Bianca Stressed

How to Recognise and Manage Workplace Stress during Stress Awareness Month

Bianca Stressed

 

During Stress Awareness Month, it’s crucial to shine a spotlight on how prevalent workplace stress is. Picture this: you’re sitting at your desk, heart racing, surrounded by a mountain of unfinished tasks and looming deadlines. The pressure is suffocating, and you feel like you’re drowning in a sea of stress. Sound familiar? You’re not alone.

Today, navigating workplace stress has become an essential skill for surviving the corporate jungle. From demanding bosses to tight project timelines, the modern workplace is a breeding ground for stressors that can take a toll on our mental and physical wellbeing. In this blog, we’ll go through the common stressors at work and strategies for managing stress.

Workplace Stress 101

In the UK, nearly 80% of employees suffer from moderate-to-high and high levels of stress.

Workplace stress can manifest in various forms, from tight deadlines and high pressure to toxic work environments and lack of support. Effective stress management begins with identifying these stressors. It’s also essential to remember that stress can be caused by both internal and external factors.

Common Stressors in the Workplace

Employee wellbeing and productivity are often hampered by workplace stress, which can come from various sources. Common stressors in the workplace include:

  • Heavy workloads
  • Unrealistic deadlines
  • Poor communication

A constant need for high performance can also lead to burnout and anxiety among employees.

Additional factors that contribute to workplace stress include conflicts with coworkers and managers, a lack of recognition, and unclear job expectations. Employee mental health and team dynamics can be impacted by these stressors. Promoting open communication, setting realistic goals, and cultivating a supportive work culture that values employees’ wellbeing is vital for organisations to address these issues.

Importance of Self-Care

Self-care plays an important role in promoting overall wellbeing and health. Self-care boosts our physical health and strengthens our mental wellbeing. When we’re stressed out at work, taking time to care for ourselves and manage our everyday stressors can help us cope and improve our mental fitness.

Sometimes a quick self-check-in can help you get started on your self-care routine. Here are a few questions to ask yourself if you need help to understand your needs better.

Engaging in self-care activities can help us recharge and regain perspective, giving us more energy and clarity at work. Whether it’s setting boundaries, practising mindfulness, or simply indulging in activities we enjoy, self-care makes it easier for us to handle workplace stress. Investing time in ourselves isn’t selfish; doing so helps you stay productive and satisfied at work in the long run.

For some more self-care tips, check out Mind’s page.

Strategies for Managing Stress

In this section, we’ll discuss practical strategies for managing workplace stress effectively.

Seeking support and resources

To manage workplace stress, you need support and resources. Open communication with managers or HR can help. They can provide valuable insights, offer solutions, and point you towards relevant resources designed to support employees’ wellbeing in the workplace.

Approaching a manager or HR professional allows you to express concerns, identify triggers of stress, and develop solutions. You can prevent stress from escalating by having these conversations early on.

Stress in the workplace can be a challenge, but one invaluable resource is mental health first aid training. Such training equips individuals with the knowledge and tools to detect mental distress and help those in need. Cultures of empathy and understanding can make workplaces safer, where employees feel supported and valued.

Implementing healthy coping mechanisms

Stress management techniques

Techniques such as deep breathing and mindfulness can serve as powerful tools to combat stressors and promote mental wellbeing. Deep breathing techniques, when practised regularly, can help regulate emotions and bring a sense of calm during moments of heightened stress. Incorporating mindfulness practices into your daily routine is also beneficial for staying present and reducing anxiety.

It’s important to remember that these coping mechanisms are not quick fixes but rather skills that require practice and consistency to yield significant benefits. It takes time and effort to master these techniques, but it can help people cope with workplace stressors and improve their overall quality of life.

Time management strategies

Setting realistic deadlines and prioritising tasks can help you stay organised and structure your workday. Breaking down complex projects into smaller, manageable tasks can improve productivity and reduce stress.

Working in focused intervals and taking short breaks is another effective time management technique. This promotes concentration levels and prevents burnout by allowing for regular moments of rest and rejuvenation throughout the day. Utilising these proactive time management techniques can help you handle workplace stressors and cultivate a healthier work-life balance.

Setting boundaries and prioritising tasks

Keeping your boundaries clear with colleagues and supervisors ensures that you’re respected while maintaining professional relationships.

Prioritising tasks can also have a significant impact on your stress levels at work. Identifying time-sensitive or more important tasks allows you to allocate resources efficiently and avoid feeling overwhelmed. When you focus on the most important tasks first, you create a sense of accomplishment that can boost morale and reduce stress.

Tip: Ask yourself two questions to organise your tasks. Is the task important? Is it urgent? This may help you with which task to prioritise and which could you delegate. Search the Eisenhower matrix for a visual aid.

Creating a supportive work environment

Creating a supportive work environment goes beyond superficial perks or company policies; it requires genuine empathy and understanding. Leaders play a critical role in fostering this atmosphere by promoting open communication, active listening, and providing resources for mental health support. Encouraging teamwork and collaboration can build trust among coworkers, making the workplace more productive and cohesive.

A supportive workplace culture also requires acknowledging employees’ individual needs. Flexibility in working hours, remote work options, and personalised wellness programmes are all great ways to cater to different needs.

Prioritising Mental Health in the Workplace

As we navigate through Stress Awareness Month, it’s crucial to equip ourselves with the tools and knowledge necessary to recognise and effectively manage workplace stressors. We can foster a healthier work environment by recognising signs and triggers of stress, coping strategies, and seeking support.

At EDP Training, we recognise that mental health and workplace wellbeing go hand in hand. That’s why we offer a range of courses designed to address both mental health and anti-racism education in the workplace. Our award-winning Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training and flagship Race Ahead Courses are tailored to empower individuals and organisations to create mentally healthy cultures.

Together, let’s continue to navigate workplace stress with resilience and compassion while championing equitability in every aspect of our professional lives. Book a course now.