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Our top 5 tips for combating stress in the workplace

We need to learn to sometimes say no

Stress. It is something that affects us all, in one way or another. Whether it is from work or your personal life, we have all felt that burden placed upon our shoulders. These ‘stressors’ deserve no place in our lives, and there are many useful stress management tools that can help us all live a more stress-free life.

As part of our current charity partnership with the Mental Health Foundation, we recently attended some workshops on Wellbeing in the Workplace. We wanted to share with you our top 5 stress-busting tips that we took away from those workshops: - you might want to re-word this paragraph a bit.

Start eliminating those stressors…

'Stress' written in capital letters with a red pencil, and underlined

Whether it be work or home related, it has been recommended by many mental health professionals as well as the NHS to identify anything in your life that you would class as a ‘stressor’. Once you identify what they are, see if any can be removed, or figure out ways of easing the stress they create. Whether it’s learning to say no if you’re too busy, or exercising more, or even removing certain people from your life, you need to identify and deal.

Stay healthy…

A woman with her back to the camera looks at a sunset across the sea, with arms outstretched

Some people may use alcohol, smoking or drugs to help manage or relieve stress, but this isn’t a healthy long term coping mechanism. Get outdoors and literally, blow those stress cobwebs away. Spending time in nature and exercise are great stress busters. They aren’t miracle cures that will automatically stop the stress you’re feeling, but they have both been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. You can read more about this here.

Here at Orchard, we have lunchtime groups that go for a run, or go to the gym to keep active during our work days. It keeps our creativity juices flowing!

Put yourself first sometimes…

A woman curled up on a chair with a mug

Its human nature to put other people’s feeling before your own at times. But, you may have to say ‘no’ to others in order to say ‘yes’ to yourself at times too. This is not being selfish as it allows you to be the best you can be for others – there is nothing wrong with being assertive when you need to be. Switch off from the world and let your brain unwind (you know, that buzz word - mindfulness). Don’t get caught up in the digital tech trap and turn those pesky notifications off! You DO NOT need to pick up your phone and answer those work emails out of work hours.

Be more organised…

Top down view of a desk with a calendar, diary, laptop, mobile phone and other desk items

Prioritising is a great way to keep your brain clear and avoid those oh so stressy moments. You know the ones – that deadline is fast approaching and a crucial part of a job still hasn’t been completed yet. Get the most important parts completed first, and leave the non-crucial elements for later. Check out the book ‘Eat that frog’ for more of this wonderful advice.

Me, Myself and I…

A woman wearing headphones looking out of a window

Did you know that we have the longest working hours in Europe. Having time to yourself is just as important as everything else. Start saying “Yes!” to the things that you truly enjoy - listening to music you love; picking up a good book; going to the cinema or shopping; or even just taking some time out to sit by yourself. Do whatever takes your fancy. With our ever-increasing busy schedules, even planning in me time can seem nearly impossible at times and create more stress – BUT, having that time to yourself is just an important as work, if not more.

Finally, most importantly - talk. Simple as that. Talk to a family member, a friend, your boss or work colleague, or give one of the helplines below a ring. Talking is the first step, and we all have a responsibility to support each other and talk openly about our mental health.

This particular quote resonnates with us,

“May I have the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” 

We are all our own worst enemies at times but by building good emotional strength, we can all help reduce our stress and start taking back control of our work / life balance. You may have to say ‘no’ to others in order to say ‘yes’ to yourself.  This is not being selfish as it allows you to be the best you can be for others.

Helpline numbers:

Samaritans: 116 123

Mind: 0300 123 3393

Rethink Mental Illness: 0300 5000 927

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