What does 'stress' mean to you?
In this first of a series of blogs on work based stress management, Jeanette reaches out to business owners who may be feeling the pressure trying to manage that all important and sometimes annoying cliche' of trying to achieve a good work/life balance.
I am not talking about the stress with the new printer or the inconvenience when the new software is not co-operating. Yes, I agree such a situation can be stressful but it is short term until fixed.
Dictionary definition of stress: 'a state of mental, emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances'.
HSE's formal definition of work-related stress is: "The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work." ... However, if stress becomes too excessive and prolonged, mental and physical illness may develop. Link to article by Government on work related stress.
There is much information in the media about talking about mental health. HSE have set up the Mindful Employer website - http://www.mindfulemployer.net/. I attended a very good half day workshop recently on manager awareness.
However, I would like to reach out to the entrepreneurs and to flag concern from a different perspective. Entrepreneurs are in an unique situation - who is looking out for them and monitoring their wellbeing and work pressures?
I understand the pressures of building a business as well as meeting the expectations of the clients whilst trying to find space for a personal life too.
However, in my experience not only do business people find it extremely difficult to find time to unwind but also ‘to ask for help’. It is seen as a sign of ‘failure’. I say to these business people loud and clear, finding a way to look after your personal wellbeing is far from being a failure, it is being a ‘realist’. Ultimately, you are not only protecting your personal wellbeing, you are protecting the interests of your business and loved ones. You are only one person and your personal wellbeing feeds into all aspects of your life whether you acknowledge it or not.
In the business community you will often hear reference to “finding the work life balance”. How do you find that balance and are you taking notice of your body talking to you?
Over the coming weeks I will be talking about different telltale signs of stress, some of which have surprised me over the years and ways of managing them.
Before I leave this article one simple breathing exercise to do regularly throughout the day is as follows:
Sit quietly and comfortably, feet firmly placed on the floor. Breath in through the nose on the count of 7 and slowly breath out through the nose the count of 11. Don’t worry if you do not get this far to start, just practice and notice what has happened to your shoulders afterwards.
I would like to close with what the World Health Organisation (WHO) defined human health as in the broader sense back in 1948 in its 1948 constitution, “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. (http://www.who.int/about/mission/en/).
Have a great week.
If any of this information has impacted you and you would like to make contact with me in complete confidence, please call me telephone 01823 299190 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free initial chat. www.nealehorizons.co.uk
Released On 15th Jun 2018