Stress, Fatigue, Anxiety – First World Problems eh?!
Our World | On 18, Jul 2013
The number of workers taking time off for chronic fatigue, sleeplessness, irritability, headaches and migraine has increased. If you are a manager, do you have team members who are often off sick? Think they should toughen up or think you should do something to tackle workplace stress and sickness?! If you are in the first group then you are missing a big trick for a happy and harmonious workplace (for you as well as your team!).
A couple of times a year at P&MM, we have an afternoon of… well, I like to call it playtime! Recently we enjoyed an afternoon of crazy golf in reception, Segways in the car park, a face painter, a fish and chip van with music and drinks in the courtyard. This relatively small expense for the company, contributes hugely to the wellbeing of everyone here and on that day work was indeed our happy place (well I can’t talk for everyone but I know I spent the afternoon smiling). I also was the envy of my friends who asked “do you have a real job?” OK I did feel sick after eating too many sweets so this contradicts the “are your workforce healthy” debate but hey ho I certainly felt hyperactive! Companies don’t do this kind of thing enough! In fact, I don’t know one of my friends who work for a company who do anything nearly as fun, maybe the odd bowling night (in your own time and your own expense – yawn!). Spend a little money, get a lotta love! Anyway I digress…
This stress malarkey, what can we do?
Management – Treat your workers to some fun afternoons. Give out Easter eggs at Easter, put on a breakfast morning, or an hour or two off to socialise with colleagues in the daytime - yes the DAYTIME! Don’t be scared!
Employees (me!) – You can’t rely on your workplace to ease your stress, you have a responsibility to look after yourself (I’m so bossy!). I chose to do this last year to escape to somewhere that I didn’t have to think much (as an Event Manager all I do is think and plan, it’s tiring!).
I went on a quest to find such an oasis… and after extensive research of yoga and health retreats I found it… Yeotown (Barnstable). I wanted one that offered exercise and other luxuries, not silent walks and gong baths or other such oddness! I was not going to pay to be in silence and have people chanting at me! I also categorically did not want a boot camp or starvation. My objective for my stressed mind was to do a “control, alt, delete!”
The beautiful surroundings the house is set in already starts to release tensions. Lovely comfortable bedrooms, with plump cushions, soft beds, all your toiletries (organic of course) in the spacious bathrooms, homely and luxurious (they even do your washing). I had the best sleep of my life here!
Let me be clear, I wasn’t here for weight loss, as a martial arts instructor I’ve got the fitness and health stuff in the bag. I just wanted to immerse myself somewhere without my Blackberry or iPad (they request you hand in your phone at the start, do this if you can bear to – it is so enlightening), being fed organic food picked from the garden (all your delicious meals are provided) and all without caffeine, sugar, meat or alcohol.
The daily hikes in the fresh, bracing coastal air and stunning Devon landscapes, with daily yoga and amazing massages each night quickly dissolved the stress I arrived with. What in fact was that stress, now I come to think of it?! And also, isn’t little old Blighty pretty damn gorgeous, I had forgotten!
I will finish with this… I arrived in one state of mind and I left in a completely different one. Feeling like the creases had been ironed out, my mind had been put to bed for a few days and was now ready to start the stress again but indeed smiling. If you can’t afford a retreat, then just get out in the fresh air on your lunch break! Simples.