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Top 10 Wellness Strategies to Combat Workplace Stress

For many of us, stress is a part of a normal working day. In fact, in a recent report from Mental Health UK, 91% of UK adults reported experiencing high or extreme levels of pressure or stress in the past year, leading to one in five workers (20%) in the UK needing to take time off work in that period. Feeling some stress at work is normal – when a deadline is approaching or you’re nervous to give a presentation, stress is a normal response. However, stress can become a problem when it takes over your working life and can lead to burnout.


Definition of Workplace Stress


  • Workplace stress refers to the physical, emotional, and mental strain experienced by individuals due to their work environment and job responsibilities.

  • It's not just about feeling pressured or overwhelmed; it's a complex range of factors that can reduce well-being and productivity over time.

Common Causes of Workplace Stress


Heavy Workload and Deadlines

The constant pressure to meet deadlines and deliver results can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed and stretched too thin.


Poor Work-Life Balance

Blurring boundaries between work and personal life can result in chronic stress, as people struggle to juggle competing demands.


Lack of Job Security

Uncertainty about job stability or fear of layoffs can contribute to persistent anxiety and stress.


Conflicts with Coworkers or Management

Interpersonal conflicts or strained relationships in the workplace can create a toxic environment and exacerbate stress levels.


Micromanagement and Lack of Autonomy

Feeling micromanaged or lacking control over one's work can lead to feelings of frustration and powerlessness, contributing to stress.


Impact of Workplace Stress


Physical Health Consequences


Chronic stress has been linked to a myriad of health issues, including cardiovascular problems, weakened immune system, and musculoskeletal disorders.


Mental Health Effects:

Stress can take a toll on mental well-being, increasing the risk of anxiety, depression, and burnout.


Decreased Productivity and Morale:

High levels of stress can impair cognitive function, decision-making, and creativity, leading to decreased productivity and morale in the workplace.


Increased Absenteeism and Turnover Rates

Employees experiencing chronic stress are more likely to take sick leave and ultimately leave their jobs, resulting in higher turnover rates and associated costs for organisations.

 

Strategies for managing Workplace Stress from The Wellness Centre's Lead Counsellor, Konstantina


  • A good starting point is to ‘psychoeducate’ yourself and understand more about stress by learning about the causes of it and by recognising its signs.

  • Map out what causes you stress and what maintains your wellbeing - keep a journal or make a plan of what is helpful and what is stressful. You may try to share your thoughts with your employer and make them aware of what your needs are.

  • Individuals cope with stress differently - try to explore what works for you in terms of coping techniques.

  • Try to focus on the ‘here and now’ by practicing mindfulness. This might help you become more self-aware and feel calmer and less stressed, and also help you to cope better under stressful situations at work.

  • Give yourself small breaks and try to be more active. Small exercises like going for a walk or doing some seated exercises can make a big difference! Exercise can relieve stress.

  • Try to develop and maintain good relationships with your colleagues - connecting with people in the workplace makes work feel more enjoyable and less stressful.

  • Try to set aside time for yourself. Having a break from work can increase your productivity in the long run.

  • Try to plan your time: Time management can make you feel more in control. Prioritise important tasks and set steps and targets for complicated ones, keep a ‘to-do list’ of what you need to do. Try to reward yourself for all of your achievements at work.

  • Try to keep a work-life balance: maintain and nurture relationships with people outside your workplace and/or join groups/do activities in order to explore and develop interests and skills that you don’t use in your job.

  • Companies can hold sessions to improve employee wellbeing and reduce stress. These sessions not only boost morale for employees but can also bring people together as they discuss their shared experiences of workplace stress. The Wellness Centre at Blackburne House have already delivered Stress & Anxiety sessions to 45 staff at Merseyrail to help them to lower their stress levels.

For individuals and organisations alike, it is important to try to tackle workplace stress. The Wellness Centre at Blackburne House can deliver Stress & Anxiety Management sessions at your place of work to help you and your colleagues with your wellbeing. Email us on wellness@blackburnehouse.co.uk to find out how we can help your organisation with wellness!

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