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How to combat stress in the workplace

How to combat stress in the workplace

Published at 11:11am 30th October 2017. (Updated at 3:03pm 30th October 2017)

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Soothe Essentials

How often would you describe yourself as stressed? It's not uncommon to experience stress and in some cases it's actually a positive thing, but too much of it for a prolonged period of time reduces well being and inevitably will eventually affect the productivity and profit of a business. In 2015/16 11.7 million working days were lost due to stress related illness according to ISMA. So if you're a manager or work somewhere that seems to be affected by stress dealing with the problem at the source could be an incredible time and cost effective option. 

So what are the symptoms or stress to look for?

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Muscular aches and pains
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Over or under eating
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of interest
  • Tiredness
  • Addictions

But it's not just something we should learn to 'deal with'. Dealing with stress on a long term basis can have quite serious health risks so tackling it early is always the ideal solution. There is lots that managers or individuals can do to help including the following:

  • Regular breaks away from screens that include a stand up, a walk (preferably outside!) and a stretch. This releases tension in the muscles and helps fight tiredness.
  • Stop eating at your desk. Whilst this may seem like the most productive way to continue working whilst you get your lunch, it actually usually does the opposite and can cause over eating which in turn can cause sluggishness. A well balanced diet also makes sure you have the right nutrients and vitamins in your system to keep you fighting fit.
  • Exercise can be huge stress relief and links with health clubs or gyms offering discounted membership is a great added benefit employers can offer staff. 
  • Good communication between staff and managers offers a stable support network enabling the sharing of ideas and information, equal sharing of workloads and troubleshooting of potentially stressful situations before they arise. 
  • Laughter! It's not an exaggeration when people say laughter is the best form of medicine. The release of endorphins can do wonders for improved moods and moral.
  • Regular on-site massage may not be something you've considered before, but companies like Soothe Essential offer therapies which can very quick relieve tension from some of the areas of the body most affected by stress. They can be done in the workplace, don't require the removal of clothes as most massage might and can be done in a relatively short time. 

Tom Harland from Stray FM's Business Hub talked to Ruth Eagin from Soothe Essential on what stress is and how it can be reduced in the workplace. 

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