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Stress Management

May 24, 2024 - May 24, 2024   

Stress derives from many sources and should therefore be tackled either via the stressor or enhance your capability to deal with the inevitable and nearing the most stressful time of year Fashion Capital offer techniques to minimise the effects.


Many stressors arise from life circumstances, key among these being relationship problems, shortage of money, house moves and illness of those close to you. Some physiological factors such as tiredness, illness or fluctuating hormones may reduce your ability to handle stress.

Work is a major source of stress, possibly because:

·        Your workload exceeds your experienced capabilities

·        Your lack of work is boring you out of your mind

·        You lack resources, skills or information to do what is required

·        You may be unsure of what is required – expectancy theory E-P Link

·        People you work with are not supportive, make you feel uncomfortable, dig at you, or even bully you

Stress in a job is a significant cause of sickness due to the amount of stressors present in the workplace.

A European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions survey in 2000 found that 28% of employees surveyed reported work-related stress as a health problem, and many more will say they are stressed, though not yet at a level where it impacts on their health)

Stress levels are typically at their highest either at the start of a new job or just after promotion.

Many techniques discussed will contribute to stress management such as:

·         Being clear about objectives

·         Exercising time management skills

·         Interpersonal skills (particularly assertiveness)

If work stress is reduced you will be able to handle pressures outside work as well and vice versa.

Recognising Stress

Symptoms include:

·         Difficulty sleeping, lying awake worried about things

·         Frequent minor ailments such as headaches or digestive problems

·         Asthma or eczema

·         Drinking more than is good for you

·         Eating problems either too much or not enough

·         Irritability and poor judgement

·         Forgetting things (particularly things you should have done)

·         General feeling of tenseness


Reducing Stress

There are two strands to any approach of managing stress: reducing those stressors which you can do something about and learning how to cope better with those that are inevitable. The first step of course, is to know which is which.

Things you can do something about

Once stressors have been identified which may be reduced, think about possible ways of doing something about them. You may find it useful working with someone to come up with a wider range of ideas and increase your motivation to take some action.

Coping with the inevitable

Three main approaches are:

·         Changing your attitudes – not easy but important. Wishing things were different or trying to change the impossible can also waste energy. Are you setting yourself unrealistic targets? If so realise this and being yourself with your own ability levels is worthwhile. Don’t rail against fate or regret past decisions: accept where you are and do your best with that. If a decision can be retaken, consider the cost of doing so and whether you are prepared to pay. If so, do you want it enough to actually do it? If not, what can you do to maximise the benefits or your original choice? Above all do not expend precious energy on what might have been but cannot be.

·         Learning to relax – You cannot relax on demand if you have not developed the skill. You can either find a course, listen to tapes, try yoga or meditation or if none is available you can find a quiet room and concentrate on breathing slowly and regularly, you can focus your thoughts on your diaphragm and gently disregard any thoughts coming into your head. If you prefer to focus on something visual, create a peaceful image in your mind or alternatively repeat a peaceful phrase. When you finish your relaxation “surface” gently, get up slowly, move around slowly and gently allow your thoughts to return. Initially practise this 5minutes each day gradually building up to 15-10minutes. Alternatively you can have a hot bath, listen to music, read poetry or a novel for pleasure. You must incorporate some “unwinding” time into your schedule, this is not a wasted studying opportunity, it ensures a good night’s sleep and will leave you in a much better position for the next day.

·         Becoming physically better able to cope – Eating a healthy diet (as fresh as possible emphasising fruit and veg, with animal proteins and fats as accompaniments rather than the focus of a meal) is important. All too often we eat crisps and chocolate and drink more than we should to cope with stress  yet this make our capabilities to cope with stress weaker. Physical exercise is excellent for reducing stress, counteracting depression and making you better able to use your brain effectively, as long as you sweat, you are doing well. Do something you like and should do two to three times a week minimum. If you have not exercised recently, start gently as if you overdo it you will build up a subconscious resistance to do exercise that will be near impossible to overcome. Try not to compete against our self, against others as this will cause the psychological resistance just mentioned as well as risk of injury.


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