Stress can affect anyone at any stage in their life. There are many factors that can contribute to rising stress levels, including work, relationships, financial worries, illness and many others. It is said that 3 in 4 Britons have been so stressed over the last year that they have been unable to cope, and young adults are the age group most vulnerable. It affects people differently; some may thrive on it and view it as a challenge, whilst some are more prone to experiencing mental disorders.
Work-related stress is accountable for over 11 million days lost at work a year due to stress related issues says HSE.
Do you know the symptoms of stress?
- Sleeping problems
- Low mood/depression
- Unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as alcohol or caffeine
- Back pain
- Weight loss/gain
- Regular or lingering colds
So, not only is stress detrimental for your state of mind, it can affect your body physically too. Although it’s not an illness, it can make you unwell if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above. Alongside the physical symptoms, it can affect the way you act too. You may frequently call in sick, or be late for work. You may experience mood swings and feel a loss of motivation and commitment to your role. All of these will affect your performance levels at work.
Some of the reasons you may be stressed at work are long hours, excessive workloads, a lack of support, and even workplace bullying or harassment.
Signs of stress within your team
- Conflict between staff members
- High staff turnover. Unhappiness at work will result in employees leaving, meaning your company will have to hire more staff.
- Increased rates of sickness absence. Employees tend to call in sick when the stress is too much to handle.
- Decreased levels of performance. If you’re feeling stressed at work, it’s likely that your performance will suffer, due to your lack of motivation.
- More complaints in the workplace. High stress levels affect how an employee works, meaning things may not be running as smoothly as they should.
What can you do?
Perhaps you’re reading this and agreeing because you think you’re experiencing stress. If so, there are a few things you can do. Start by talking to someone. You can confide in your employer or a colleague if that makes you more comfortable. They will be happy to listen to your worries and help you find a solution, at the same time they may talk about their own experiences. Next, identify what aspects of your life are making you stressed, because it could be manageable. Maybe it’s because your work hours are too long and you have no time for yourself. If that’s the case, think realistically about the hours you can handle and find ways to better manage your time.
Talk about it!
Stress can lead to anxiety, depression and relapses of schizophrenia, alongside all the other symptoms employees need to be opening up conversation about stress. Talking about it can help massively, it can provide you with a sense of relief and help you get the right help. Whether that is taking some time off work, or minimising your current workload.
A poor work-life balance is no doubt expected to increase stress levels. Spending all of your time at work going the extra mile, ignoring the effects on your physical and mental health is not ideal. Take short breaks or take some time off to recharge your mind and body. And develop some of end of day habits such as tidying your desk or working area, or writing a to-do list for your next working day.
Now, if you’ve reevaluated your job, perhaps you’ve made the decision to move on and find a new pathway. Yondur can guide you with this, by analysing your key skills, talents and attributes to find you a new role.