At times, stress can have a beneficial impact on our minds and bodies, as it can often help increase our attention and work output. However, for many people, stress has a negative effect on both their physical and mental health.
When it comes to public health issues, stress is one of our most challenging obstacles, but it is still not taken as seriously as it should be. Stress can often act as the catalyst for mental health issues such as anxiety and depression as well as physical health problems such as heart disease and insomnia.
The impact of Covid-19 has significantly increased global mental health issues. The pandemic has had various effects on our mental well-being, with social isolation exponentially increasing mental health problems. A study conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) found that in the first year of the pandemic, the number of people suffering from anxiety and depression globally increased by 25%.
Stress Awareness Month
Stress awareness month was established in 1992 and has since been held every year across the month of April. The yearly campaign aims to raise awareness around the causes of stress and how to combat its often-harmful effects. The theme this year is ‘Community’. The Stress Management Society has chosen this theme to reinforce the importance of providing support and care to those in need, especially given the circumstances over the last few years. You can read more about the theme of this year’s Stress Awareness Month here.
A reasonable amount of pressure at work can often help motivate you. However, when the pressure becomes too much to handle, it can lead to workplace stress. Workplace stress will not only negatively impact your performance, but its long-term effects can also lead to more serious mental or physical health issues.
At PG paper, we care a great deal about the health and well-being of our employees. Our co-founder, Puneet Gupta, was recently made a patron of the UK’s leading veterans’ mental health charity ‘Combat Stress’, and last year, we partnered with local mental health charity ‘Mind Mosaic’, which aims to provide high-quality therapeutic services across the local community and beyond.
Effective management of your mental health is just as important as looking after your physical well-being, that’s why we have several mental well-being ambassadors across our team who employees can go to for advice, support or even just a chat. Visit Mind Mosaic’s website to learn about the important work they do for our local community.
There are many things you can do to successfully manage your mental health at work. Some of the best methods for keeping your stress levels at bay are:
- Take care of your physical health by exercising
- Talk to a trusted colleague, friend or family member
- Give yourself breaks/time off
- Separate your personal life from your work
These are just some of the things you can do if you’re feeling down or stressed at work. For more helpful ideas, we asked some of the PG team what they like to do to keep their minds healthy.
“The main way I de-stress is spending time with my 2-year-old daughter (although I’m not sure it would be classed as relaxing!) I also love spending time with friends and family, as well as reading, going for walks and going to the gym when I can. Swimming for me is the best mediation.”
“Working out and running, with some great music turned up. Walking and listening to a good podcast – I like podcasts that focus on well-being, self-development and anything that will make me laugh! And on that note, laughter is one of the best ways to de-stress, so catching up with friends and family is always top of my list. I also think having someone you can speak to when you’re feeling stressed is important – a listening ear is always there and can really help.”
“I try to leave work concerns behind as soon as I get in my car to go home. The drive home may not be particularly exciting, but it provides a transition from the work environment to the home. By the time I am home, I can focus on other matters. I like to go out for a walk or run most evenings. Not just for the challenge or exercise but I enjoy the fresh air and it feels like a good opportunity to clear my head. I also enjoy cooking or watching my favourite shows with my partner Tracey, all of these provide distractions and I do not need to think of work. I try to keep my home and work lives separate as much as possible. That way I maintain a good balance between the two.”