Stress and anxiety affect most of us on a daily basis, whether you are employed, unemployed, or still in education and with the ongoing challenges brought to us by the Covid-19 pandemic, these factors are becoming more prominent than ever before.
In light of Stress Awareness Day on the 4th of November, which appears to be perfectly timed in the midst of a second nationwide lockdown, we wanted to share some top tips for dealing with stress.
I firstly want to express the importance of self-care, compassion and the benefits of being kind to yourself. There are a number of ways to help deal with stress, and Dr Radha, GP and Broadcaster recently gave her top tips for those in education dealing with stress throughout National Careers Week 2020. In addition, Ben – the automotive charity, have further valuable advice on their website which we thought would be also helpful to share. We have combined their advice below.
1. Recognise Stress
- Learn how to recognise the signs of stress in you.
- Work out what might be the cause of that stress.
- Create a practical plan or solution about how you can solve that stress.
2. Focus on Day to Day Things
- Routine. It’s important to maintain a routine whether you’re in the workplace or at home. Perhaps it’s something as simple as having breakfast at the same time each morning or going to walk the dog on your lunch break.
- Sleep properly, ensure you’re getting enough rest.
- Exercise. Exercise releases endorphins in your body, giving you a natural high.
- Eat well.
- Focus on the little things – In such uncertain and changeable times, it’s important to focus on the things that make you feel happy. Take time to reflect and pick out the three things you are grateful for that day, this will help you feel in the moment and focus on the positives.
- Try a fake commute! In a recent survey conducted by LinkedIn, it has proven that a ‘fake commute’ to help you separate your work and leisure time can be beneficial to one’s mental health. This could be a walk around the block, going for a run or meditation for the duration of time your usual commute would take.
3. Stop and Breathe
- Slow breathing helps to reduce stress and helps you to relax. Take a deep breath, fill your lungs, hold for five seconds and breathe out. Repeat until you feel your breathing is back to a normal level.
- Get out, socialise and take a break from your work. Get away from it all for a few minutes. Pay attention to your surroundings and take notice of the sounds, sights and smells around you.
- Listen to some music, a podcast or a story. Tuning into something else gives your mind a chance to rest.
4. Stay Connected
- Maintaining healthy relationships is important for our mental wellbeing. Whatever the method of communication, talking to others can help you develop a balanced view of the situation and make you both feel better.
5. Finally, Be Aware of your Emotions
- Our thoughts influence our feelings and affect how we behave. It’s good to acknowledge that some things are outside our control right now, but make a list of everything that is worrying you and review the list – try not to worry about what you can’t change but put your efforts into what you can control.
With these points in mind, our ability to socialise and ‘get out’ will become harder once again throughout this second lockdown and the effect of this in itself will impact our ability to deal with stress as easily as one perhaps might have in the past. However, we must ensure that we utilise our ability to ‘get out’ as much as possible. Go for a walk with your family, or those within your household, meet on Zoom for a virtual coffee with friends, organise and tidy your workspace. In addition, ensure you’re taking a lunch break, because sometimes just 10 minutes away from your desk can benefit your mental health, your productivity and your ability to tackle one problem at a time.
Our Inspiring e-zine survey for November focuses on ‘Mental Wellbeing’. We’d like to know more about your general mental wellness at this present time. Please do take the time to answer survey here.
You may also wish to read our throwback article ‘One Day at a Time’ by Kate Thompson, which details top tips for working from home with kids during a lockdown. https://www.automotive30club.co.uk/inspiring-automotive-women/one-day-at-a-time-by-kate-thompson-head-of-press-pr-at-volkswagen-commercial-vehicles-uk
Please note that if you are suffering from stress and pressure and work, or have worked, in the automotive industry, get in touch with BEN, via this link here. You are never alone in your struggle.
Article written by Sophie Oak, Degree Apprentice Communications Manager, Automotive 30% Club