Stress, depression and anxiety are responsible for almost half of work-related illness reports. According to the British Health and Safety Executive (HSE), of the 1.7 million workers suffering from a work-related illness in 2020-21, 822,000 were down to stress, depression or anxiety.
At Bennett Freehill we care about our team’s welfare and, this week in particular, we are helping staff to understand the best ways to prevent or reduce work related stress and help to balance good mental health, by putting together some tips to help us all feel more in control:
Go outside: Going for a short walk or sitting in a green space can have an extremely calming effect on how we feel. Whilst the weather may not always make it possible, going for a half an hour walk has been shown to lower stress levels and blood pressure while increasing mood and mental health.
Track your stressors: It’s good to take note of what things cause you to feel stress and how you respond to them. If this is something in work it would be good to reach out to your team lead to discuss how they can help you in setting up a stress management plan.
Manage your devices: Research shows that spending too much time on devices can affect the quality of your sleep and impact your physical health. Why not limit your exposure by going to your settings and setting a realistic screen time. Even if you ignore it, at least you’re increasing your awareness around how long you’re spending on your phone.
Meditation and Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the ability to be present and fully engaged with whatever you’re doing in the moment. It’s a great way to centre your thoughts and calm the mind. Start by noticing things in your immediate surroundings such as smell, touch, sounds, taste and sight – this can help to ground you. If you are interested in picking up meditation practice you can try apps, such as Headspace and CALM, which have lots of free guided meditations.
Talk to Someone: As they say, a problem shared is a problem halved. Speaking to a friend, loved one, colleague or therapist can help you to lighten the load you may be feeling. The person you’re talking to may also be able to help you organise your thoughts, create an action plan, or take some tasks off your plate.
Remember it’s okay to be struggling. It’s okay to ask for help.
Earlier this year Bennett Freehill signed up to the Mental Health Charter underlining our continued commitment to providing a mentally healthy workplace.