Stress is more serious than you may think. Overly stressful situations can lead to symptoms such as headaches, increased blood pressure, chest pain and trouble being able to sleep.
The infographic below shows statistics surrounding stress in the UK from a survey that was conducted early 2018.
It was discovered that money is the most common cause of stress which is then followed by work. Both of these go hand-in-hand, as to make money the majority of people go to work. With 39% of UK adults feeling stressed in their day-to-day lives, it is important to understand that you are not alone in feeling this way and there are things you can do to help reduce stress.
1. Make sure you are getting enough rest
It can vary from person to person, but the majority of people need around eight hours of good quality sleep to feel well rested and to function properly. Without enough sleep each night, you are more likely to experience emotional and physical distress.
Continuous sleepless nights can lead to more serious symptoms and can contribute to stress and irritability in the workplace. A good night’s rest can benefit you in more ways than one, including boosting your immunity and decreasing the chance of heart disease.
When you are trying to fall asleep, disconnect from any technology. Do not be tempted to go on your phone. Instead, try something relaxing such as reading a book for 30 minutes before you plan on falling asleep.
2. Organise your task list
An unorganised task list can be overwhelming to look at. You may find yourself becoming more stressed each time you think about your task list. You may even find yourself avoiding starting certain tasks, which will only lead to a build up and make the situation worse.
Organising your tasks will allow you to clearly see what you need to do and by what date each task need to be completed.
You should organise your list by due dates and high to low priority. You can use free, online tools to help you set out your task list as well as get reminders when a task needs completing. A few examples we have tried and tested include:
Trello is a free project management tool which allows you to create individual or team boards that you can add tasks too. You can assign people, change colours, add different lists and assign dates.
For tasks with a more rigorous process, Asana may be a suitable option. It is a task-oriented project management tool. It also provides the ability to work collaboratively.
3. Eat healthier
Your diet and nutritional choices can impact your stress levels. Stress has been linked to increased blood sugar levels in the body so it is important to stabilise your levels as well as maintaining a healthy diet.
Fruit and vegetables are vital to a balanced diet, and it is recommended that you have 5 portions of each every day. Try to keep every portion different.
Breakfast is also just as important if you want to be able to keep focus. Starting the day on an empty stomach isn’t going to help! Try to avoid anything that has too much sugar or caffeine. Ensure you are not skipping any meals during the day.
The body has an increased demand for protein when stressed. Great sources of protein include chicken and fish. For those who do not eat meat, beans and nuts are also great options!
4. Speak to your manager
If you have organised your task list and you still feel as if it is too much for you to handle, speak to your manager about it. Keeping it bottled up is only going to make it worse. If your manager is unaware of it, how are they supposed to help you with it?
Being open with your manager is an important step to improving your career. It will improve your relationship and make you feel more comfortable in the workplace.
5. Listen to music
Music can have a calming effect on your mind and body and help reduce stress. It can also create a more fun workplace whilst you are completing your tasks. 65% of businesses say that music in the workplace makes us more productive.
Try listening to music whilst working to see if it improves your workflow and productivity.
6. Take your breaks
A recent study found that a third of UK employees never leave their workplace after they arrive in the morning. More than half don’t even take their full lunch break. (source)
Do you find yourself working over your breaks far too often? If you do not take your allocated break times, you will start to feel even more stressed because you are working non-stop.
When you are on your break, switch off from work-related activity and take the moment to relax. You will feel less stressed!
7. Focus on one task at a time
Switching between tasks can make you seem like you have a lot more work to do than you think you have. Giving all of your focus on one task at a time will help you to complete them faster because you aren’t being distracted by other activities.
8. Ask for help
You don’t need to go through this feeling alone. You can talk to colleagues, your manager or your HR department. Maybe you need a hand with your workload from your team members or need your manager to take some of the responsibilities off you. You may be unhappy with your role and need to speak with your HR department. Whatever it is, do not keep it to yourself and address the issues as early as possible so that they do not get worse.
If you need to speak to someone outside your workplace, we have compiled together a list of support lines that you can contact. You can find it here.