Health & Wellness is something that I am passionate about. Your overall health, well-being and mental health is at the core of your life and is an area that companies are now rightfully focusing on.

We live in a digital age where we are on our phones, emails and social media 24/7. While these tools are now a necessity, sometimes you need to step back and give yourself some time and space.

I am 13 years here in Cpl and feel very passionate about what I do, I love the buzz and excitement of recruitment and seeing our team of Recruiters finding candidates’ jobs. Even today we just received a card from a candidate who said the team “helped me get my life back.” Seeing stuff like this really gives you a feel-good factor and brings home the fact that we can change people’s lives and future.

A recent ESRI Report states that 18% of work-related illnesses in Ireland are due to stress, anxiety and depression, while there has been an 18% increase in the rate of depression and anxiety in Ireland from 2005 to 2015. With this in mind, here are my top tips on how to stress-proof your work life:

Learn to say no

We all want to please, and love to say yes but there are times when we just have to say, “no sorry I can’t do that.” Be it work, personal or whatever. Your time is your time and how you balance your days and weeks is key. I have been that soldier where I have pushed myself, said yes to please and ended up not pleasing and getting myself even more stressed. It’s not worth it and doesn’t benefit anyone.

Take your annual leave

Take your breaks and give yourself something to look forward to. I take a break at least every quarter of the year whether that’s a long weekend, a city break, a week in the sun or hiking up a mountain. Taking your annual leave is crucial to recharge the batteries – especially if you’re working in a stressful or high-pressure office environment.

Download a meditation app

There are several excellent apps that are free to download and help clear your head. One for me is the Headspace App which is all themed around meditation and mindfulness. The first 10 sessions are free and then €9.99 a month after that. Other ones that come recommended are What’s Up and Buddhify.

Sleep!

I cannot emphasise enough how much we need our sleep. That old saying an hour before midnight is worth 2 hours after is very true. When we don’t get our sleep we are cranky, not fully “on it” and running around gulping coffee and pushing our bodies to the max. This isn’t the answer. You absolutely need your 7-8 hours – especially on weeknights or when you have work the next day.

Pay attention to your diet & exercise

I came back to work in January 2 stone heavier since then I’ve lost 12 kilos to date. I took my foot off the pedal for a while, my healthy diet went out the window and the weight just piled on. When you are stressed you overeat and run for the carbs and chocolate as a comfort thing.

It’s not the end of the world if you have a pizza & a glass of wine on a Saturday night but on the whole, avoid greasy and sugar-laden foods. Get out for a walk, go to a gym or do any other exercise that suits you. There are so many options out there to suit all levels of fitness, ages and limits.

According to the ESRI and the Health and Safety Authority, job stress is most common amongst those who deal with angry or demanding clients and customers, those who work under time pressure and anyone exposed to bullying or discrimination. If you are feeling stressed at work seek support from your co-workers, managers or friends. Stay focused, be kind to yourself, believe in yourself and never give up on the dream – whatever that may be.

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