Maintaining friendships while stressing

Keeping it blunt- unfortunately, when stress becomes part of your life, your friends are not a priority. You need to think about your well-belling and focus on what is causing you stress and how to resolve it.

Maintaining friendships while going through stress, purely depends on you. Are you the type of person to take the stress out on others? Do you trust your friends? Once you’ve answered these questions, understand that your friends (if real friends) should either help you through your situation or allow you time to breathe and work it out for yourself. Your friends might have a big impact on how you handle your situation and might help you to understand it more.

Everyone reacts differently and your friends should understand how to approach you. When my friends are going for a tough time, depending on the personality I am dealing with, I could either say ‘let us talk about it’ or just give them space and check on them now and then. Your friends should respect your personality and work out the best way to approach you without coming across nosey or intrusive.

Sometimes it might be best for you to ‘ghost’ and make your friends aware you need time to work on you. If this is the case, your friendship should be strong enough to last. You don’t need to see or speak to your friends everyday/week to be labelled friends. If you need a week to yourself, your friends will be there once you’ve had time to do you.

As I said before, your friends might be able to help you through; whether they help to de-clutter your life or take the stress away from you. I have my go-to people and friends also come to me when they’re stressed or have an issue, and no matter how long it takes we will work it out together. Personally, over the recent weeks, I’ve been stressed over work and if I didn’t run on the treadmill and let my close friends know how I’m feeling I would have probably ended up having a breakdown.

To maintain friendships, think about how much you value each other and what friendship means to you.

Working with a disorder

Sometimes you want to handle things on your own and don’t want to let everyone know how you’re feeling; however, it is important to inform your workplace on any disorders or negative feelings you have. 2019 has been the year for mental health awareness and at a time like this, many organisations are coming up with strategies to better the workplace environment and be more ‘hands-on.

Find out and understand what your workplace has to order and make use of opportunities. If you have an intranet that offers well-being information, workshops, blogs, find out more. Some workplaces do mental health weeks which including inviting animals in (mainly dogs), social events, yoga, guest speakers and more.

Contact occupational health and get advice. Sometimes people are scared to speak to occupation health because it seems like a cry for help and people get worried that information might get back to their work colleagues or supervisor, however, occupation health is confidential, qualified and the majority of the time outsourced, therefore not directly part of your company. Ask them what could be done personally and professionally to support you whilst you’re working.

Mental health first aiders. As mentioned previously, my last job offered ‘Mental Health At Work First Aid’ as a course, whether you work with youths or adults (If you would like further information, please find me a message). These courses are different durations but I did the 1-day course and it is the most beneficial course I have ever done. If you are not coping or need further support whilst at work, go to the mental health first aider on shift. Bear in mind this is fairly new, so your workplace might not be at this stage yet, however, there’s no harm in showing your manager or training team this information and requesting for the course to be looked into. The course touches on a range of disorders, how to communicate with people and looks at a range of perspectives. Mental health first aiders are not professionals, which is sometimes a good thing depending on the person who needs the support. Sometimes its ideal to have a friendly face they can listen to you from time to time.


So taking this into account, don’t ever feel like you have to suffer in silence or have nowhere to turn. There is always help and there is always a variety which means of going to the well-being page on the work intranet doesn’t work, maybe talking to a colleague will.

Warning signs at work

At work, it is so easy to stay in your own bubble or to stay close in a tight ‘work squad’ and forget about other people. Do you ever take time to think about the people around you?

That person you think is being a ‘bitch’ or that person who’s always negative or quiet might be going through something whether in their personal or professional life. It doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t cost you anything to ask that person if they’re ok or if they might want to join you for lunch sometime. People always think what if and think they could have done more when it is too late. If you see signs that someone isn’t doing well, don’t stand back and wonder, step in and ask. A common sign would be a change in behaviour or someone becoming standoffish. Another common sign could be someone who is usually loud or constantly talking as that could be a coping mechanism; a way of taking their mind of what is happening in their life. People who suffer from mental health or have difficulties may keep things hidden especially at work. If you are someone who is not comfortable approaching someone that you don’t know, you can send them information via email of any mental health awareness news, posts or events that are coming up at work.

Why you shouldn’t stay in that dead-end job

Statistics show we spend 13 years over a lifetime working and 11 years, 4 months staring at a screen (Huffpost Australia, 2017). That’s a huge amount of time we spend waking up and going to work repeatedly, day in, day out. Even worse if you are doing this whilst in a dead end job or in a job you can’t stand. So why allow yourself to continue living that way? Understandable in the world we life in today most of us can’t afford to just quit our jobs, make businesses, travel the world, do whatever we like (I applaud people who do). We have bills to pay, family liabilities etc; to summaries, we need money. Due to this leaving a job isn’t as easy as it sounds however life is to be enjoyed.

