April is Stress Awareness Month.
Stress is something that we have all experienced whether this is daily or occasionally. We all have certain levels of stress due to the different situations that we find ourselves in and we definitely all have different reactions and solutions when this happens. Stress can be good in some scenarios but also can be bad if not dealt with appropriately. A common cause of stress is work, whether you are in the office or working from home. Sometimes things can get unbearable but it is knowing what to do when it gets to this stage. Knowing when and how to relax is key to have a balanced work life. At The Kings Ferry Group, we take this subject very seriously when it comes down to the wellbeing of both our customers and our employees. We want to share our top tips on how to stay relaxed within your workplace whether that is in the office or at home…
At the office…
Surroundings - During stressful times, we have to consider that we may not be the only person going through challenges. If you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed or distracted you need to take action on this quickly- relocate to another room or work space that will help you to concentrate and help those around you. Having the perfect setting to get your work done and for you not to be distracted is important so make sure that your work surroundings are adapted to suit both yours and your colleagues needs.
Breaks - When stressed it is common to start working in the morning and not rising from your desk until the end of the day. You need to take regular breaks- make a drink, have time away from your screen and make sure you are having your lunch break and eating! The highest performing workers take breaks every hour which increases performance by 10%. It is key to recharge and replenish your mental resources.
Make a list - When baking you need a recipe and list of ingredients to get the final outcome. When working on a project at work, you need to treat it as if you are baking a cake. Making a list means that you are storing less in your mind and writing more down. Write down what you need to do and how to do this, to save your mind from going into overdrive. This can help you prioritise your tasks and tick them off one by one.
One thing at a time - There is nothing more annoying than having multiple tabs open on your computer and losing your focus between each one. Make sure you concentrate on one job at a time, save where you got to and file it away before starting something new - a tidy space is a tidy mind!
Draft - There is nothing worse than stress writing and completing something wrong. Take your time and make a draft, make time to revisit this later on in the day or another day. Errors can be made during stressful times and this then has a domino effect when you are stressing over mistakes!
The number of people that are working from home is increasing and for some of you this may be the first time. It is important to try and maintain that work ethic and routine.
Working from home…
Quiet and comfortable - I know this blog is about how to stay relaxed but in terms of working from home there should be a different environment than when you normally relax at home. Make sure you have a desk set up in a quiet and comfortable space - no laying on the sofa in front of the TV. Treat your workspace the same no matter where the location.
Breaks - It is easy to lose time when you are on your own and no one is there to remind you of the time or to have a break. Set yourself regular alarms to alert you when to go make a drink or to go have some lunch. Make sure you have a change of scenery on your breaks to prevent locking yourself away.
Know your limits - When working in the office you have to think about your journey home and finishing work to return at a reasonable time. At home it can be tempting to carry on working longer than your normal working hours. Treat everything the same as you would in the office and remember you don’t want to burn out from exhaustion.
Prepare - If working from home is not your normal environment then make sure you are fully prepared with all the appropriate equipment and tools to complete your work. You don’t want to start something and then realise that it can not be completed due to not having all the resources available.
Ready for the day - Just like your daily routine when going to work, make sure you freshen up and get ready for the day. Being at home, it is tempting to stay in your pajamas and forget about breakfast etc. Treat this working space just like how you would if you were going into the office- you’ll find you will be more productive and have your ‘professional head’ on.
It is important to keep a good work ethic and doing so means you need to keep control of your mental health. Relaxing and keeping your stress levels down is key to having a healthy working life. If you have any troubles with dealing with stress, visit the NHS website for guidance and visual support in identifying symptoms- https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/stress/ There is a get support programme to help any individual dealing with stress and reminds us all that talking helps.