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International Stress Awareness Day 2017 – University support

Today is #internationalstressawarenessday, and we thought it would be helpful and timely to remind you of some of the services the University provides to help you to better manage stress.

The Health and Safety Executive define workplace stress as “The adverse reaction people have to Relax Stressexcessive pressures or other types of demand place on them at work.” Importantly, how you personally respond to pressures and demands will have a direct impact on how you feel. Taking a proactive approach to your personal stressors and wellbeing can help you to feel better.

Care First, the University’s Employee Assistance Programme, has two free online resources you can use.

Zest portal

Zest is an online personal and interactive wellbeing portal which helps you to identify areas to focus on, giving you tools and strategies to make helpful changes.

Visit the ‘Resources’ page to read stress management articles including Stress Awareness Day 2017. Here you’ll find top tips, keeping your stress in check, 101 tips to help you deal with stress, and a podcast to address unhelpful thinking.

There are exercises to start your day, mindfulness recordings and desk yoga to try during the day, and some inspiring recipes for healthy dinners. Some of these are just two minutes long, so think about where could you squeeze even one of these into your day. You can create goals and log your progress.

We’d love to hear how you get on, so comment below or email staffwellbeing@cardiff.ac.uk

To get started, register an account using the Organisation Code ‘WF1’.

Lifestyle website

Lifestyle is an extensive resource which includes articles on health, issues at home, issues at work, management support tools, stress questionnaires, and online counselling in real-time.

To access these resources, visit the Care First Lifestyle website using the Username ‘cau001’ and Password ‘university’.

Individual support

If you are concerned about your stress levels you can contact Care First by phone on 0800 174 319. Details about the support you can access is available on the staff intranet.

Speaking to your manager or local HR representative may also be helpful.

The Staff Wellbeing Team

Comments

  • 'ö-Dzin Tridral

    Dear Keith,

    Thank you for this article, I hope that people find it helpful.

    I have a concern that the onus is always upon the stressed person to find ways of dealing with it, e.g. in this paragraph

    “The Health and Safety Executive define workplace stress as “The adverse reaction people have to Relax Stress excessive pressures or other types of demand place on them at work.” Importantly, how you personally respond to pressures and demands will have a direct impact on how you feel. Taking a proactive approach to your personal stressors and wellbeing can help you to feel better.”

    I think we need to recognise that the cause of stress can be the people and procedures of the University, and it would be useful to invert the questions and ask people whether they, themselves, are the cause of stress to others, either directly by their actions or less directly by their expectations.

    The onus should not be entirely on the stressed individual to cope, the causes of stress need to be investigated.

    Many thanks,

    ‘ö-Dzin

    • Keith Lynch

      You’re absolutely right, ‘ö-Dzin. The Health and Safety Executive themselves appreciate the need for organisations to think about causes of stress, specifically workplace stressors. Causes can be people, processes, the work environment itself and more. They refer to their Management Standards, six areas of work design that can result in stress. It’s a framework for helping organisations understand how workplace scenarios can impact on individuals. The University incorporates these standards in their Stress Risk Assessment, which is available to download from the staff intranet, and one tool managers and others can use.

      As individuals, inevitably, we can’t always control what happens in the workplace and so having an internal locus of control, focusing on what you as an individual can do, when it comes to managing stress is likely to be helpful. I think everyone has a role to play.

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