Mental ill health, and particularly stress and its impact, seems to have become the topic of the moment. We are hearing more and more about stress and its effect on our everyday lives, possibly encouraged by the number of celebrities who have recently spoken out about their own experiences, and the recent high-profile campaign spearheaded by members of the Royal Family. However, the fact that more people are talking about it also reveals that stress has a significant impact on many people’s lives.
Stress Awareness Week runs from 4th-8th November this year and focuses on the need to develop resilience in both our working and personal lives, to help us deal with ongoing challenges.
A recent survey carried out by ISMAUK (International Stress Management Association - a leading professional body for workplace and personal stress management, wellbeing, and performance) reported that work was a significant stressor in daily life:1
It has been estimated that 45% of the 11.7 million lost working days per year is due to stress.2
When asked whether the use of technology contributed to stress:1
Resilience is defined as ‘the ability to recover readily from, or resist becoming affected by, a setback.’ The fact that some people cope better with stress than others is mainly down to resilience. Fortunately, resilience isn’t an innate characteristic; it can be acquired over time, and the working environment is a good place to start building resilience to help cope with stressful situations.
Developing resilience involves proactively building a range of resources to draw on when we need to. These might include becoming more self-aware, recognising and managing our energy levels, developing an understanding of what motivates us, becoming more optimistic, taking more physical activity and nurturing supportive relationships.3
The aim of this year’s Stress Awareness Week is to keep resilience high on the national agenda as part of the promotion of wellbeing in the workplace. The week will culminate in the annual conference in central London, where a range of speakers from experts in counter-terrorism to wellbeing gurus will discuss different aspects of resilience; other events include an online global stress summit and a stress fair, where professional therapists will demonstrate various potential treatments. An online stress chatbot will be available to listen to people who are experiencing stress, and can also point them towards sources of specialist help.
Look out for symptoms of stress in both yourself and your colleagues:
A registered charity, ISMAUK exists to promote sound knowledge and best practice in stress management, both nationally and internationally. To find out more about Stress Awareness Week, visit https://isma.org.uk/national-stress-awareness-week or to find out more about ISMAUK, go to https://isma.org.uk/; you can also download fact sheets on how to recognize stress and how to manage it at https://isma.org.uk/nsad-free-downloads.
At Solaris Health we take our mental and physical wellbeing seriously and have our own MHFA qualified Mental Health First Aider who has:
The fact that some people cope better with stress than others is mainly down to resilience