Stress Awareness day was this time last week and it really got me thinking what stress really is and how we can help ourselves enjoy our lives a little bit more and generally just chill out. Here at Out The Office sometimes it can be nuts, the phone is always ringing, new clients everyday and just trying to keep up with the workload can really get to you. Sometimes all you need to do is take a step back, have think about it all and get yourself in order so you can get on with your day and most importantly enjoy it!

Stress affects us all, and no more so than in the workplace. The chemicals, adrenaline and hormones which build up in our systems in response to the pressures of everyday life have no way to dissipate in our modern lives, and the effects of this can be serious enough to cause significant physical and psychological damage.

Stress Awareness Day aims to promote awareness of these particularly modern challenges, and to aid individuals and organisations in changing behaviours and lifestyles, which may lead to excessive stress.

In 2011 it was recorded that 428,000 people in the UK reported that work-related stress was at a level of making them ill.

What causes work stress?

The pressure of work, the lack of support from managers and colleagues and work-related bullying are top of the list when it comes to what causes stress. Everybody deals with stress in different ways including some unhealthy behaviours and decisions – such things like smoking or drinking too much may feel like its helping you but will increase your risk in the long run.

Another stat is that psychological problems including stress, anxiety and depression are behind one in five visits to a GP.

Sometimes pressure at work is very motivating and really pushes you to the next level but it is when it becomes excessive it can eventually lead to work-related stress. Stress is “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures and demands place on them”. It is great to keep an eye on certain stress symptoms and they can include pounding of heart, dry mouth, headaches, odd aches and pains and loss of appetite for food and sex.

How to manage work stress

Good stress management in the workplace is critical to your overall health, one key skills to managing workplace stress is knowing how to say no. A lot of people say they have no choice but to overwork, when really people should become empowered and believe they have a choice. Saying yes can win you brownie points in the short term but if you take on too much and fail to deliver it can be disastrous in the long term.

Have confidence in your ‘no’ when you think it’s the right decision, even though it may not be the most popular one and in the long term your ability to say no will be one of your most valuable attributes. Knowing how much work you can take on can prevent exhaustion and by taking on too much can end up doing nothing well, which nobody wants. It is important to calculate how long you’ll need to deal with your current workload so that you can see if you have any extra capacity.

If you are extremely busy and your boss asks you to do more, you can say no. Outline your reasons in a specific, measureable way, but always offer a solution.

Spot the signs of work stress

Learn to recognise the physical effects of stress and so something about it before it makes you really ill. Beware of work stress spilling over into other areas of your life. Whatever the source of your stress, speak to your manager or someone in your organisation that you feel comfortable talking to, this will hopefully help get it all resolved.

Here are Out The Office we organise and put on some excellent team building events, this gives everyone a much needed breather from all the stress and really pushes team unity to help build relationship so when you do need help you can just ask.

Have a look at some of our indoor events here –

So take care of yourself and remember you can say NO……