Managing workplace stress

BY: Tracey Mesken02/12/2015

​Emotions are contagious and workplace stress impacts your professional interactions, your family and your health. Managing work-related stress is critical to your wellbeing and to the people around you.​According to the Victorian State Government, workplace stress is the second most commonly compensated illness/injury in Australia, after musculoskeletal disorders.Share this Image On Your Site<p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Managing Workplace Stress" width="540px" border="0" /></p><p></a>This infographic was provided by WorkPac: <a href="">Managing Workplace Stress</a></p><br /><br />Quick stress relieving techniques you can do at your desk or onsiteTake a deep breath: Breathing counteracts stress by slowing your heart rate and lowering blood pressure. Sit up straight, close your eyes and focus on breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.Have an avo! High potassium foods fight fatigue and stress.Stretch. Sit up tall in your chair, or stand up. Stretch your arms overhead and interlock your fingers. It's a great way to release tension instantly.Crank up the tunes. Music has a powerful effect on our physiological functions. 


National Safe Work Month - Mental Health & Wellbeing

BY: Tracey Mesken29/10/2015

​Mental Health can affect anyone regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity or social group. The most common forms of mental ill health are anxiety, depression, phobic anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive disorders.  It is anticipated that by 2020 depression will rank second to heart disease as the leading cause of disability worldwide. Health and wellbeing at workConnection between health and work:The connection between physical hazards such as noise, dust and chemical hazards and health are well recognised amongst employers and employees alike. Less well understood is the relationship between mental and physical wellbeing and the jobs we do.Over two million people report suffering an illness they believe has been caused or made worse by their work.This can take the form of stress, anxiety, back pain, depression and increased risk of coronary heart disease.Possible signs of mental illness in the workplacePoor mental health increases the likelihood of sleep disturbance and anxiety, which can reduce the ability to concentrate on work tasks and production.  Fatigue and other outcomes of stress and poor mental health can increase the likelihood of an employee being hurt. Some key signs to look for are:Constantly feeling down or hopelessHaving little interest or pleasure in doing thingsAn employee maybe more irritable, restless, feeling tired all the time, or experience a loss of energyIncrease in sick daysExcessive use of alcohol or drugsRapid changes of emotional moodPoor performanceOverall, a person’s usual behaviour changes - they don’t seem their usual selves.StressStress can be defined as “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them.”Employees have responsibilities to talk to their managers about any external influences which can turn otherwise normal pressures of work into excessive ones.Breaking the silence around mental illnessThe negative attitudes and behaviours that surround mental illness prevent many workplaces from understanding how to deal with mental health issues. Stigma can cause co-workers to isolate someone with a problem, and cause those living with mental illnesses to hide their condition.How do we create an accepting, non-discriminatory environment?In WorkPac it starts from the top down. Our management strive to ensure a good working culture where differences are valued, discrimination is not accepted, and cooperative and flexible approaches to working situations for everyone are the norm.This is achieved by fostering an environment that promotes:InclusionRespectListeningUnderstandingWhat can I do?There are things that you can do to help yourself be well and stay well. These are the simple, effective things that you know work for you. What's in your wellness toolbox? Some examples include:Talk to a friendEat three healthy meals per dayExercisePlay with your family or pet after workGo for a walkDo some stretching exercisesReadDo something nice for someone elseWatch a videoListen to musicSee a counsellorAsk for a medication checkGet outdoors regularlyMost importantly seek help, speak to someone and don’t struggle through alone!  Remember it’s not just a case of trying to be tough, if you don’t feel mentally well seek help.WorkPac has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provided by Gryphon Psychology; this company offers professional counselling for all employees, partners and dependent children to help resolve personal and work related problems.  EAP is a free service and is completely confidential.This month is National Safe Work Month and is a great opportunity for all of us to focus on promoting safety in the workplace to reduce death, injury and disease.  If assistance or information is required relating to WorkPac’s EAP provider Gryphon Psychology, please contact your assigned WorkPac Recruitment Coordinator.  The WorkPac Employee Assistance Number is 1800 056 076.