As part of Mental Health Awareness month Rosana Rategh from the charity Leeds Mind visited campus to talk to staff and students about wellbeing in the workplace, focusing on stress and how to recognise the signs and symptoms and develop effective ways to manage it. Here are her top tips for managing stress.
According to the World Health Organisation, 450 million adults currently suffer from mental ill health. In the UK that's one in four people (Mind 2016) but there is still a stigma surrounding it. As a result, people live with the condition without telling family or friends, or seeking help.
Stress is one of the main triggers of mental ill health, and while some stress is positive, too much stress can have a huge impact on a person's wellbeing.
Causes of stress
Stress is caused by both internal and external factors. External stressors include excessive workload / pressure, job insecurity, conflicts with colleagues, relationship difficulties, and financial worries. Internal stresses include setting yourself unrealistic goals, deadlines, expectations or standards; catastrophising or negative thought patterns; and fears (flying, public speaking, social situations).
Here's what you can do to reduce stress:
Work / life balance
- You are more likely to work better when you have the right work / life balance.
- Make working overtime the exception not the norm,
- Create clear boundaries between work and home.
Make time for lunch
- Try to take regular breaks through the day.
- Take a lunch break and go away from your desk.
Get organised / time management
- Start a 'To Do' list.
- Set aside time for emails / telephone calls.
- Work around your peak times.
- Learn assertiveness.
Ask for help
- Ask colleagues / line manager for their input.
- If you feel your workload is spiralling out of control, take the opportunity to discuss it with your line manager.
We are all different, what affects someone's mental wellbeing, won't necessarily affect others in the same way.
We all have times when we feel stressed, upset or struggle to cope.
It's important to ask for help if we need it.
It's important to give our mental health as much attention as we give our physical health.