Stress at Work
Stress in itself is not necessarily harmful, but excessive stress can be. Excessive stress is a common affliction, which affects employees in everything from retail work to office jobs. Everyone needs goals and challenges in order to stay motivated, but asking too much of an individual can be damaging to their mental and physical health. In today's 24-hour culture of ever-increasing targets, stress and stress related health issues are on the increase. Here are our thoughts and tips on how to cope with stress.
The symptoms of stress
Stress is a well know trigger for depression, and is also capable of affecting your physical health. It is therefore important to identify the causes of stress in your life and try to minimise them before you begin a demanding retail career. In retail work, worrying about deadlines or about not being up to the challenge of a particular task can cause stress.
But what are the symptoms of stress:
- Increased irritability
- Signs of tension, including nail biting
- Difficulty getting to sleep and waking early in the morning
- Drinking and smoking more
- Loss of concentration
- Heightened sensitivity to criticism
- Indigestion problems
If you are concerned that you are suffering from the effects of excessive stress, it is important that you act to relieve it before it has the chance to damage your physical or mental health. Your GP will be able to provide advice on stress management; we have provided a few tips below, designed to supplement professional, medical advice.
How to deal with stress
Retail work, along with many other professions, can be a source of excessive stress. The secret of managing stress is to look after yourself and, where possible, to remove some of the causes of stress. If you start to feel things are getting on top of you, give yourself some breathing space.
Organise a day off work, or arrange to take time away from the cause of your stress. Spend the day doing only relaxing things that will make you feel good. We assure you, it really will make all the difference.
Other ways to cope with stress include:
- Accept offers of help
- Visit your GP
- Do one thing at a time (avoid taking on too much at once)
- Know your limits (don't try to over do the competitiveness)
- Talk to someone you trust about your concerns
- Let off steam through exercise (gentle or vigorous)
- Surround yourself with positive people who are non judgemental
- Practice breathing techniques and relaxation techniques
What causes stress?
Stress caused by everything from retail work to office jobs, is the second biggest occupational health problem in the UK. There is still a stigma attached to mental health problems and employees are often reluctant to seek help in case they are perceived to be unable to cope. Stress at work can be the result of:
- Poor relationships with colleagues
- Lack of control
- Poor working conditions
- Being in the wrong job
- Feeling undervalued
- An unsupportive boss
- Lack of communication
- Unrealistic work loads
- Demanding workload or work which is not demanding enough
When people feel under pressure at work, they tend to work harder and harder to try to close the gap between what they are achieving and what they think they should be achieving. They sometimes stop taking breaks and lose touch with their own needs.
Coping with stress
If you are currently employed in a retail career, whether you are a manager or a sales assistant, we have prepared a number of tips designed to help you cope with excessive stress:
- Talk to someone you trust. Career counselling can help, as it is totally unbiased and focuses on your specific needs
- Work regular hours and make sure you take all the breaks and the holidays you are entitled to
- Book a day off or a long weekend
- Avail yourself of flexible working practices if available
- Look after yourself. This could mean anything from exercising at least 3 times a week to changing your diet
- Cut down on alcohol and cigarette consumption; such short term solutions will only add to your stress levels in the long term
- Make your work environment comfortable and suited to your needs
- Discuss your problems with your manager/HR department, it is their responsibility to help you cope with stress at work
- Treat your colleagues with the respect they deserve or as you would like to be treated yourself
- If you are being bullied at work seek help either through your superior/HR or from outside advisors (Citizens Advice Bureau etc.)
Excessive stress is a problem that affects many UK industries, and retail is no different. The experienced retail recruitment consultants at Detail2Retail are available to provide advice on starting your retail career, and will support you in every way possible to ensure you find a position that perfectly suits your skill set. For more information call 0845 274 3444 or submit your CV today.