April is stress awareness month and it’s estimated that 440,000 people in the UK have suffered with work related stress in the past year. The perception of the modern stress epidemic is often misunderstood and this month is the perfect opportunity for employers to address the topic and understand effective coping strategies. Stress is a major issue that develops because an individual is unable to cope with the pressure and work demands placed on them. It can be a significant cause of illness and it’s linked to high levels of sick absence, accounting for 37% of all work related ill health and approximately 45% of absences. The staggering figures suggest that stress is taking their toll on the workforce, impacting productivity, morale and health. There is no magic solution to stopping individuals from worrying, employers should be able to provide support all year around and communicating to staff on the care options available.
Many of us have experienced these stressful situations in our lives brought on by excessive pressures and demands in the workplace. If you’ve experienced these symptons over a prolonged period it could be an indicator of an unhealthy level of stress. In general, the earlier symptoms of stress include muscle tension, headaches, restless sleep, stomach digestive problems and it’s important to tackle the underlying cause of these issues. Closely examine your lifestyle and look at your work situation, family, thoughts and schedule.
The following are the key stress related symptons to spot:
Physical signs of stress tension include:
- Muscle tension, headaches, restless sleep, stomach and digestive problems Mental signs of stress include:
- Poor concentration, racing thoughts, low productivity and forgetfulness
- Emotional signs of stress include: Irritability, anxiety, mood swings
- Spiritual signs of stress include: Cynicism, lack of fulfilment
- Social signs of stress include: Intolerance for others, lashing out
Legal and General have implemented a fantastic strategy for raising awareness of stress in the workplace, their major initiative this year is to encourage more conversations in the workplace about mental health. They’re aiming to reduce stigma around mental health so it’s discussed more openly as a physical health concern. They’ve implemented a number of health and wellbeing strategies that are open, inclusive and flexible to all employees.
At Off Limits Corporate Events we’ve developed a number of personalised events with our mindfulness expert Diana Luke, she has over 20 years of experience running mindfulness workshops for corporate clients. Mindfulness is great way to improve team building in the workplace with workshops requested by clients to help team bonding dynamics and boost individual morale. The workshops range from Balanced Bites, Health in Mind to Stress Buster sessions. Each session is tailored to an individual client to help develop calmness, confidence and self-control. It’s a good opportunity to be active, eat well and manage your time for resting and relaxing. The workshop will help create a soothing, harmonious environment to help individuals to become relaxed, reenergised and ready to tackle the workplace more positively and focused.
Do you have any examples of how to overcome work related stress? We’d love to hear from you on Linkedin or Twitter?