April is Stress Awareness Month

The aim of Stress Awareness Month is to increase public awareness about the causes of stress and how to help combat stress in this modern-day life. Handling stress can be different for everyone, and it can filter in from various parts of your life, from your workplace to personal relationships.

COVID-19 has undoubtedly contributed to elevated levels of stress for everyone, worries around personal, friends and families health, worries about job security, worries about working from home, and now as the lockdown eases, worries about how secure the workplace will be upon returning.  Employers are urged to engage the home working workforce in their return to the office COVID-19 Secure strategy.  By considering their potential concerns, detailing secure measures that take them into account there is every chance you will relieve much of the stress and anxiety building up in preparation for the slow return to normal working conditions.

There are plenty of resources and helpful organisations available to help with struggles regarding stress.

The 30-day challenge – this initiative encourages participants to do one action for their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing every day. This can be really helpful in changing mindsets and outlooks on stress, as well as finding ways to help cope with stresses.  As an employer, why not develop the 30-day challenge in to an organisational stress management challenge?  Challenge your workers to identify work related physical, mental and wellbeing actions, record them, with potential solutions that can make ease their stressful impact.  Arrange for weekly group workshops, hosted by managers, discuss findings and solutions and where necessary promote a positive organisational change.

Talk about Stress and it’s effects – work together to reduce the stigma that is associated with stress by talking about the topic openly and freely with at work with colleagues.

Share coping mechanisms – if something has worked, why not share it. It might benefit a colleague or their friends and family.  A great way the employer can facilitate this is by providing a confidential Stress Management suggestion box.  Review the suggestions regularly and  post them on notices boards for all staff to see.

Be nice to those who are stressed and anxious – we are all undoubtedly going to experience stress and anxiety in our lifetime so treat others going through it with compassion and empathy.

Promote  self-care in the workplace – encourage breaks from work activities to relax the mind or the body or both.  Encourage your workforce to do some form of exercise, to eat healthily and well.