Coping With Anxiety & Stress At Work
It is Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK (15th-21st May 2023) and at FLiP we have had a guest speaker visit the team to give a talk in light of this year’s awareness theme of anxiety. Victoria Brookbank, founder of Minds That Work spoke to the team about handling anxiety and stress, two differently arising issues, whilst at work.
Rory Collett, an Associate at FLiP and a trained Mental Health First Aider, shares some of the information and tips on coping with anxiety and stress at work that he took away from the talk.
Thank you to Victoria for her insightfulness and Rory for sharing his thoughts.
- Anxiety is a natural part of being human and will affect everyone, to varying degrees, throughout their lives.
- Stress occurs in the workplace when pressure exceeds our perceived ability to cope. Typically, unmanaged chronic pressure causes stress, and this can be both life and work limiting. It should be treated as best we can as soon as we start to demonstrate symptoms.
- If we don’t treat stress and provide support before it progresses, it can lead to ‘emotional snapping’ or ‘burnout’. This is where too much energy is outputted and not enough energy is self-invested.
- One key method to self-treat and reduce stress is to practice good sleep hygiene and to understand our own sleep ‘chronotype’. Our chronotype is the natural inclination of your body to sleep at a certain time, and can influence our appetite, our desire to exercise, and our effectiveness to function best in a work environment.
- Specifically, understanding and nurturing your chronotype can mean that you recognise that you work best in the early morning, or later at night. These patterns can then be built into your work routine to ensure that you deliver your best work product.
- Other essential strategies to protect our wellbeing include:
- ensuring we maintain meaningful connection with others;
- completing simple acts of giving and kindness;
- expanding our learning and knowledge and growing our understanding of our respective fields;
- developing and maintaining our bodies through movement and physical exercise; and
- practising mindfulness. Practising mindfulness can be achieve through meditation. Meditation assists with observing and recognising unhelpful thought distortions and can prevent low mood, catastrophizing and polarized thinking. This is vital, as research shows that we spend 48% of our time ‘not present’, but operating inside our own heads.
Rory says: “It is important that the legal sector maintains the pressure to demand change and ensure that we continue to work towards improving mental health throughout the industry. It is a common challenge; anxiety affects a significant number of people within the law, and it is vital that it is addressed compassionately and supportively. Recognising symptoms, understanding how to self-regulate and constructively supporting others is one step towards taking back control and ensuring that we grow as a profession.”
At FLiP we firmly believe that if we look after the wellbeing of our staff that we are better able to help our clients. That is why, amongst other resources, we offer an in-house Supervision Programme for our professional staff. This involves a psychotherapist attending the office monthly to discuss issues of concern on an individual basis. By equipping our family lawyers with the tools to combat stress and by giving them time to reflect on the challenges they face in their day to day job, we firmly believe that they are better able to support their clients in a thoughtful way.
We offer a unique blend of first class family law expertise delivered with empathy and understanding. If you require advice or assistance on divorce or separation matters, please contact any of our top London divorce lawyers at Family Law in Partnership on 020 7420 5000 or contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org