Fatigue Issue 12: The links between Stress and Fatigue
Stress and fatigue are very closely linked. Suggestions from the NHS to manage stress are:
Set yourself goals
Setting yourself goals and challenges, whether at work or outside, can help you switch off from the high pressures of daily life and build your confidence. “By continuing to learn, you become more emotionally resilient as a person” says Professor Cary Cooper, Occupational Health Expert at the University of Lancaster.
Exercise won't make your stress disappear, but it will reduce some of the emotional intensity that you're feeling, clearing your thoughts and letting you deal with your problems more calmly.
Life isn't perfect. "People don’t always appreciate what they have," says Professor Cooper. "Try to be glass half full instead of glass half empty," he says. Try writing down three things that went well, or for which you're grateful, at the end of every day.
There's a solution to any problem. The feeling of loss of control is one of the main causes of stress and lack of wellbeing. The act of taking control is empowering, and it's a crucial part of finding a solution that satisfies you and not someone else.
Enjoy some me time
Here in the UK, we work the longest hours in Europe, meaning we often don't spend enough time doing things we really enjoy. Setting aside some quality "me time", away from work, a couple of times a week.
Quit smoking/binge drinking
Turning to alcohol or cigarettes may be an obvious choice - but in the long term, it'll only result in you feeling worse. If you feel under pressure, talk about your situation to a friend, colleague or loved one and try to tackle the cause of the stress.
Connect with people
A good support network of colleagues, friends and family can ease your work troubles and help you see things in a different way. The activities we do with friends help us relax. We often have a good laugh with them, which is an excellent stress reliever.
Help other people
Professor Cooper says evidence shows that people who help others, through activities such as volunteering or community work, become more resilient. If you don't have time to volunteer, try to do someone a favour every day. It can be something as small as helping someone cross the road or going on a coffee run for colleagues.
Accept the things you can't change
Changing a difficult situation isn't always possible. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over.?
Getting enough shut-eye is imperative to our health - it helps to restore the mind-body system and enough restful sleep can help strengthen our immune system. A lack of restful sleep not only exposes the human body to poor health, but can lead to worsening anxiety, depression, and an inability or struggle to function day-to-day. 8 hours is recommended for adults.
If you have any questions regarding the topics covered in our Fatigue series, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our HSEQ team on 0333 011 2048 who will offer you support and guidance.