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Stress Awareness Month – Get help now if you live in Newcastle

Stress Awareness Month – Get help now if you live in Newcastle

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Stress word grid

Stress can come from so many directions and life can throw us some unexpected curve-balls.

In the USA, April marks Stress Awareness Month to inform people about the dangers of stress, how to cope and what to do about it. The UK has Stress Awareness Day in November and I will be addressing that in a future blog.

“Yeah, well don’t talk to me about stress, I’m, er, too stressed?”

Like death and taxes, stress is part of life’s blueprint and there are many stress arrows flying through the air, some with yours or my name on them.

Just look at the below list (not exhaustive) highlighting some of the big stressors life can throw at us.

1. Bereavement

2. Divorce or partnership problems

3. Accidents

4. Anxiety

5. Health worries

6. Financial worries

7. Job concerns

8. Confidence

9. Inability to cope with change

10. Loss of motivation

11. Disagreement with a colleague

All of the above are broad in their scope and can be further subdivided into specific stressors such as moving home, redundancy, debt, gambling problems, terminal illness and so on.

Stress at work

The work place is known to be a key factor in stress, especially when jobs are on the line and restructuring and organisational change are ongoing.

Fewer staff often results in work overload for those who remain, causing additional challenges for the business and the individuals which can cause ill health, reduced efficiency, low creativity, low productivity and absenteeism. The ‘Nature of Stress’ curve diagram below illustrates this perfectly.

How Stress affects us

The Nature of Stress – You can regularly hover around the summit of this curve with the right resources, behaviour and thinking.

How many are affected?

In a survey by the Office for National Statistics, 29 per cent of British adults reported sleep problems and 19 per cent complained of feeling worried. Ten per cent said they were depressed with women being more anxious than men.  Middle-aged, single, divorced or separated people were more likely to feel stressed or anxious.

Side Effects of Stress

Stress can affect every aspect of our body with catastrophic results. Physically, stress suppresses the immune system and slowing the metabolism. The adrenaline, hormones and toxins accumulated in our bodies in response to stress cause palpitations, shakiness and tremors, breathlessness, headaches, nausea, heartburn, stomach problems, anxiety, restlessness, panic attacks and depression – the emotional consequences. Simply put, it’s not the stress that is the issue, but how you handle it that matters.

8 terrible stress coping strategies

Behaviourally, those who are stressed often resort to unhealthy self-medication coping strategies at home:

a. Smoking

b. Drinking / drugs

c. Food bingeing / bulimia or anorexia

d. Sleeping to excess

e. TV and computer addiction

f. Withdrawal from friends & family, colleagues

g. Procrastinating

h. Lashing out in anger, physical violence

Stress has rightly been described as a ‘slow motion stroke’ and is the biggest cause of sickness absence in the UK with 131 million days lost with an annual cost of £13 billion, and a further £26 billion in lost productivity.

Get a Resilience Toolkit

It’s for these reasons that enlightened companies ensure they have wellbeing programmes in place to mitigate possible causes and it’s why a major part of my work involves working with individuals and businesses to give them the right tools and techniques to locate, manage and control the specific stresses unique to them.

Bespoke initiative

It is vital that the root cause of stress is identified before implementing a correctly calibrated wellbeing initiative and it is also important to note that one size does not fit all when it comes to building a ‘Resilience Toolkit’ for an individual or groups within a company.

Employee wellbeing is a worthwhile investment

With typical yearly costs to employers ranging from approximately £480 per employee in the Private Sector to over £800 in the Public Sector, there is a significant business case for Employee Wellbeing and Managing Stress. Now is the time to take action and accept outside help. Contact me to learn more about:

1. Knowledge and understanding of resilience and stress in yourself and others

2. Coping mechanisms for reducing stress

3. Increased ability to remain calm in difficult situations

4. Greater emotional awareness

5. Case studies and demonstrations

And remember my FREE weekly blog post with helpful tips and advice is available directly into your inbox by joining my mailing list bottom right. Carol x

© 2018 Carol Barwick. All rights reserved.