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How to reduce stress in the workplace

Posted on April 25, 2024

Did you know the most common form of stress is work-related? April is #StressAwarenessMonth and here our tips on how to prevent and reduce anxiety and stress whilst at work…

Take a screen break

We know it sounds obvious but seriously, step away from the computer! Whether it’s receiving a barrage of emails, prolonged eye exposure to harmful blue light, or lacking creative inspiration that’s causing you stress, the best thing you can do is take 10 minutes away from your screen. Not only are you doing yourself a favour by giving your eyes a rest, but you’re giving your brain a chance to recalibrate too.

Get out in nature

Before work, on your lunch break or after work head out for a walk around your local park. It’s scientifically proven that being out in greenery calms us down and it can help you create that needed separation between work and leisure time. Plus, exercise is a great and healthy way to blow off some steam, releasing endorphins which counteract our feelings of stress. 3. Change of scenery 🚶🏻‍♀️ If you can, it can help to work outside your bedroom so you can separate your workspace from your living space that you relax in. If the office isn’t an option, you could head to a co-working space, a cafe, or a friend or family member’s house who’s also working from home for some company. You can even take a meeting outside on the phone whilst having a walk!

Reflect

What can you change and what can’t you change in stressful situations? A helpful exercise is to think about what you have control over, such as your actions and how you respond to other people’s actions. It can feel overwhelming when we worry about things that happen outside of our control, but try and shift to a problem-solving mindset: you are only in control of yourself, so how can you can react, respond or take action in the best way?

Ask for help

Importantly, know that you don’t have to go through this alone. A good first step is to make your line manager aware of how you’re feeling. They can help you prioritise and break down any tasks which feel overwhelming, or bring in extra support from the wider team. Make sure you use what your organisation has on offer too; lots of organisations have Employee Assistant Programmes which include free, confidential health and wellbeing support, mental health services such as counselling as well as legal and financial advice.

If you are struggling to cope with feelings of anxiety and stress, please speak to your doctor or the NHS via the 111 number. For urgent mental health support, Samaritans and Mind also have helplines you can call and online resources.

Creative Access trainer and clinical psychologist Dr. Victoria Mattison has also put together her top tips on taking care of your mental health in the workplace.

Remember, you’re never completely alone.