9th April 2024
Stress Awareness Month

We write a lot about the positive benefits that workplace plants can have on reducing employee stress levels, in fact we have entire sections of our website dedicated to the subject.

But we have to accept that stress is an issue that can divide opinion, and we have to be very careful to make sure that we are not just adding to the ‘noise’, when it comes to sharing our thoughts, opinions, and even our facts.

We should begin this article by recognising the importance of stress as an evolutionary necessity, without it, our ancestors probably wouldn’t have survived the early engagements with the very many, sharp toothed, and heavily clawed creatures that fancied them as a snack.

So, when we talk about stress in the context of wellbeing, what we mean is undue stress, caused by the same hormones that kept our ancestors safe, but are thankfully hardly ever required in the 21st century… the old fight or flight reaction, is rarely required in the workplace.

The challenge many of us face is dealing with stress when it becomes overwhelming, when it stops us thinking clearly, when it starts to affect our work and home lives, and becomes dangerous to our mental, and physical wellbeing.

There are countless methods recommended for dealing with stress, from self-help guides and internet articles, to anecdotal strategies and ‘miracle cures’. It is certainly not our place to decry any of these methods, just as it would not be appropriate for us to recommend one approach over another.

Empirical evidence has shown that plants in the workplace can have a positive effect on stress levels, but it would be irresponsible of us to make any unsubstantiated claims, or suggest plants as complete answer.

As far as advice is concerned, we can only point to our own experience as a responsible employer, and share some of the points included in our own policies.

  • Do not suffer in silence, speak to someone that you trust.
  • Do not try to solve every issue, all at once. The very action of starting to take control is often very empowering.
  • Take some ‘me-time’, go for a stroll, chat with a friend, or do a jigsaw, whatever takes you out of yourself.
  • Eat properly, and when you are at work, step away from your desk rather than eat while working.
  • Try to get a good night’s sleep, we know that this can be easier said than done, but sleep is when your brain gets a ‘wash’, and the benefits cannot be underestimated.
  • Remember that you are not alone, and by speaking with someone, you might be helping them with their own stress related challenges.

April is Stress Awareness Month, and we salute everyone involved, but please remember, take care of yourself and others all year round… it makes sense to think about stress.

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