Everyone gets stressed from time to time. Whether it’s the result of looming deadlines, trying to squeeze too much into a tight schedule or things not going to plan, the causes of stress can be wide and varied. What’s important to realise is that it’s perfectly normal to feel stressed, In fact, it can even be helpful in small doses, by giving us that rush of adrenaline to work quicker, think on our feet or make the best of a tricky situation.
However, when stress becomes too overwhelming, that’s when problems arise. Feeling stressed over a long period of time can lower the immune system which can lead to a whole range of health problems. And it’s not just you who feels the brunt. Sometimes it can cause us to withdraw or lash out in ways we wouldn’t normally, affecting our relationships with those we work with or those close to us
Stress affects us all in different ways, and each of us have different ways of tackling it. As part of #StressAwarenessWeek we wanted to open up a dialogue in our offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen to see how our teams experience stress and what they do to tackle it.
WHAT MAKES YOU STRESSED?
Dyan Owen, Senior Account Director
“I tend to feel stressed when I feel like I don’t have control in a situation – for example, when I’m coordinating a major campaign or launch and there are lots of plates spinning, or we’re depending on a third party to deliver a big job.”
“Disorganisation, not knowing a clear plan and not knowing where to begin on a task.”
Julie Brander, Account Director
“When I feel like someone is disappointed in me and the misconception that I’ve not done something to the best I can.”
Jodie Hedley, Senior Manager
“I am a very organised person but no matter how organised you are, you can’t always plan for everything! When something unexpected happens, it can be stressful, particularly if you’ve put a lot of time and effort into it!”
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU ARE STRESSED?
Rebecca Halligan, Associate
“I very often get headaches when I’m stressed. I’ve started to notice a slight eye twitch too, maybe I need to take a trip to the doctors…”
Rory Brown, Senior Manager
“When I’m really stressed I internalise frustrations and avoid seeking out help or support. This approach never relieves the stress, and only gets me more worked up, so it’s a vicious cycle! A problem shared is a problem halved…so I hear.”
“I notice the stress when I realise I grind my teeth in my sleep and lose my appetite. Also, if someone asks me how I am and I say “I’m fine” I’m usually lying.”
WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELIEVE STRESS
“The dog definitely helps. Taking him for a long walk or even just spending five minutes playing with him is a great way to de-stress. Turning my phone off – or even just the notifications – lets me detach myself for a while and I also find a lot of comfort in relaxing with a coffee or G&T (dependent on the time of day of course).”
Cat Timoney, Senior Associate
“I find talking to people the best way to deal with stress. Chatting to colleagues about the pressures I’m under often helps make my priorities clear and speaking to friends and family helps me put things into perspective. Taking some time away from social media and the computer also helps- a cup of tea and a book usually sorts me out!”
Dale Watkins, Creative Director
“For the best part I generally like to think that I stop it before it gets out of control and just try to keep things relative. If it’s within your control most things can be solved or prevented in the first place. I try to compartmentalise areas of stress to not let them compound on one another and then deal with them individually. I feel like I’m constantly becoming more aware of my boundaries and while I can still be much better at saying ‘no’ it’s a growing skill that helps. I’ve always been able to easily take my mind off things when needed – I listen to music as much as I can, daydream, draw, exercise and am constantly levelled by my kids.”
Tackling Stress in the Workplace
As we learned from speaking to our teams, stress has totally different triggers for different individuals and everyone handles it in their own way. Sometimes just talking to a friend, partner or colleague can be enough to alleviate symptoms. We wanted to raise awareness in our offices of what makes us stressed and how it makes us feel and act so that when we’re feeling under pressure we can look out for one another and help where we can.
Talking can be a huge relief but sometimes it’s difficult to reach out. There are a number of fantastic Scottish charities including our SAMH (a Weber Shandwick Scotland client) who have some great resources on tackling stress.
You can find out more information on tackling stress by following the below links: