As we come to the end of stress awareness month, we wanted to catch up with Georgia, Rosie and Brett from our team to see how they cope with stress.
What are your warning signs that you’re stressed?
Georgia: I always know when I am beginning to feel stressed as I get a terrible headache and it starts to make me feel anxious and sick.
Rosie: if I can feel myself getting overwhelmed and having negative thoughts, I know I need to take a step back and refocus. I also find that I will struggle to fall to sleep at night with things running through my head, although I find writing everything down really helps with this.
Brett: I can never sleep when I’m stressed and so I’m tired as a result. My chest tightens and I get a knot in my stomach if it’s particularly bad.
What’s your favourite way to unwind?
Georgia: some of my favourite things to do are to go for a nice walk to get some fresh air, have a nice hot shower and watch tv with my family.
Rosie: I am not the best at cooking, but I really enjoy it, especially if I have had a particularly intense day and need to get things out of my head for the evening. I find it really therapeutic and it’s a good way to keep the mind active.
Brett: staying active really helps me, whether it’s walking my dogs, going to the gym, starting garden projects or running (thanks to the GoJoe challenge, a challenge to see which team could run, walk or swim the furthest). Then I like to come home and relax with Netflix.
What is your top tip to manage stress?
Georgia: I have found that one of the best ways to manage stress is to stay organised and to make sure I have my day planned out. I also think it is very important to speak about whatever it is that is stressing you out and not to keep it bottled up. Thankfully I have great family and colleagues that I can turn to.
Rosie: whether it’s in or out of work, I always make a list of priorities and focus on whatever needs my attention the most. If all else fails, I just have to remind myself that I can only do so much at a time and I should only worry about things that I can control.
Brett: the best way to manage stress is to talk to somebody, a problem shared is a problem halved!
How does MLAS help you cope with stress?
Georgia: we’re really lucky to get time off each week for exercise. I really appreciate the time as it gives me half an hour to enjoy the fresh air and relax. I have also found since we began doing the Gojoe challenges it has really improved my mental health by just going out for a walk once a day.
Rosie: at MLAS communication is always open, even working from home we are never made to feel like we can’t pick up the phone and call a colleague or manager. There have also been some amazing wellbeing initiatives, especially being able to go for a walk during the day during the winter months. That was a huge boost for my mental health, I always feel great afterward, and when the weather is a bit dark and rainy, I probably wouldn’t have got out for fresh air and exercise otherwise.
Brett: if I feel stressed, I can always chat with my colleagues about it and it’s never all on me. I am confident that if I was really struggling, my manager would do everything she could to help.
What will always bring a smile to your face if you’re feeling down?
Georgia: receiving encouragement from my friends and family to help me carry on when I’m struggling and meeting up with those I love for a fun day out.
Rosie: I don’t watch lots of TV but if I need a boost, I usually watch one of my favourite comedy shows. Quite simple, but a good laugh can solve a lot of problems!
Brett: being around those closest to me including my girlfriend and my dogs.