#YesSheCan In-Depth: Stress Awareness Week

Stress awareness is an important topic to reflect on and learn more about every day. Stress is something we can all be affected by, whether it’s in our careers or personal lives. 
This #YesSheCan blog will focus on stress in the workplace and discuss where stress can stem from and how we can manage it.

Where Stress Can Come From

Although we can feel the effects of stress, sometimes it can be tricky to identify why we are feeling that way. It’s key to understand where our stress is coming from and what aspects of our lives it’s affecting.

The workplace in pop culture and the media is notoriously known as the hot spot for our stress – and this can unfortunately sometimes be true. It’s important to note though that this shouldn’t be the case.

So, what can be sources of stress in our careers?

Our Work: This won’t come as a surprise to many of us, but our work can be a big source for stress in our careers. This can be down to the tasks we are given, deadlines, how fast-paced our workplace is and how much we enjoy it. All of those elements combined can make us feel burned out and even under the weather.

Workplace Environment: Basic things such as not having an dedicated area for our lunch breaks, menstruation or other hygiene products not being readily available and how busy our environment is can often be overlooked and lead us to associated stress with our workplace space.

Relationships: Relationships are essential for us to feel safe, comfortable, and not feel judged in our workplace. This can be with our peers, leaders, clients/customers or anyone else we interact on a daily basis. We should be able to feel like we can go to our leaders with issues and network with our peers easily. When this isn’t a priority in our workplace, we can start to feel negatively and subsequently stress can grow.

Managing Our Stress in The Workplace

Now we can understand where our stress may come from and how that reflects on our perception of the workplace, we can focus on the positively managing those feelings. We can do this in small ways which aren’t going to overwhelm us and that can also be sustainable and realistic for our own needs.

If you are experiencing stress which can’t be managed through the methods below and are affecting your mental health, please seek help as soon as possible and tell someone you trust. We have listed some helpful resources and organisations at the end of this blog.

Connect with people you trust

When we might feel alone in our stress, connecting with those we trust and feel comfortable with can be uplifting for us. This can be friends, online or in person, family members or even peers in our workplace.

This can unload some of that stress and even an opportunity to get much needed advice or words of comfort from our trusted people.

Adopt active hobbies

Keeping our brains active especially with activities that are away from the things causing us stress can be key. The main one which is an instant serotonin producer is exercise and simply moving your body. This doesn’t have to be in the form of going to the gym but adopting tasks which keep you moving.

Why not try and go for a walk on your lunch break or after work and spot 5 things which make you smile and note them down. Anything that is transporting you from the place of your stress can be ultimately a game-changer.

Self-care isn’t overrated

Self-care is a word that has been floating around for years and can often be hard to nail down to serve our own specific needs – but it can be very important. Much like finding something to keep us active, we need to find a happy place in our passions that aren’t related to our careers.

This can be small meaningful things – from making a music playlist, listening to a podcast, getting into a bubble bath, or playing video games, self-care shouldn’t feel like a chore or have to be extravagant. It’s time that we set ourselves which is strictly for us and what we want to do.

Reflect on the positives

As well as doing things we enjoy, we should reflect on the positives. If your stress is predominantly coming from your workplace, it’s crucial that we also see the positive side of our careers. This can noting down things such as what we’ve achieved and what we’re proud of, our hard work and the aspects of our career that we are passionate about

Doing this may be helpful to elevate some of the stress we may be feeling and put our careers and work into perspective. Remember – don’t beat yourself up or think your stress is your fault. Stress can affect us all differently and how you feel doesn’t reflect negatively on you.

We hope you found this blog useful and thanks for reading. If you liked this, read our blog on how you can prioritise your mental health here.
Below are resources and organisations which can support you if you feel that stress is negatively impacting you and affecting your mental and physical health. Don’t suffer in silence and reach out for help when you need it.

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