Tips for when the pressure gets too much

A small amount of pressure at work can help us to complete tasks and feel more energised. But when the pressure lasts for a long time, is very intense, or feels out of our control, it can lead to stress.

If you feel stressed at work, you’re not alone. 1 in 5 workers (20%) in the UK needed to take time off work in the past year due to poor mental health caused by pressure or stress (The Burnout Report, Mental Health UK, 2024).

The important thing is understanding how to manage stressful feelings. This may include identifying your triggers, addressing some of the causes, or trying to accept the things you can’t change.

Tips for managing stress at work

  • If you feel comfortable, tell your manager how you’re feeling. They may be able to support you with your workload or rearrange deadlines.
  • Complete a Wellness Action Plan to map out what you find stressful and what might help, which you can share with your employer.
  • Look after your physical health. Eat well, prioritise sleep and make time for exercise, even if that’s just going for a short walk outside.
  • Focus on your life outside work. Nurture relationships with people you don’t work with and develop interests separate to your job. This can help you see the difference between your personal life and your working life.
  • Develop end-of-day habits like making a to-do list for the following day. This might help you switch off from work, especially if you’re working from home.
  • Take regular breaks. Get away from your desk or workspace at lunchtime and have a tea with colleagues in the afternoon.
  • Finally, make sure you use your annual leave allowance. Taking time away from work can help us feel refreshed.
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