Held every April since 1992 stress awareness month aims to raise awareness of the causes and cures for our modern-day stress epidemic.
There is no health without mental health and stress can lead to a range of health problems, from physical problems, like heart disease, insomnia, digestive issues, immune system challenges, etc. to more serious mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.
#ActNow is the slogan chosen for the 2023 campaign:
Stress plays a part in every job
It would be a better world if everyone enjoyed their work, had a happy and fulfilling career. Mark Twain is reputed to have said “choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”.
Everyone deserves a job that they find meaningful and fulfilling but, in the real world, that is not always the case. The best and most meaningful of jobs will include experiences we love and some we seriously loathe.
One thing employers can do is to help staff develop resilience and coping strategies. Help them become better equipped to successfully adapt to change by exploring resilience, health and wellbeing, and how to maximise these across different situations.
10Eighty advice on coping with stress
Whatever your job if you are genuinely engaged with your work then you are more than likely to end up producing effective, creative, innovative, great work for your employer.
Workplace stressors are many and varied – work-life balance, time management, managing workload, employee conflicts, discipline, performance expectations, motivating and maintaining engagement, prioritising, emotional confrontation with subordinates, and establishing boundaries. These are all things you can learn to manage, with help from peers, coaches, mentors and other stakeholders.
First and foremost you need to be self-aware, understand your values and strengths. Then practice a level of self-care – get feedback and use the input you get where you can, set boundaries, work with your colleagues and team to create a supportive and collaborative work environment that allows every employee to contribute, participate and develop in their roles.
Time management – prioritise tasks and do the important jobs first. Don’t put off the unpleasant tasks, avoidance causes a great deal of stress, give unpleasant tasks a high priority and do them first.
Know your limitations – learn to delegate effectively and be assertive enough to say ‘No’ without feeling guilty.
Be realistic – recognise and accept things as they are and concentrate on what can be controlled. Managing change effectively is essential or else performance will be reduced.
Positive thinking – if something is becoming a concern try to reframe it. Talk over problems before they get out of proportion, and view things from a different and less stressful perspective.
If you have other top tips for managing stress, let us know on social media by clicking one of the icons below.