professional Help, a member of the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy. To contact SAIFSupport, login in to the Members’ area and click on SAIFSupport.