5 top tips on how to deal with stress at work

Wellbeing

Working as a Care Assistant can be pretty demanding. We have put together our 5 top tips for managing stress both at work and home.

Keep active 

Increasing your fitness levels can help to decrease your stress levels. We know that you’ll tend to be on your feet a lot throughout the day, and you’re more than likely hitting your ten thousand steps, but we suggest a form of exercise outside of your work schedule.

Pick an activity you’ll enjoy. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try yoga or perhaps you used to love swimming but never had the time to pick it back up. Moving your body can act as a type of meditative state, helping your mind to become clear and focused.

Exercise won’t only boost your feel-good endorphins but will also help to keep you healthy!

Keeping caffeine intake to a minimum can also help to reduce stress as caffeine can elevate cortisol levels (chronic stress). Avoiding smoking and alcohol where possible will also have a positive effect on your wellbeing.

Work smart

Like all challenging careers, it is important to remember that you are in control. Life as a Care Assistant can be fast paced and often holds important responsibilities. If you feel as though you aren’t on top of things, keep a diary. Having your daily routine physically written down can help to schedule breaks and we all know how crucial it is to sit down with a cuppa when possible.

Having a support system at work is key. Find a co-worker who you can talk to. Sometimes it’s not answers to problems we are looking for but simply someone to just listen. We discuss talking about your challenges in our blog Top 10 wellbeing tips for care assistants.

Journal 

Practicing journalling can be a great way to help clear your mind.

Journaling can be carried out in many different ways. For example, you could start the day with a 5-minute exercise where you just continuously write. It doesn’t have to make sense but whatever comes to mind, jot it down. This can really help you understand what’s clouding your thoughts. Writing things down can often allow you to release them from your head. Another example is writing down how you feel at the end of your day. Think about what went well, what could have been done differently and what you’re grateful for.

Like exercise, journaling can be a type of meditative practice. It can help you to decipher what is weighing heavily on your shoulders so that you can go forward and tackle it head on.

Smile

Did you know that when you smile, your brain releases neuropeptides that help to fight stress? Endorphins which act as a mild pain reliever alongside serotonin, an antidepressant, also are released.

If you’re able to, spending time with family and friends can be a great stress reliever. Even seeing ones we love smile can be hugely beneficial to our moods and often seeing someone else smile or laugh can be contagious!

Breathe

Sometimes when we find ourselves in a moment or period of stress, our breathing can become shallow and restricted to the upper chest. This is part of a typical stress response. You can help to reduce this by taking longer, deeper breaths which send a message to your brain to relax.

Breathing exercises can be a helpful way to reduce tension and relieve stress. Here’s a belly breathing technique you can try:

  1. Sit or lie flat in a comfortable position.
  2. Put one hand on your belly just below your ribs and the other hand on your chest.
  3. Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let your belly push your hand out. Your chest should not move.
  4. Breathe out through pursed lips as if you were whistling. Feel the hand on your belly go in, and use it to push all the air out.
  5. Do this breathing 3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath.

When it comes to managing stress, find what works for you. Take a step back, do something you enjoy and always seek help from a medical professional if necessary,

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