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Tree of Self Care: Friday – Managing Work Stress

Managing Work Stress

So, our world of work has been turned upside down!  Whether you are a frontline member of staff, are having to remote work or know you will soon be called back into work, you will be faced with new challenges and demands. Now, more than ever, keeping those work and home boundaries will be tested.  Follow our blog here to pick up tips and good practice …

So, here are some tips to help us maintain our work wellbeing and the challenges we are facing today.


Tips on remote working

e are all discovering there are benefits from working from home.  Once our IT niggles are sorted out, gone is the stressful commute, the pressures of making sure we are on-time and perhaps the annoying factors in our normal work environment.

If we are not to replace one work-based stress with another work-at-home stress, then here are some tips on keeping our remote working organised.

  • Set up a designated workspace where you can focus on work without being distracted
  • Keep your workday structured and set your core work hours – think about planned breaks; may be a To Do list will also help
  • Keep connected to your team; contribute to on-line meetings
  • Ask for support when you need it; continue to have conversations with your manager
  • Resist the temptation to be ‘always on’.  Keep work things and home things boundaried.

For more tips on remote working, how to manage your team on remote working and tips for online meetings click here

Going back into the workplace

This applies currently only to businesses in England and also whether your organisation is encouraging you to return to work.  What might you need to think about?  Communication is going to be key; discuss with your manager how things will be organised including

  • Infection Control and cleaning
  • Social distancing
  • Arrangements re visitors or customers
  • What transport arrangements are possible and safe for you
  • How your work hours could be arranged or shift patterns
  • Risk assessments undertaken for the return

If you have any concerns or suggestions, then bring these forward.  Think about whether any home arrangements will need to change.

If you would like to know more about the government guidelines to employers for your industry sector here are the government guidelines on Working Safely during Covid-19

You can always discuss this with People at Work, your EAP, on 020 3286 1545

Balancing work and home pressures

You may be in a front-line role or a role which has become more pressured or overwhelming with COVID19 demands.  The strategies for managing stress at work remain.  They may be harder to apply or feel unrealistic; do what you can and what works for you.  Here are a few strategies to consider.  There are many more that might be right for you.  People at Work, your EAP and Counselling Service is there to support you at any time.

  • Keep your work tasks and home tasks boundaried.  Resist the temptation to be ‘always on’.
  • Ask for support when you need it.  Keep communicating and be clear about what is possible
  • Don’t neglect your personal wellbeing – maintain a schedule which allows you to do exercise, eat well, keep a reasonable sleep pattern and remain connected to your social networks
  • Use Mindfulness techniques to refocus your thoughts and take time to relax

People at Work, your EAP and Counselling Service, can support you to put strategies in place or to talk through any issues you are experiencing.  020 3286 1545

Tree of Self Care: Thursday – Steps to improving our wellbeing

Steps to improving our wellbeing

The building blocks of good wellbeing are about staying connected, keeping active, appreciating the world around us, giving acts of kindness, keeping learning and being creative and looking after our health.  Of course, in todays ‘new normal’ the ways we choose to do this have changed.  Follow our blog and suggestions …

Here are some suggestions on looking after our wellbeing.  Under the restrictions of this Coronavirus outbreak some ideas about looking after yourself may feel unrealistic. Make the changes that are possible and do what works for you!


Look after your physical health

Try and eat well, plan activities and exercise that suits you, manage your sleep pattern.  If you are staying at home or self-isolating, keeping to a schedule can help you keep these things on track.

Practice moments of kindness and appreciate the good things in your life

Reach out to people with moments of kindness – it does wonders for our own feeling of wellbeing.  Remind yourself of the things that give you happiness and hope; notice the world around you.  There are many Apps online to help you – here’s some examples:

Keep Learning and Be Creative

Learning new things can help refocus our thoughts, give us something else to think about.  Being creative can be a great way to relax.  Give yourself time to reconnect with that side of you.  Here is a link with ideas about getting creative

(Please note, any regional events will not be taking place due to the restriction in place).


Talk to us at People at Work, we can partner you to make the changes. 020 3286 1545

Tree of Self-Care: Wednesday – Relationships

Relationships

Maintaining good relationships with our partner, our family, our friends can at times be difficult but certainly helps our wellbeing.  Having our normal routines disrupted, as they are in these times, puts more pressure on our skills.  Follow our blog on tips to make relationships easier …

So, here are some tips to help us look after our relationships and remind us that sometimes they can become strained because of things happening around us.


Stay in touch

Stay connected to friends and family.  If you are distanced from them use the phone, online video whatever helps sharing conversations and good thoughts. Make it creative; use different ideas – pictures, sayings, quizzes – whatever works for you.

Maintain your relationship with your partner at home

Your routines will likely have changed, talk regularly about how this is working.  You may have different coping strategies – respect these.  Practice acts of kindness, they make us feel good as well as our partner.

Big conversations may well have to be put on hold

Or arguments put to one side and truces agreed.  You will be able to return to your discussions but now is the time to work together to keep a good balance.


There is a wealth of advice and guidance on the Relate website.

If you are in an abusive or controlling relationship, please seek more help here

Talk to us at People at Work, we can partner you to make the changes. 020 3286 1545

Tree of Self-Care: Tuesday – Anxiety & Worry

Anxiety & Worry

When we are feeling anxious our thoughts can run out of control, things can get out of proportion and the same worries can go around and round in our head.  Follow our blog on ways to calm and refocus your thoughts and give yourself some peace …

Here are a couple of strategies you might like to try.  Making these sorts of changes to the way we think is not as easy as it sounds.  Keep practising, take small steps and congratulate yourself for taking up the challenge.


