Having been recognised in the healthcare world as Stress Awareness Month for the past sixteen years, April is when health professionals unite, in raising awareness about stress and its many causes. The healthcare sector is notoriously demanding, both physically and emotionally. Social Media Champion and Colwyn Bay Healthcare Coordinator, Sian Jones, shares 10 top tips to manage and deal with stress.
At Newcross, we appreciate the benefits of stress management in the workplace. It highlights the importance of maintaining a happy, healthy workforce. From Branch Managers, to our team of Clinical Nurse Advisors, to Occupational Health, our team have a number of support systems at their disposal.
A few simple steps can help you to take control of any situation and aid you in reducing your stress. Ignoring stress symptoms will only allow the problem to worsen.
Here are our top ten stress-busting tips:
1. Challenge yourself
Setting yourself goals and challenges, whether at work or outside, such as learning a new language or a new sport, helps to build confidence. In turn, this will help to alleviate stress.
2. Adopt a healthy lifestyle/Be active
If we eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and ensure we get adequate sleep and rest, our body is better able to cope with stress should it occur. Exercise causes the body to release endorphins, known to make you feel that much happier.
3. Know your limitations and do not take on too much
We can cause ourselves a great deal of stress because we do not want to let people down. We then end up doing more than we should. Ensure you get a healthy work/life balance by managing your diary effectively and allowing for rest breaks in between periods of working.
4. Take control
Take time to discover the root of your worries and try to change your thoughts and behaviour to reduce it. A stress assessment can help you to fully understand the causes, the implications to your health and how to manage, cope and make necessary changes. The act of taking control is in itself empowering, and it's a crucial part of finding a solution that satisfies you.
5. Avoid unnecessary conflict
Don’t be too argumentative. Ask yourself: Is this really worth the stress? Look for win - win situations. Try and come to a resolution, where both parties can achieve a positive outcome. Find out what the real cause of the problem is and deal with it. Sometimes this means knowing when to apologise and when to let it go.
6. Accept the things you cannot change
Changing a difficult situation is not always possible. If this proves to be the case, recognise and accept things as they are and concentrate on all that you do have control over. Managing change effectively is essential or else performance will be reduced.
7. Take time out to relax and recharge your batteries
Here in the UK, we work the longest hours in Europe, meaning we often don't spend enough time doing things we really enjoy. Make sure you take at least one annual break of at least 10-14 continuous days to ensure you get a healthy work-life balance.
8. Connect with people Friends can ease work troubles and help us see things in a different way. The activities we engage in with friends help us relax and we will often have a good laugh. It boosts the immune system that is often depleted during stress. A good support network of colleagues, friends and family can ease your work troubles and help you see things in a different way.
9. Try to see things differently: Develop a more positive thinking style
If something is concerning you, try to see it differently. Talk over your problem with somebody before it gets out of proportion. Overthinking can cause small things to seem far bigger than they actually are. Often, talking to a friend/colleague/family member will help you see things from a different and less stressful perspective.
10. Avoid turning to alcohol, nicotine and caffeine as coping mechanisms
Long term, these faulty coping mechanisms will just add to the problem. For example, caffeine and nicotine are stimulants - too much and the body reacts to this with the stress response increasing or even causing anxiety symptoms.
In order to excel in your work life, you need to reduce your stress levels. By following these helpful steps, you will start to squash any worries or strain you may be experiencing. Nothing should come before your mental health and wellbeing.