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This week marks the beginning of Stress Awareness Month.
That's why we are dedicating today's edition to noticing the key signs and effects of stress and how to manage it.
Stress affects us in many ways, both physically and emotionally, in varying intensities. Understanding stress symptoms can help us understand when it is affecting our lives and how to manage its impact.
If you, or someone you know, is stressed or overwhelmed at work or home then check out the tips below. It may help to save and share this post, too.
Here are our tips to help you in the workplace:
While stress affects us each person differently, there are common signs everyone can look out for.
Physical symptoms: Headaches, muscle tension or pain, fatigue, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, digestive issues and sleep disturbances.
Emotional symptoms: Anxiety, depression, irritability, anger, restlessness and feeling overwhelmed.
Cognitive symptoms: Difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, racing thoughts and constant worrying.
Behavioural symptoms: Eating more or less, social withdrawal, procrastination, increased use of drugs or alcohol and nervous habits such as nail-biting or pacing.
Having a routine can be very helpful in managing stress. It provides structure to your day, helping limit feelings of uncertainty and being overwhelmed. This creates a sense of control and reduces decision fatigue, which is something that affects many in challenging roles with high levels of responsibility.
A routine can also encourage you to include time for self-care activities such as exercise, meditation, sleep and spending time with loved ones. These activities can help reduce stress and promote wellbeing.
However, sometimes life does get in the way. So, it's important to create a routine that works for you and is flexible enough to accommodate changes in your schedule.
Talking can be a very effective way to manage stress, helping you see things from a different perspective and gain new insights into your situation. This can help you find solutions to problems that may have seemed insurmountable.
Sharing your thoughts will relieve pent-up emotions and can help you feel understood and supported.
You may want to consider talking to a trusted friend or family member, a counsellor, or a therapist to get the support you need. At the bottom of this newsletter, we’ve provided a few contacts to consider.
Learn to say no to requests that are not essential or important. This can help remove situations where you feel overwhelmed and give you more time to focus on the things that are most important to you.
Setting boundaries can help you communicate your needs and expectations to others, which can improve communication and reduce conflict. This can lead to healthier, more fulfilling relationships.
Boundaries will help you balance your work, family and personal life – which is a constant challenge for many professionals.
If you are experiencing persistent stress or feel that your stress is interfering with your daily life, consider reaching out to a mental health professional for support. This can be a very effective way to reduce stress, improve mental health and promote overall wellbeing.
A mental health professional can provide expert guidance and support. They can help you develop coping strategies, identify triggers and create a plan for reducing stress.
They also offer a safe, non-judgmental space where you can talk about your feelings and concerns - helping you gain perspective on your situation and see things from a different angle.
Managing stress is an ongoing process. What works for one person may not work for another. It's important to experiment with different strategies and find what works best for you.
We'd love to hear about your advice and experiences of managing stress in the workplace - if you'd like to discuss any of the above points or have a suggestion for a future edition of #thriveinfive, just drop us an email through to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thrive in Five is our weekly blog designed to help your people and business thrive. If you have a topic that you'd like to suggest for a future edition of #thriveinfive, send us an email to email@example.com.
If you need support, here are a number of reputable organisations that help:
03444 775 774 (helpline)
07537 416 905 (text)
Advice and support for people living with anxiety.
Information and guidance on health and safety law in the workplace.
Tips and articles on personal effectiveness, management and leadership.
Information about health problems and treatments, including details of local NHS services in England.
116 123 (freephone)
Freepost SAMARITANS LETTERS
Samaritans are open 24/7 for anyone who needs to talk. You can visit some branches in person.
Information on stress and tips on how to cope.
Information sourced by mind.org