April was Stress Awareness month and we wanted to share with you a few of our top tips in managing and dealing with stress and mental ill health – as well as share some of the industry insights presently being shared – including our own Top Tip Fact Sheets for you to download.
Stress cannot be avoided, be it at home or the workplace. Simple triggers such as how someone communicates with you can bring on negative emotions which in turn amounts to stress building up, this, in turn, causes anxiety and that feeling of ‘lack of control’ – which can often build into mental ill health.
When we are stressed at home, this is also bound to impact on our working environment. It’s the ability to recognise and manage these emotions which will help with long-term mental good health and stress management overall.
Poor Leadership and Management:
Often employee stress and mental ill health can be a result of poor leadership and management skills and lack of communication between teams and leaders of individuals and teams. The recent CIPD survey shows the rise in stress is linked to poor management.
Simply Health and the NHS published the following report:
The research, of 1,078 organisations across the UK referencing 3.2 million employees show that 37 percent of business has seen an increase in stress-related absence.
The top three causes are:62 percent – workloads/volume of work
43 percent – management style
30 percent – relationships at work
The report identified that managers are not receiving the training support they need to ‘buy into’ the importance of wellbeing and fewer than a third say that senior leaders encourage a focus on mental wellbeing through their actions and behaviours.
The CIPD has responded by calling for senior leaders to prioritise wellness at work and encourage greater investment in health and wellbeing by training managers, so they are confident and competent to support staff.
At Oakridge, we are already supporting this very important initiative. We are running a two-hour Mental Health Awareness Taster Session on the 16th May, in Manchester City Centre, and 17th May, in Knutsford, Cheshire. Please contact Kirstie Weatherly – Kirstie.firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to reserve your place.
Additionally, we have long been supporting organisations with training programmes on Resilience and having those necessary Performance, and Compassionate conversations.
Please download here our Top Tip Fact Sheets on:
- 7 Top Tips for Delivering Change Resilience
- 7 Top Tips for Performance Conversations
- Managing Resilience and Mental Toughness
- Take 10 Together – taking the time to listen and notice the signs of stress or mental ill health
- Information about our Mental Health Taster Session
Additionally, the Wellness Publication put together 8 Top Tips to Deal with Stress:
1. Never ignore the three fundamentals of energy:
i. Sleep – minimum of 6 hours a day
ii. Eating healthy – drink plenty of water and make sure you have vegetables and fruit in your diet
iii. Take regular exercise – be it taking interval rest-break walks throughout the day
2. Do one job at a time:
Work pressures cause us immense stress at work – which filters back to our home life. If you do one thing at a time it will help you focus and to do a job error-free. Create an hour in your day for multi-tasking those jobs that need it – and do this in the middle of the day so that you have more focus again for the afternoon.
3. Create a To-Do list – with the important jobs at the top:
Structure your list so that the main focus is on the immediate deadlines and how you manage this. The important work in the AM, the multi-tasking midday (for one hour), and the secondary important work, for the afternoon. If you are not a morning person – focus on the deadline needs first and work to that. If you can switch some of the AM and PM ‘important but not urgent’ list around to suit your given deadline – more the better.
4. Communicate more often, and clearly with others:
Overall this helps to overcome any misunderstandings, confusion or conflict.
5. Take time to organise what you need ahead of a meeting – and that also means packing your bag efficiently:
There’s nothing worse than running out the door, potentially already late for a meeting, and you still need to pack your bag. The bets are, you will forget an essential file or notes which will cause you more stress than what you are already under.
6. Take a break:
It’s recommended to take a five-minute break after one-hour of work. Going back to point one – you could accumulate this time to take a walk and breathe in some fresh air. Or you can just sit quietly and observe the greenery outside your window (if you are lucky to have that view!) – or the added recommendation is to close your eyes for two minutes and focus entirely on your breathing, this is known to calm your body and mind.
7. Weekends are for rest – so enjoy them:
Balancing work and rest is essential and it’s important to spend quality time with friends and family – try and stay away from work….even your emails unless waiting for an urgent email response.
8. Your own time is precious – so love what you do:
Doing a hobby, or sport, or having a passion for helping others, will help you to energize and to relieve stress.
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