Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Stress In The Workplace - My Experience & Tips*

Today is National Stress Awareness Day and as you might know if you're a regular reader of my blog, stress and anxiety are something I've struggled with for years now. I've spoken a little in the past about how I had to leave my last job due to anxiety and work related stress but there has been so much more I've wanted to say since so today seemed like the perfect day.
flatlay - Kalms notebook, pen and eye mask

How I struggled with stress in the workplace

I've actually only ever had two jobs in my entire life which at almost 24 might seem a little weird as most people I know have worked a number of jobs by now but I've taken a bit of a different path. After school and college, I moved away for university and if you've been reading my blog since the start, well you'll know how that turned out. I started a nursing course and that's when I really started experiencing stress and anxiety for the first time. It wasn't what I was expecting at all, my placement was shockingly bad and there was zero support, so I just couldn't hack it. I like to think I'm quite a strong person but that was enough to break anybody. 

With no real plan on what to do next I eventually got an office job working in admin and at the start it was perfect. It was quite a small business so I didn't feel overwhelmed, I was good at the job and it was just nice to feel like I was doing something that I could progress with yet still just be a regular 9-5 that I didn't feel I had to bring home with me. I actually started as an apprentice but once I was taken on full time, I very quickly noticed a change. I obviously don't want to say to much but it's like the first year was just an act and once I was officially in, I just had to deal with whatever they threw at me. As it was an office job, it's not like it was the most gruelling thing in the world but various things started to really cause extreme stress. I was under so much pressure to do everything perfectly whilst others could literally do what they want and it became clear I was just never going to fit in. Cue panic attacks each morning and tears because I didn't want to go back to something I knew was only negatively affecting my health. I put up with everything for as long as possible but in the end I was signed off work for months and then I had no choice but to resign. It was ultimately the right decision but it's definitely had an affect on me as I know how hard I worked and sometimes it feels like it was all just a bit of a waste. 

Since then I've been lucky that my blog has only grown and given me the chance to go self employed. Starting a blog is the best thing I ever did - it makes me happy, it gives me the freedom to work from home and I still feel like I'm always learning and growing so whilst it might not be what I planned and it still might not be what I do forever, for now I'm so grateful for it.

Tips to help overcome stress & anxiety

Whilst sometimes it can feel like I'm the only person in the world to have ever felt the way I did at work or like no one quite gets it, I know that's not true. Over half of British adults say life is more stressful now than it was five years ago (Mental Health Foundation) and this is for a number of reasons - a poor work-life balance, lack of support, financial problems or heavy workloads. Stress really can affect us all leaving us feel out of balance but it can easily develop into something more serious such as depression if we don't recognise where it's coming from and why. Below are a few tips from Kalms that can help with managing stress at work.

1. Don't be afraid to ask for help - there will always be someone there ready to listen to you and help in anyway they can
2. Make sure you have realistic targets - set realistic targets you know aren't going to put yourself under too much pressure
3. Take short breaks - half an hour away from your desk can do you the world of good. Just some fresh air can leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated
4. Don't forget to think about what you've already achieved - it's always good to look back at everything you've already done and be proud! Don't dwell on what's left to do, think of how much you've already managed
5. Take up a hobby outside of work - it's important to have a good work-life balance. Having something to look forward to after work can really help on days where it's all too much.
6. Try a traditional herbal remedy - Kalms Day Tablets can be great for the temporary relief of mild anxiety such as stress and nervousness.
7. Surround yourself with a strong support group - A close network or just someone you can turn to on difficult days can really help ease your anxiety and look at things in a different way
8. Avoid unhealthy habits - whether it's alcohol, smoking or caffeine, don't rely on any of these as ways of coping. They can all be addictive which can only create new problems.
Kalms Stress Infographic

My Experience With Kalms

I've turned to Kalms Day Tablets at various different times over the last few years. I remember trying them for the very first time just after we moved back from university as I was one big ball of stress and nothing could calm me down. I quickly found my anxiety was much easier to deal with and I didn't experience stress at the level I had previously. I've recently tried them again and they've been brilliant for days where I've just not been able to relax and can't really function due to stress. As these are for the temporary relief of things like stress and nervousness, it's not a long term fix but they do work and I really do think they're worth trying if you struggle with these feelings too. I pick them up from Boots for £4.99 but they also have lavender capsules and Kalms Night which might be a help for you too.

Do you have any other tips for how to deal with stress? Have you experienced stress in the workplace too?

*This post is in collaboration with Kalms

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