You have probably opened this landing page at your desk and thought to yourself ‘not another one of these….’. It would not surprise me! Over the past decade, words like ‘stress’ and ‘anxiety’ have remained a top trend across all social media platforms whilst the digital space has become its very own sea of online coaches, therapists, support platforms and apps – all on a mission to tackle the grey areas of the human condition. Not to mention that last week’s Mental Health Awareness week topic was Anxiety! However, there is still one place where this theme remains an uncomfortable topic and that place is the workplace. This can particularly be an issue when you have embraced the dynamic role of an EA or a PA which can, despite the opportunities, require you to remain sharp and focused during multiple high-pressure situations.
Everyone’s circumstances are unique, but we would like to use this opportunity to share a few tools for a healthier mind during working hours. Our team recently did a fantastic Mental Health First Aid course in the office for half a day. The Siren Training coaches made us become more conscious of our own mental health throughout the working day and what we can do to look after ourselves. Alongside the below, the most game changing habit we can all pick up is small acts of kindness and caring words – we tend to underestimate how much this can have a major impact on someone’s day.
Understanding the Anxiety Stigma
It is believed the stigma originated from cultural norms. Many parts of the world still see anxiety or stress related topics as a taboo. With unhealthy belief systems like that still around, it comes as no surprise that individuals feel ashamed about seeking the help they need and employers not understanding it (boomers remain high on the list of sceptics). The fear that comes with a lack of understanding can lead to misconceptions and stereotypes e.g., people with a generalised anxiety disorder cannot cope under pressure, individuals with higher levels of stress can hinder a business etc. Does it surprise you that many employees still worry to disclose their mental wellbeing concerns? With 1 in 4 people experiencing stress and anxiety related issues in the UK, it is highly likely a colleague next to you is suffering in silence at the risk of being passed over for promotion or fired. Aside from that, many workplaces still do not have the correct policies or resources in place to give the appropriate support.
This is your sign to pick up your phone and download ClassPass right now! The beauty of this app is you can try a variety of local classes from barre, spin, circuits, to even Bollywood dancing. A daily dose of endorphins is almost compulsory when battling that internal turbulence so even if the gym is not for you, be curious and get discovering new exercise experiences. When you move, your brain releases endorphins, which are chemicals that act as nature’s painkillers and mood enhancers. This can lead to feelings of happiness and euphoria which you can even utilise to make some social connections on the go. Remembers that group fitness sessions are an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends, which is a great remedy for loneliness and social isolation.
There is no single ‘best’ food for stress and anxiety, but an appropriate diet is almost as necessary as the gym. On the plus side, if you can successfully pair this one with a daily dose of fitness not only will your confidence levels rise sky high but just imagine how beach ready you will be this summer? Research suggests that consuming certain foods and nutrients can support brain function as well as the nervous system. Switch up the usual proteins with a fatty fish steak which in omega-3 fatty acid and make sure they come with a side of spinach and kale – both proven to improve cognitive function. We would recommend sampling the marketplaces at M&S and Whole Foods which sell freshly made lunch boxes between £8 - £10. Snacks? Nuts and seeds always had a brilliant source of fats, vitamins, and minerals, linked to reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression.
The rise of 0% alcohol drinks has been a notable trend in recent years, particularly among millennials and Gen Z consumers who are seeking healthier and more mindful drinking options. We completely understand that not having that glass of wine in the evening after an anxiety ridden day is almost unfair (let alone not saying ‘yes’ to that glass of wine your colleagues offer you on a Friday afternoon at the pub) but remember that today’s market offers a wide range of non-alcoholic options including beer, wine, and cocktails, that are almost indistinguishable in taste. Alcohol is a depressant whether your mental health is ok or not! Imagine instead of ruining the following day experiencing a downer, enjoy the social and sensory aspects of drinks and championing mental clarity. Three Spirit Drinks and Freixenet (0%) are our personal favourites!
***Please note – this article is not to replace the professional opinion from a certified doctor or therapist. If you feel you may be suffering from any stress or anxiety related health conditions, we urge you to contact your GP***