6 tips for coping with stress
Posted: Fri, 06 Nov 2015 11:47
For National Stress Awareness Day, businesses are being encouraged to focus on improving employee wellbeing through stress management initiatives.
Businesses have a duty of care for employees which extends to mental health as well as physical health. What's more, with performance benefits to be reaped, taking action to reduce stress simply makes good business sense.
Stress can lead to a variety of physical symptoms and illnesses, and in the last year was responsible for 35% of all work-related ill health cases.
Many different factors can cause stress at work, including increased pressure, interpersonal conflicts, lack of job security, too much or too little responsibility, or unachievable work objectives.
So, what advice can you give to employees for coping with stress? Here are 6 tips taken from our Managing Your Personal Stress eLearning course.
1. Maintain an active lifestyle
Taking regular exercise, whether it's walking, going to the gym, or doing housework is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and has many cognitive benefits.
Doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of light exercise per day. Although this won't remove the causes of stress, it will help clear your mind, better equipping you to deal with stress effectively.
2. Eat a regular and healthy diet
Good nutrition is important for helping your body maintain blood sugar levels, enabling it to function effectively and optimally throughout the day.
Like exercise, good nutrition won't eliminate the causes of stress, but will ensure your body's stress management systems are performing to their optimum capability.
3. Connect with people
Socialising has an inherently positive effect on the human brain, and connecting with others can also help you to see things in from a different perspective.
Feelings of isolation or being unable to cope are often causes of stress, so connecting with people can also show you that you are not alone, and reveal new ways to cope with your situation.
4. Set aside personal time
Whether it's pursuing a hobby, socialising with friends, or simply relaxing, setting aside personal time gives you a vital opportunity to unwind and take some distance from causes of stress.
Being unable to switch off from work is often caused by feeling that there is too much to do, but it's better to be productive and happy for 8 hours per day than stressed and unproductive for 16 hours a day.
5. Avoid unhealthy habits
Many people cope with stress by turning to unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking to excess, or consuming large amounts of caffeinated drinks.
These habits can all provide short term improvements in mood, energy, or concentration, but in the long term all have a negative health impact.
Healthy habits such as exercising, socialising and pursuing hobbies on the other hand lead to both short term and long term benefits, so why would you choose to avoid them?
6. Help other people
Helping others is statistically proven to improve people's happiness levels and make people more resilient.
By volunteering, doing community work or simply doing someone a favour every day, you can increase your feelings of self-esteem and happiness and minimise stress.
Improving stress awareness in your organisation
There are numerous business benefits to be reaped through providing your employees with an understanding of stress management techniques, including reduced absences, increased productivity and overall improved employee wellbeing.
To help businesses deliver training in stress management, DeltaNet provide a Managing Your Personal Stress eLearning course.
The twenty minute course covers the causes, symptoms, and coping strategies for dealing with work-related stress, and can be delivered online wherever learners have access to the Internet, using a mobile phone, tablet or personal computer.