This week, 7th-11th November 2022, is International Stress Awareness Week. In recognition of this, we have prepared this short blog emphasising the importance of managing stress effectively.
WHAT IS STRESS?
In order to develop techniques for managing stress, it is important firstly to understand what stress means. HSE define stress as ‘the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them’.
We all face different types of stress both in work and in our personal lives. This is not always negative stress, as positive life changes will often trigger some sort of stress. Examples of this may include moving house, starting a new job or getting married. Stress is therefore a normal part of life and is how our mind and bodies react to different situations. In the legal profession, small amounts of stress and pressure can trigger positive outcomes as it helps us to meet deadlines and targets in such a fast paced environment. However, high amounts of stress and feeling stressed for long periods of time will have a negative impact.
Stress management refers to the tools, strategies and/or techniques used to reduce stress, which is essential to minimise the negative impact stress has on wellbeing, both mental and physical (Berkley Well-Being Institute).
Various mental, emotional and behavioural strategies can be implemented to manage stress. Examples of some strategies include:
- Having a healthy lifestyle
- Doing regular exercise
- Not being too hard on yourself and celebrating achievements
- Being mindful and remaining positive
- Taking time out and doing things you enjoy
- Getting some rest and having a healthy bedtime routine
- Identifying the causes and triggers of your stress
To effectively manage stress both at work and at home, it is important to recognise your own signs and causes of stress. This is because understanding the triggers will help to develop techniques to reduce the impact stress has in the future, thus making us better prepared. This means we can build resilience, which provides us with the ability to cope with stress and hardship (Very Well Mind).
Here at Maxwell Hodge, we encourage all staff to talk openly about their mental health and wellbeing whether that be with a friend, a family member or a colleague. It is important to remember that despite what we may be feeling or going through, particularly in our personal lives, there are people around us who want to listen and support us to become the best version of ourselves. Therefore, we also encourage you to access necessary support, and have included some reference links below.
References & Further Reading
- HSE: work-related stress and how to manage it
- Berkley Well-Being Institute: stress management – definition, techniques and strategies
- Mind: managing stress and building resilience
- Very Well Mind: what is resilience?