Top tips to beat stress
The month of April is designated National Stress Awareness Month, which has been running as an awareness campaign since 1992.
So, what’s the big deal about stress?
The latest available figures from the government’s Health and Safety Executive highlight the extent of the problem across the UK.
In 2016/2017, an incredible 526,000 workers were said to be suffering work-related stress, depression or anxiety, whether that was new or long-standing cases - adding up to 12.5 million lost working days.
Over the same period, stress, anxiety or depression accounted for 40% of all work-related cases of ill health, and 49% of all working days lost due to ill health.
Unchecked, prolonged periods of stress can lead to very serious mental health problems. But the good news is that people can do a lot to help themselves if they listen to their bodies and the early warning signs of stress.
LionHeart’s support team has compiled their top 10 stress-busting tips - most of them are simple tweaks to your working day that can have a huge effect on your mental health. You’re welcome…
- Go for a walk: exercise helps the body deal with stress, and gives you that all-important time away from work. Even a 15-minute lunchtime stroll can help.
- Plan your day: know what needs to be done most urgently and try to deal with that first so you don’t waste precious time.
- Make time for what you love: all work and no play makes Jack and Jill dull. And stressed…. Make sure you find time for your friends, family, and hobbies.
- Think positive: it sounds so simple, but it’s a very effective way to ‘re-set’ your brain. Try to focus on the positives rather than negatives, and notice little things that make you appreciative.
- Take a deep breath: concentrating on your breathing for a few minutes can really help calm your nerves. Think of it as a kind of desktop meditation.
- Laugh/ smile: taking a few minutes to have a chat or a joke with a colleague can lift your whole mood
- Take screen breaks: move round the office, fetch a drink, walk the long way round to the loo or flex and relax your muscles
- Cut down on the coffee: (we wrote this with our fingers crossed…) Caffeine is a stimulant and if you drink too much of it the body reacts with the stress response, leaving you feeling jittery and increasing or even causing anxiety
- Share your worries: a trouble shared is a trouble halved, as they say. Sometimes talking to a friend or colleague may help you see things from a different and less stressful perspective
- Have a hug: give your partner, child or pet a cuddle. It releases feel-good hormones!
If stress is starting to have a negative effect on your life, LionHeart has plenty of support available. Visit our Managing Stress page to find out more.
Call 0845 603 9057 to speak to a support officer or enquire about our professional free counselling service.