Tips on How to Manage Work-Related Stress

IPSE are pleased to introduce AXA PPP healthcare to provide business healthcare cover.

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Have you ever felt stressed? If so, you are not alone. Recent research carried out by the Mental Health Foundation has shown that in the last year, 74% of people have felt so stressed that they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope . Stress is a natural reaction to having too much pressure in our lives and being unable to cope with demands. Some stress can be positive and manageable, but in the long run, prolonged stress can start to impact your health and productivity. 

The work environment whether that’s an office, your home or being out and about can play a large role in stress levels.  According to research by Mind, 56% of survey participants found work very or fairly stressful, more so than debt or financial problems (38%), health (29%) or relationships (20%) . This is having a huge impact on businesses in the UK, with 11 million days being lost at work in 2016 due to stress at work  and when you work for yourself, it can be even harder and have a bigger impact. Stress can manifest in a number of forms that you may not even recognize; whether that be difficulty in sleeping, poor concentration levels or low energy.

We have put together 6 tips for how you can effectively manage work related stress:

  1. Take regular, short breaks. When you’re busy at work, it can be easy to get caught up in your ‘to do’ list and neglect your mental health. Make sure to take a lunch break and go for a walk to clear your mind, and take regular screen breaks to get away from your desk. We are much more productive when we give our minds a break.
  2. Write a list. Collate all of your tasks onto one list and work through your high priority tasks first. If you have a particularly unpleasant task that you have been delaying, get it out of the way early. You will feel much more optimistic about the rest of your work day as a result. 
  3. Exercise. Exercise can be a great way to relieve stress and clear our minds. Whether that be a 5K run after work, a relaxing yoga class or even choosing to take the stairs rather than the lift when possible. There are a number of ways that you can incorporate exercise into your lifestyle. If your role requires you to sit at a desk for the majority of the day, then regular exercise will be particularly beneficial to you.
  4. Get a good night’s sleep. When you have deadlines at work, projects coming to a close or a presentation looming, it can start to impact your sleep. However, a good night’s sleep is vital for both your physical and your mental health. You can improve your sleep environment by turning off screens (such as TVs and phones) one hour before bedtime and focusing on quiet, relaxing activities such as reading a book. 
  5. Speak up. If you are feeling stressed, it can help to open up and discuss your concerns with someone that you trust. This may be someone in your industry, a friend or family member. Talking about what is making you stressed and discussing manageable steps for how this stress can be relieved can be highly effective in reducing stress levels.
  6. Work/life balance. It’s hard not to let your work spill over into your home life especially if you’re self-employed and work at home, but it’s important to establish clear boundaries between your work and home. Setting aside relaxation time in the evenings and at weekends allows you to switch off from the stresses of work and can help to refocus your mind for when the next work day begins. If you have a long commute home from the office, use this time to wind down for the day and do something  that you enjoy, whether that be listening to a podcast or reading a book.

How can we help?

A Mental Health option is available with our business healthcare cover. This offers in-patient, day-patient and out-patient cover for psychiatric treatment. Terms and conditions apply. 
We can also support you and your family with our 24/7 telephone support line Health at Hand which is available when you take out a business private healthcare scheme. This means when the pressure starts getting to you, you’ll always have someone to talk to.
To find out more and get a tailored quote click here.

IPSE are introducing AXA PPP healthcare to provide business healthcare cover. The healthcare insurance plans are underwritten by AXA PPP healthcare. AXA PPP healthcare is authorised by the Prudential Regulations Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulations Authority. Registered in England number 3148119. Registered office: AXA PPP healthcare, 5 Old Broad Street, London. EC2N 1AD

1Mental Health Foundation. YouGov, 2018.
2Stressed Out Staff Feel Unsupported at Work. Mind, 2014.
3Work-related stress. Health and Safety Executive, 2016.

Meet the author

AXA PPP Healthcare

AXA PPP healthcare provide award winning private healthcare cover.