Whilst we’re focusing on the wellbeing of our people, it’s vital that we don’t neglect our own mental health at work. I think most people have felt stressed at some point – I think sometimes a bit of pressure can be productive, but stress is incredibly harmful.
Here are five things that help me when I feel under pressure:
- Get outside. Fresh air and escaping the office definitely helps me to bring things into perspective.
- Take back control. Be honest about what’s causing you stress and (at least try to) address it. I feel powerless when I’m stressed, so taking back a bit of control – even in a minor way – is helpful.
- Write stuff down. I’m a list maker by nature, so I find writing down copious to-do lists helpful so at least I know what there is to do. That also helps me to prioritise my tasks and gives me clarity over what is really urgent and important.
- Do something different. Having hobbies outside of work gives my brain time to recharge. I play clarinet in an orchestra, go running, and roller skate – none of which have anything at all to do with my career, but all of which are absorbing and take me out of the stress spiral of panic and worry. Making things (knitting, sewing, baking) is a positive reinforcement that I can start out with a pile of ‘raw ingredients’ and create something new. It might not be perfect, but I find it a real boost to see something brand new that I’ve created.
- Get help. Mind has a lot of useful advice and coping mechanisms, or check out the NHS website. If it doubt, go and discuss with your GP – stress is debilitating and sometimes we need professional support to emerge from the other side.