April is stress awareness month so we’ve had a chat with Chloe Angus, Corporate Wellbeing Manager, at Cavendish Cancer Care for her thoughts on managing stress in the workplace….

Most jobs have their stressful moments and in fact some stress in the workplace can be positive as it motivates us to deliver on tasks and projects.  However, when that pressure becomes unmanageable, it becomes an issue which can damage both an employee’s health and their performance.

A recent study by Champion Health revealed that 76% of workers are currently experiencing moderate to high levels of stress. Year-on-year, that figure shows a percentage increase of 13%.

Experiencing high states of stress for long periods of time can result in burnout – a state of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion, commonly related to job stress. 

So, what’s going on and how can employers help? According to CIPD, workload is by far the most common cause of work-related stress, with lack of control, support and managers also having an impact. We must also consider financial and personal stresses outside of work. Creating a workplace culture where people feel able to share concerns and seek support will go a long way to improving the happiness of your team. 

Cavendish Cancer Care
Chloe Angus – Corporate Wellbeing Manager at Cavendish Cancer Care

One of my key messages to companies that we work with via Cavendish Wellbeing is that supporting the wellbeing of employees isn’t just a reactive process. The best employers will implement both proactive and reactive initiatives to support employee wellbeing.

Top Tips for Leaders

  • Get to know your team better. Sit down with them for an informal chat about their workload, stress points and personal concerns. 
  • Lead by example. It is easier to practice self-care if we see others doing so.
  • Train line managers to spot signs of stress and manage workloads effectively. 
  • Increase support for staff during periods of change and uncertainty.
  • Prioritise mental health in the workplace with Mental Health First Aiders, accessible resources, signposting and wellbeing sessions. 

Top Tips for You 

  • Learn to recognise your triggers. What causes your stress response to kick in? How does it feel? How do you know your stress levels are high?
  • Take control of the stress. Schedule and plan to tackle most stressful and try breathing techniques and naming the emotion.
  • Challenge stressful thoughts to stop overthinking. Is the stress real? Will it matter in 5 years?
  • Look after your wellbeing and increase capacity for stress with good rest, social connections, physical exercise and hobbies. 
  • Open up. Ask your manager for help. Talk to those close to you. Sharing can solve issues and reduce stress.

Cavendish Wellbeing, part of Cavendish Cancer Care, provide wellbeing services to local businesses including bespoke online platforms, Mental Health First Aid, focus talks and guided sessions. This service helps to provide Cavendish Cancer Care with funds to continue delivering essential support to those affected by cancer in the local community. 

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