We have all experienced and are still experiencing some extremely difficult and challenging times this year. As we have found ourselves in unprecedented circumstances, our lives have changed considerably over the last few months as many of us have been furloughed, adjusting to working from home or returned to very different working conditions. We are learning how to adapt to our new ways of living and facing new challenges every day.
We have pulled together some simple top tips for all our colleagues in the Greggs Family, which you may find useful in helping you cope better as our lives change.
Spotting the Signs of Stress
Stress can affect how you feel physically and mentally and also how you behave. It is sometimes difficult to spot the signs of stress in ourselves but we might feel:
- Anxious, nervous, afraid or have a sense of dread
- Have racing thoughts which you can’t switch off
- Uninterested in life
- Like you’ve lost your sense of humour
- Neglected or lonely
- Noticeable changes in our behaviours.
If you have been suffering from stress, the tips below might help you better cope with any negative thoughts and feelings.
- Try talking about your feelings with a friend, family member or colleague
- Use calming breathing techniques
- Listen to free mental health wellbeing audio guides
- Search and download relaxation or mindfulness apps
- Help reduce stress by being more active
- Enjoy some “me” time throughout the day, doing something you enjoy.
- Set small targets which you can achieve rather than trying to do everything
- Plan ahead for stressful days or events by making a list of things to remember.
Looking after your personal wellbeing during difficult times is extremely important and there is lots of information and support available.
For more great advice on how you can best support a friend or colleague through a stressful situation and learn some simple but effective breathing and relaxation techniques visit https://www.mindtools.com/pages/main/newMN_TCS.htm
Coping with Change
We have all seen many changes over recent months many of which will have affected you personally. Change happens, it’s how we handle it that counts.
- Manage the stress from change – practice relaxation techniques
- Develop a plan – proactively planning to handle change will lessen the affect it has on your life.
- Learn to enjoy change – when you have a positive outlook about change it makes it easier to handle when it happens.
- Talk about it – don’t keep feelings of sadness and stress bottled up, share how you are feeling with a friend, family member or colleague.
Expect that change will happen again and again, life is series of changes.
Resilience is not a personality trait; it is something we can learn to help us cope better when things don’t quite go to plan. The tips below will help you become more resilient and cope better with changes and the stress which they bring.
Tip 1 Make connections – good relationships with family and friends is important. Accepting help and support from those who care about you strengthens resilience.
Tip 2 Accept that change is part of living – accepting that there are circumstances that you cannot alter can help you focus on those which you can.
Tip 3 Take care of yourself – pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Engage in activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. Exercise well, eat well and rest plenty. Taking care of yourself will help to keep your mind and body primed to deal with situations that require resilience.
Tip 4 Find balance in your life - you may find that part of your life such as children or work is taking up almost all of your time and energy. Try making the decision to focus some of your time on other parts of your life like family, friends or hobbies.
Tip 5 Develop interests or hobbies – finding an activity that is completely different from the things causing your stress is a great way to get away from everyday pressures.
Worrying about money
Worrying about our finances can lead to poor mental health and often affect our sleep patterns. Sorting things can seem like an overwhelming task but taking things one step at a time will make it easier. Organising your money is often the first step to feeling in control. Don’t put off opening the bills or checking the bank balance, they won’t go away but you can get help to manage your finances better.
Making a budget will clearly show you your income and what you need to spend money on each month.
Get help with unmanageable debts as early as possible to help relieve feelings of stress and anxiety.
www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk has lots of information available online to help you manage debts, budget your finances and plan for retirement. They can also be contacted free on 0800 138 7777 for free, impartial advice.
When we have lots going on in our lives our mind can work overtime and we might find that our sleep is suffering. Try these tips for getting a good night’s sleep so you are ready to face a new day.
- Keep regular sleep hours – going to bed when you feel tired and getting up at the same time helps teach your body to sleep better
- Create a restful environment – dark, quiet, cool environments generally make it easier to fall asleep
- Move more for a better sleep – being active can help you sleep better but remember to avoid vigorous activity before bedtime if it affects your sleep.
- Confront Sleeplessness – if you are lying awake unable to sleep, do not force it. Get up and do something relaxing for a bit and return to bed when you feel sleepier.
- Write down your worries – if you often lie awake at night worrying about tomorrow, set time aside before bed to make a list for the next day. This can help put your mind at rest.
- Put down the pick-me-ups – caffeine and alcohol can stop you falling asleep and prevent deep sleep. Try to cut down on alcohol and caffeine before bed.
You can find more help to understand your sleep problems and advice on getting a better night’s sleep from https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/sleep/
Remember that if you have any more great tips and ideas that we can share with your Greggs Family colleagues then please send them into us via BalancedYou@Greggs.co.uk and we can add your suggestions and top tips to this page!
If you are feeling anxious or worried about Covid-19 and need some advice around managing your own mental health, Mind have developed some fantastic information and guidance around managing your wellbeing
Their resources include top tips for relaxation, how to develop a wellbeing plan, building positive relationships and how to stay active whilst at home.
Checking in with your family, friends and colleagues is always important, however this is now more important than ever.
Find some helpful tips here: https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/coronavirus