Stress Awareness Month
April is Stress Awareness Month, an often taboo and difficult subject for many to address. Stress can be a difficult thing to measure, and often people struggle silently. However, what is measurable is the amount of working days lost each year, with stress, depression and anxiety counting for many of them.
The latest information from the labour force survey for 2011/2012 shows that 10.4 million working days were lost due to stress, anxiety and depression, with each person suffering with mental health difficulties taking an average of 24 days off per year.
Present employees are then left to shoulder excess workloads, further exacerbating stress levels throughout the workplace.
Stress can have a huge impact on the workplace, with many employees experiencing:
- Inability to concentrate
- Withdrawal from office life
- Lack of punctuality
- Failing performance
- Emotional irritability and sensitivity
Sometimes life can get stressful, and there is little that can be done to change that, but the way in which we cope with it can be greatly improved simply by adjusting our lifestyle choices and food intake.
Lifestyle changes to build resilience against stress:
- Eat a healthy breakfast – this will kick your body and mind into action
- Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables for each of your meals and snacks
- Join an exercise class or social hobby group
- Make time for family and friends
Foods to combat stress levels: