Marshall’s Mill: Managing Stress Levels While Working
April 23 2020
Here at Marshall’s Mill, we are promoting the importance of managing stress levels while working
Some stress can keep you focused, on your toes and able to attain new challenges in the workplace. However, too much stress, from pressures such as the increase in long hours, tight deadlines, and demands from peers can leave you feeling worried, fatigued, and overwhelmed. Stress can have a very negative effect on mental health and wellbeing as well as your physical health, it can cause:
- Feelings of losing control, anger and fear
- Racing thoughts
- Use of alcohol
- Stomach problems
- Social anxiety
- Loss of sex drive
In today’s hectic world, especially with the current pandemic, it’s important now, more than ever, that we keep good stress management and build resilience to adapt to such challenging circumstances. We have brought you our five top tips on managing stress levels at work.
Tip 1: Exercise and nutrition
Did you know that aerobic exercise is a really effective way to lift both your mood and energy, build focus and relax both your mind and body? Pilates and yoga are held at lunchtime weekly at Marshall’s Mill, however, while we’re working from home there are plenty of free resources online for beginners, intermediate and advanced. You can find the top Pilates workout videos on Youtube in this recent article by Cosmopolitan.
For maximum stress relief, it’s important to get at least 30 minutes of activity most days of the week. You can break up the activity into shorter segments if this is easier to fit into your schedule.
On Thursday 30th April, you can join our tenants, Jenny from motive8, as she takes you through a 30-minute body weight circuit. This total body workout is designed to improve your fitness, blast fat and, quite simply, energise you at lunchtime! You can find the link to the webinar on our website.
Food choices also impact how we feel during the day. It’s important that we try to eat healthy, small, balanced meals to maintain energy and focus. Eating in this way also evens blood sugar levels and can prevent mood swings.
Our top tips when eating: minimise sugar intake, reduce caffeine and fatty foods, narrow your intake of alcohol, avoid nicotine and eat more fish (the best sources of Omega-3 are salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines).
You can find more information on nutrition and hydration here.
Tip 2: Prioritise and organise
If you’re feeling worried, overwhelmed and out of control, time management will help reduce this stress. Creating a balanced schedule helps you find a balance between both work and home life, social activities and other daily responsibilities. There are plenty of productivity planners and organisers out there to help you keep the balance, here’s a helpful article to find the best ones.
Leaving your house (or in lockdown, getting up) just 10-15 minutes earlier can make a difference in rushing and having an easier start to the day. Rushing around and being always late increases stress levels, instantly putting you in a bad mood and decreasing the extra time you could have for yourself.
Prioritising high-priority tasks first and even breaking them down into smaller steps can make projects seem less overwhelming, leaving your day feeling more pleasant and manageable. Make sure you plan in regular breaks, as this helps your brain to relax and keep focused when you’re working.
Don’t forget sometimes it’s best to delegate some responsibility. Organise some work for another employee to take a look at if your plate is looking too full. By being willing to compromise and agree with co-workers on different workloads, stress levels are reduced across multiple people.
Tip 3: Establish boundaries
Sometimes it’s easy to feel pressured into being available 24/7, meaning demands of work can potentially affect personal and home life and cause strain on relationships outside work. It’s essential that this doesn’t happen and that you create some work-life boundaries. That can mean something simple, like not checking emails from home in the evening, or not answering the phone during your designated lunchtime. Everybody has a different preference to how much they blend their work and home life, some more than others, but creating some clear boundaries between them can help reduce any potential conflict and the stress that comes with it.
Tip 4: Learn how to relax
Did you know that the number of people practising meditation has more than tripled since 2012? As well as meditation, deep breathing exercises and mindfulness are useful methods of releasing stress. You can ease your way into regularly practising it by taking just a few minutes each day to focus on a simple activity like breathing or a gentle walk. Focusing specifically on a single activity without distraction will get easier with practice. Once you get into a regular habit, you’ll find that you can apply it to many different aspects of your life.
If you’re currently working from home due to the recent pandemic it can be difficult to feel calm and relaxed. We are providing a webinar on keeping calm and productive whilst working from home on 28th April 2020, you can find the free tickets on Eventbrite here.
Tip 5: Talk to someone for support
It’s always important to know that you are supported, accepting help from trusted co-workers, friends and family members can improve your ability to manage stress. Your employers are very understanding and care about your well-being, with many having stress management resources available through an employee assistance program. This usually includes online information, external counselling or referrals to mental health specialists. Productivity at work has been linked to employee health, so have an incentive to create a work environment that promotes employee well-being.
The above are only five tips that can lead to less work-related stress. There are many online resources that can help you battle stress or any other mental health issues. Mind works to support better mental health, you can find more information on their website.
Please remember that we are human, and we have feelings. We also have our limits and our mental health is just as important as our physical well-being.
Be aware of the symptoms of stress, whether it’s yourself or someone you know – find help or be that person to confide in
We have a wonderful way of working and living in our corner of Leeds and would love to tell you all about it. If you’re interested in viewing any of our available office space, please contact us.