Whatever line of work you’re in, there are bound to be quiet periods and busy periods. Sadly with busy periods often comes stress, and this can take its toll on our mental health and well-being.
According to HSE, the Health and Safety Executive, there were over 480,000 reported cases of work-related stress in the UK in 2015/16. This equated to 11.7 million working days being lost as a result of stress.
Stress makes us sick. Most of us know this, but saying “be less stressed” can be like telling a puppy to “be less cute”, it just isn’t going to happen.
So instead of telling you to be less stressed, we thought we would look at some practical ways you can plan ahead and manage stress during busy periods.
Tips for surviving work during busy periods
If you’ve looked in your calendar and can see nothing but meetings and looming deadlines ahead, it’s time to get planning. Look out for things you can delegate or pull out of. Remember you're only human and can only do so much.
Then, start planning your time and try to be realistic with what you can achieve. Look at your workload in the morning, prioritise what needs to be done and make that the only priority for the day. Then you can work through the list knowing the most important job has been done.
Schedule some self-care and relaxation
As well as planning and scheduling your work, be sure to plan and schedule some relaxation time. This is just as important. Keep certain evenings/days free to have some alone time, time with friends/family or even to attend a complementary therapy
These activities all fall under the realm of self-care and are key to helping manage stress. Why not treat yourself to a massage
? Attend a yoga class
or even try reflexology
Surround yourself with healthy snacks and water
When you’re busy, it’s easy to fall victim to convenience - grabbing food on the go and forgetting to drink enough water. Try to prepare for this.
Keep your drawer/office kitchen filled with healthy snacks and look to make yourself lunch the night before. Get yourself a water bottle and sip on it throughout the day.
If you’ve set yourself a walking break alarm, be sure to fill up your bottle with water before you head back to your desk.
Take walking breaks
This is something we’ve started here at Therapy Directory. We’ve been pretty busy in the office and found ourselves glued to our desks, often forgetting to get up and stretch our legs. To help ‘practise what we preach’, we’ve started talking walking breaks.
Whenever we feel we’ve been sat too long or simply need a breath of fresh air, we’ll get up and leave the office for a short walk to clear our heads and move our bodies. Why not set yourself an alarm to remind you when to take a walking break?
Remember to breathe (and ask for help if you need it)
We know it’s difficult, but try and remember work is not the be all and end all. When you’re feeling overwhelmed try taking a few deep breaths while thinking about the other things you have in your life that you’re grateful for.
And finally, never be ashamed to ask for help. Often our managers are blissfully unaware how stressed we are until we bring it to their attention. Employee health and well-being should always come first, so speak up if things are getting too much and ask for some support.
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