Recognise that ruminating over things can take us nowhere. 

Often when anxiety and worry start to overwhelm us, we lose the ability to manage our thoughts.  We can fixate on things we cannot change, things we cannot control or try to find solutions at times when we can’t take action – such as during the night.

Talking and sharing with people can help us put things into perspective and maybe manage things we cannot change.  

Keep a worry book or diary. 

Control those unhelpful thoughts.  Perhaps give a certain time each day to think about them but don’t let them take over your every waking hour.  Some people find it helpful to write them down and then by closing the book to leave those thoughts alone.  

Learn to refocus your thoughts. 

Find a way to take time away from difficult thoughts.  Make time to relax – be creative or active.  Try Mindfulness.   

Here is a Mindfulness App you could use with free meditations and there are many other free apps that can help you calm your thoughts.


The NHS website Every Mind Matters has lots of techniques you can try.

Talk to us at People at Work, we can partner you to make the changes. 020 3286 1545

Tree of Self-Care: Monday – Low Mood

Low Mood

When our mood is low it can be harder to do things, and everything can seem less worthwhile. Perhaps we are challenged more in these ‘new normal’ times.

Make the effort to keep talking to those around you, keep connected.

Here are a couple of strategies you might like to try.  Making these sorts of changes to the way we think is not as easy as it sounds.  Keep practising, take small steps and congratulate yourself for taking up the challenge.


Change the glasses through which you view your world. When we are low we have a tendency to only see the negative things and discount the positive.  Pinpoint and value those good things in your day to day life.  Can you find three things to appreciate every day?  Here are links to free apps that might help get you started   There are many more on-line.

Keep networked. Take time to talk and share.  Your network probably spans home and work, don’t shut yourself off from those people. Talking takes us out of ourselves and helps to stop that vicious circle of internal ruminating.

Take time for yourself. It’s good to relax and refocus.  Do things that you enjoy.  Take up something creative or active that will help refocus your thoughts.


These are just a few strategies, follow this link to find out more about managing low mood:

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/depression/self-care/ – collapse35bf9

Talk to us at People at Work, we can partner you to make the changes. 020 3286 1545


Managing anxiety around coronavirus

Here is some advice bringing together trusted and expert sources for anyone feeling anxious or overwhelmed about coronavirus;

Information about coronavirus is everywhere in the media and the immediate focus is understandably on keeping people physically well and preventing further spread of the virus. However, the anxiety caused by concerns about our wellbeing and that of our loved ones, the potential impact on our jobs and income, concerns about restrictions and shortages can also have a detrimental effect on our mental wellbeing. A constant stream of news, internet and social media posts can make our anxieties worse as well as risking us accessing incorrect or misleading information. 

Do you need constant access to news and social media?

If a constant stream of news is making you anxious then think about limiting how much time you spend on social media or reading, listening or watching the news. If you feel you need to know what is going on, then you may want to think about the reliability of where you are getting your information from. Is it a trusted and reliable source or is it sensationalising and scaremongering?  Trusted news sources include the NHS and the Government

Be mindful

When we are anxious our minds tend to run out of control, worrying about things that have happened and things that might happen. Instead, it can be really helpful to stop and just focus on the present which allows our minds to stop whirring out of control; The NHS Every Mind Matters website has lots of techniques you can try. Mindfulness applications such as Headspace and Calm are also available on mobile devices and provide guided or self-guided meditation exercises.

Look after your own wellbeing

Take steps to ensure you are sleeping and eating well, exercising where possible and practicable. There are lots of online exercise and yoga videos you can do in your own home.

MIND has good advice on how to care for your mental health should you be required to self-isolate or the government move to restricting people’s movements.

This advice includes

  • Find the right place to stay
  • Eat well and stay hydrated
  • Keep taking your medication
  • Continue accessing treatment and support if possible
  • Take care of your immediate environment
  • If you have care needs or provide care to someone else
  • Plan for working or studying at home
  • Find ways to spend your time and keep your mind stimulated
  • If you’re feeling claustrophobic or trapped

Useful links and sources

People at Work – https://www.peopleatwork.co.uk/my-eap/login

NHS England – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

MIND – https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/

NHS Every Mind Matters – https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/anxiety/#custom-2column-share-shelf

UK Government – https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-advice-to-support-mental-health-during-coronavirus-outbreak

Mindfulness

Mindfulness originated in Buddhism and as such it’s part of a much wider set of beliefs. In recent years the concept has moved across from the religious context and become a secular concept as more people have become interested in it and appreciated it’s value in our hectic world.

Martha Langley, author of Mindfulness Made Easy, says Mindfulness is a way of learning to live with yourself and the world you find yourself in.

What does it mean to be mindful?

Continue reading Mindfulness

Tips on Managing Worry and Anxiety

Worrying is something most of us experience from time to time. It is natural for example, to worry about things that are uncertain, may be important to us or might test our ability.  Sometimes though we can let worry get out of hand; it can become overwhelming and, if not managed, can turn into anxiety and panic. Anxiety affects 15% of the population and anyone who has lived with anxiety will know it is a difficult thing to manage.

Continue reading Tips on Managing Worry and Anxiety