Spending this much time at work has a big impact on our health and lifestyle. The majority of us snack and put on weight, may have problems with management or colleges, even problems with the organisation overall. These have affects on us whether it enhances stress, triggers the lose of motivation or ambition, it happens.

Think about what you once wanted to do with your life; your deepest ambitions. Don’t settle for anything less. You may not be able to quit your job but you can move on, better your self professional and more importantly work on your happiness. If you can afford to quit your job, take time out to create a plan and draw up options in order to find something you really enjoy.

Being in a dead end job affects your mood and mental health so ask yourself if its worth your sanity. Older generations will say they have been in the same job for 20+ years but 90’s babies and below well probably go through 3-5 within the first 10 years of leaving college or university and I think its brilliant as we get a feel for what is out there, what we like and how we expect to be treated.

Don’t spend 13 years thinking what if.  

How to lose weight in the office

  • Substitute lunch breaks for time in the gym if you have a gym locally or within the building. If you have an hour for lunch, 20-30mins can be spent in the gym
  • Stop snacking. This will seem impossible at first however after a week has passed it will get easier to just stick to breakfast and lunch at work.
  • If you have tried and really cannot give up snacking. Swap crisps and chocolate for fruits, hummus, boiled eggs etc.
  • Lower tea and coffee intake
  • Get up for 10mins every hour and have a walk
  • Get your whole team involved in healthy eating; possibly make it into a competition
  • Early morning smoothies (homemade)
  • If you live local to work, forget public transport and begin to work to & from work (for the first 2 weeks start by walking home from work)
  • Find a work colleague who is willing to keep motivating you
  • Add the gym to your routine before or after work a few times a week
  • Manage lunch portions and the times you eat to avoid overeating
  • Check your work intranet for any health or fitness weeks or competitions you can get involved in

Work-Related Stress

“If it wasn’t for my team I don’t know how I’d survive”.

That’s a saying I’ve heard from so many around me and I’ve said too many times myself.

Whether you are part-time, 9-5 or a manager of your own company, we’ve all experiences work stress at some point but the question is, how has it affected you?

When I am worked to the bone I keep going for months then all of a sudden I’d wake up one day and say “I can’t today”. I’d lay in bed for 40mins thinking about how drained am I. My body shuts down; I get flu-like symptoms and the thought of getting up and going to work makes me sick. After 2 days I’ll feel back to my usual self and re-energised. This happens once or twice a year due to the busy environments I’ve worked in. I am not alone. I’ve known people to gain acne, rashes, sleepless nights and much more due to the pressures of working life. On top of work stress, we sometimes feel judged for taking annual leave or taking a sick day; adding more stress to the situation. Work-related stress creeps up on us in different ways, however, it’s about how we deal with it.

I was stressing over a role and industry I had no interest in. The stress of my manager, other employees and the daily tasks overall was unbearable. On top of that, I was putting pressure on myself to move jobs and begin my desired career. Due to putting up with this stress for so long I decided to stop working completely, for a month; enough was enough. Bearing in mind I’ve been in constant work since I was 17 and now I’m 25, it was hard to switch off and just do nothing. I got into part-time work that allowed me to pick my hours and I took up volunteer work. I stopped applying for jobs and looking at job sites. From this break I can honestly say I’ve never felt better; I became more focused on me and my health. Yes, I was anxious to wake up every morning without a job but I was also relieved and excited because I was open to opportunity and change.

Recommendations:

  • Try to leave work at work- As soon as you leave work, focus on you. If there’s work you have not completed, don’t dwell on it; work is not the end all. Go home, run a bubble bath, connect with friends/family/partner(s) and deal with it tomorrow.
  • Fight for your annual leave- Sometimes it’s a struggle to get the days you want or you are unable to take annual leave due to a busy period at work however don’t let this stop you. Read through your contact, speak to HR if needed and make sure you make use of what work offers and make sure you know your rights in terms of annual leave and working hours.
  • Unwind- Don’t be someone who gets into the pattern of work and sleep. Being outdoors whether you are casually walking around town or cycling around the park has huge mental health benefits. If being outdoors is not your thing…do what you love. If you love spending your weekend playing video games, watching movies, cooking; make sure you put time aside for this.
  • Talk about it- Sometimes we love a good rant. I literally feel a weight lifted off my shoulders when I rant. I strongly advise you don’t rant to your manager or anyone you work with but, talk to your friends/family/partner(s) and let off some steam. Never bottle up your feelings otherwise you may turn into a walking timebomb at work. If the situation at work is bad and you want advice, talk to HR or occupational health, they are there for a reason.

Work is a replaceable element, always put your health first!