How to Manage Stress
April is ‘Stress Awareness Month‘, which has been recognised every year since 1992. It’s aim is to raise awareness of the causes and cures for our modern-day stress epidemic.
Stress is an inevitable part of life which affects everyone in different ways. It is the body’s reaction to feeling threatened or under pressure and we experience it daily at varying levels. It’s important to recognise that stress isn’t always ‘bad’ – it can help to motivate and drive us forward to meet the challenges in our lives, however, prolonged stress can have negative consequences on physical and mental health. Too much stress affects our mood, body and our relationships. It can lead to problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity, and can make us feel anxious and irritable, and even lower our self-esteem.
What do the Stats Say?
- The most common cause of stress is work, with 79% saying they frequently felt it (source: Statistica)
- In the UK 13.7 million working days are lost each year because of work-related stress, anxiety and depression, costing £28.3 billion yearly (source: NICE)
Professionals in the property industry face unique challenges and pressures that can lead to high levels of stress. There are always targets and deadlines to meet, problems to solve, and people to please. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and let stress take over.
In recognition of ‘Stress Awareness Month’, we look at ways to reduce stress and improve overall well-being:
Take care of your physical health
This means eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. Exercise has been shown to reduce stress levels and improve overall health, even if it’s just a short walk or a few stretches. A good workout can help improve sleep, balance hormones, increase endorphins and fosters relaxation following the exercise.
When you take care of your physical health, you’ll have more energy and will be better able to cope with stress.
Take Regular Breaks
Studies have shown that taking regular breaks throughout the workday can improve productivity and reduce stress levels. So, step away from your work for at least 10 minutes, go for a walk, or do something else that you enjoy to help clear your mind and reduce tension in your body.
Taking breaks can also help you maintain focus and concentration throughout the day.
Don’t be a slave to Tech
Most of us have been guilty of this at some time, but it’s been reported that people who are constantly checking email or social media typically report higher levels of stress. Give yourself a break over the weekend and in the evenings. Put your phone to bed before you go to bed, work is never more important than your health.
Employers should ensure that their staff know they are not expected to reply to messages at the weekends or late at night if this is outside of their normal working hours.
Mindfulness is a popular stress reduction technique that can help manage stress levels. Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment and practicing acceptance of your thoughts and feelings. Consider practicing mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing or meditation. Incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine can help you manage stress and improve your overall well-being.
Work is never more important than your health
Perform a brain dump!
If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed it can be helpful to perform a ‘brain dump’. This means writing down everything that’s on your mind, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. Once you’ve gotten everything out of your head, you can start to prioritise and tackle the tasks that need to be done.
Set Realistic Goals
It’s essential to set achievable goals and focus on progress rather than perfection. Property professionals often have high expectations of themselves, which can lead to feelings of stress and burnout. Consider breaking larger goals into smaller, more manageable steps to help you feel more in control and reduce stress levels.
Monthly or even quarterly 1:1’s with staff or business partners can often help set the challenges for the following weeks and months.
Look Out for One Another
It is helpful to learn to recognise the symptoms of stress in others and, if necessary, refer the problem upwards to someone who can deal with it. Not only is it the ethical thing to do as you are helping a colleague, but it will also benefit you as you are improving your working environment.
But recognising stress symptoms may be harder than you think. Most of us are so used to being stressed, we often don’t know we are stressed until we are at the breaking point. To help you recognise signs of stress within yourself, a member of staff or colleague click HERE
Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, reach out to a colleague, friend, or family member for support. You can also consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counsellor. Seeking support is not a sign of weakness and can help you manage stress and improve your overall well-being.
Stress is a normal part of life, but it doesn’t have to control your life. By following these tips, you can reduce your stress levels and improve your overall health and well-being.
If you ever feel you are overwhelmed by stress, click HERE for a list of organisations you can contact.
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