Wednesday, 2 November 2016

National Stress Awareness Day 2016

The PAVO mental health team’s way of trying to reduce stress in the workplace – 
“Havin’ A Laugh” whilst promoting the elephant in the room recently.

One of the most popular posts on our blog over the past five years is from the very early days and simply called National Stress Awareness Day. In it we highlighted the sad fact that at that time in 2012 stress levels in the UK had doubled in the past four years, and outlined some of the well-known causes of stress. We also listed the Top 10 Tips for addressing stress, and, given the fact this is one of our most popular ever postings, hope these have proved helpful to many readers over the years.

This year the theme for National Stress Awareness Day – Wednesday 2 November – is Workforce Wellness – Your Prime Investment. The International Stress Management Association, the charity which promotes this national day, has drawn up a new list of tips specifically related to the theme:

1. Start to put yourself first
If you eat and drink healthily, schedule regular physical activity that you enjoy, and manage your time effectively, you’ll be in a better position to help others.

2. Start to prioritise tasks
There are only so many things we can do well during each day,so choose your top 3 most urgent tasks each morning and make them your priority. Reschedule, renegotiate your commitments or delegate – you can make it happen!

3. Start to make time to relax and mentally unwind
Relaxation, breathing and meditation exercises have been proven to be effective in reducing stress and anxiety, they are ideal ways to switch off AND they boost your immune system. Just a few minutes a day will pay huge dividends.

4. Start to empathise with others
There are many different behaviour styles that affect how we communicate with each other. Be aware that different people can perceive your words and actions in a way you didn’t always intend. Take time to listen to others and look for solutions.

5. Start to live life to the full
Bring some fun into your life and spend a few minutes each day appreciating the good things you have in your life. This will help you to see opportunities for growth and learning, even from the most challenging situations.

6. Stop ignoring your needs
Know what is expected of you and what is reasonable. Take short breaks throughout the day and know when and how to say ‘No’ both at work and home.

7. Stop getting distracted
If you’re experiencing too much pressure or just have a lot going on in your life, staying focused isn’t easy. It may help to ask for support from colleagues or friends and prioritise urgent, important and non-urgent tasks.

8. Stop allowing others to make you feel inferior

The key to stress-free living is to accept yourself for exactly who you are today, including past mistakes and things you might not be so proud of. Work on your self-belief and confidence and just go for it!

9. Stop being judgemental

Try to adopt a more flexible thinking style which will improve your mental well-being, whilst reducing unnecessary pressure for both you and those around you. Practice being objective and understanding.

10. Stop avoiding the things you least want to do
We often put off tasks that can become a recipe for worry. Take control and promise yourself a reward when you get it done.

The Royal College of Nursing has also produced an excellent guide: Healthy workplace, healthy you. It is aimed at nursing staff, but much of the information about the signs and symptoms of stress, and tips for reducing and managing stress, are relevant to anyone in the workplace.

Finally, if you are reading this in Autumn 2016, feeling stressed and living in Powys, there are other things you can do to help address the situation. Several courses are just about to start up across the county which are looking at stress, anger management, and positive approaches to managing your life including addressing how stress impacts on day-to-day activities and what you can do to reduce it.

Mid Powys Mind
Stress and Anxiety Management course – Llandrindod Wells, Mid Powys
23 & 30 November, 2 December.
Tel: 01597 824411 for further information.

Pain & Fatigue Management Centre
ACTivate Your Life course – Bronllys Hospital, South Powys
28 November, 5, 12 & 19 December.
The 4 week ACTivate Your Life course was developed by Professor Neil Frude, a Clinical Psychologist with over 40 years’ experience of helping people to learn and practice the core principles of Acceptance, Commitment Therapy or ACT. Tel: 01874 712449 for further information.

Ponthafren Association
Anger Management course – North Powys
The charity is currently drawing up a waiting list of people ready to start a new course in the next few months. Please let staff or volunteers know if you are interested by ringing 01686 621586.

Ystradgynlais Mind
Confidence & Assertiveness course 
This 4 weekly course will be starting again in the New Year. Please let staff or volunteers know if you are interested by ringing 01639 841345.

These are just a few examples of courses and activities running in Powys this Autumn and Winter. To find out more check out the Powys Mental Health website events calendar.

Do you have experience of stress in the workplace? And do you have some good tips which you could share with us which may help others? Let us know in the comments box below.

1 comment:

  1. prof premraj pushpakaran writes--let us celebrate Stress Awareness Day!!!