This week marks International Stress Awareness Week (7th-11th November), giving us all the opportunity to pause and think about the people we work with, the people who have the additional role of carers, and the disabled and vulnerable, who may be quietly suffering from stress. The theme for 2022 is “Working Together to Build Resilience and Reduce Stress”. There’s a particular focus on reducing the stigma around stress and mental health, encouraging conversations and thoughts on how we, including employers, can all help people who face mental health challenges and how to spot the signs that someone is struggling.
The world around us
Sadly, stress is ubiquitous in the modern world and is all too often unavoidable in the workplace. A certain amount of stress in the workplace could likely be perceived as acceptable, motivating or even healthy. Whilst this is largely true, employers are responsible for ensuring that stress levels do not become unmanageable. According to MIND UK, work is the biggest cause of stress in our lives, more than money problems, and at least 1 in 6 workers will experience mental health problems. Too much stress affects our mood, body, and relationships, making us anxious and irritable and even lowering our self-esteem. Everyone has different ways of coping, but in the worst cases, it can lead to excessive drinking, smoking and even depression and suicidal thoughts. This can be compounded if you are also a carer, and unlike work where you have the potential to get out of it by changing jobs, for carers, this isn’t the case, with 72% of carers saying they suffer from poor mental health and are overwhelmed by carer stress.*
Your self-care checklist
In recognition of International Stress Awareness week, we encourage everyone to put importance on the stressors impacting their physical and mental health and to think about incorporating the following self-care tools into your day:
- Grab a cuppa with someone who you trust and who can offer a safe space for you to chat whilst they listen. Many people cope by suppressing their feelings and pretending everything is ok.
- Practice healthy habits to help destress and revitalise yourself. These can include meditation, catching up on sleep, devoting more time to a hobby, spending time with friends and exercising.
- Taking a mindful cold-water shower for 30 seconds can lift your mood and leave you feeling better and grateful, ready to attack the day.
- If you are a carer, think about the role technology can play in keeping your loved one safe and secure, reducing your heightened anxiety during the hours of sleep. Our monitors, fall detectors, pagers and sensors will bring quick attention to situations that arise at night and give you the peace of mind to sleep more easily.
- Permit yourself to rest. However, this looks, be it a shower, lightening a candle with a book, or taking exercise, stress can become overwhelming at times and it’s ok to take 5 to reset.
Share how you’re coping and the changes you’ve made with us via social media using the hashtags #stressawarenessweek #stressawarenessday @alert_it_care; your story might help someone else.