How well is stress supported in your workplace? 


12.5 million working days were lost to stress, depression and anxiety in 2016/17.*

By understanding the causes of stress and techniques to manage it, you can nurture a happier, healthier workforce. 


How to tackle stress


You cannot always prevent stress, but there are lots of things you can do to manage stress better. 


You could:


  • Try some simple stress busting strategies
  • Use time-management techniques
  • Use calming breathing exercises
  • Make sure you are getting enough sleep



Other things that may help:


  • Share your problems with family or friends
  • Make more time for your interests and hobbies
  • Take a break or holiday
  • Take some regular exercise and make sure you are eating healthily



FIVE Stress busting strategies


The keys to good stress management are building emotional strength, being in control of your situation, having a good social network and adopting a positive outlook. 



1. Be active


Exercise will not make your stress disappear, but it will reduce some of the emotional intensity that you are feeling, clearing your thoughts and letting you deal with your problems more calmly.


Scientists think that physical activity helps maintain and improve well-being in a number of ways.


Physical activity is thought to cause chemical changes in the brain, which can help to positively change our mood.


Some scientists think that being active can improve well-being because it brings about a sense of greater self-esteem, self-control and the ability to rise to a challenge. 



2. Take control


There’s a solution to any problem. If you remain passive, thinking, ‘I can’t do anything about my problem’, your stress will get worse. That feeling of loss of control is one of the main causes of stress and lack of well-being.


The act of taking control is in itself empowering, and it is a crucial part of finding a solution that satisfies you and not someone else.



3. Connect with people


Remember that whatever you are going through that is causing you stress, you do not have to cope with it alone. A good support network of colleagues, friends and family can ease your work troubles and help you see things in a different way.


Talking things through with a friend will also help you find solutions to your problems. Sometimes just telling the people close to you how you’re feeling can make a big difference – and they might be able to help you out in other ways too.


Support at work, such as your line manager, human resources (HR) department, union representatives, or employee assistance schemes. 


If you are worried that the culture in your workplace might not be very supportive, you might find it helpful to take a look at the Health and Safety Executive’s information on work-related stress.


Support at university or college, such as your tutors, student union or student services. 



4. Have some ‘me time’


Here in the UK, people work the longest hours in Europe, meaning they often do not spend enough time doing things they really enjoy. Try to set aside a couple of nights a week for some quality “me time” away from work. 



5. Avoid unhealthy habits


Do not rely on alcohol, smoking and caffeine as your ways of coping. This is called avoidance behaviour. Over the long term, these things will not solve your problems. They will just create new ones. They might provide temporary relief, but they will not make the problems disappear. 




Learn about other stress busting strategies in our **NEW** Fundamentals distance learning course; Stress Awareness.