Stress Down Day
What is Stress Down Day?
Stress Down Day is exactly what it sounds like. It is a day dedicated to reducing stress and raising awareness about stress and its harmful effects. Stress Down Day is also a day to recognise and raise funds for Lifeline Australia.
The day itself is an opportunity for workplaces to recognise the importance of providing a working environment that prioritizes the health and wellbeing of their employees. You and your team could take part in many ways. For example:
- Come to work in pyjamas day
- Run a yoga class at lunch time for everyone in your team
- Perform a guided meditation session all together
It doesn’t matter what you do, the goal is to have fun, reduce stress and feel happier and healthier, whilst raising money for a fantastic cause. Take the time to recognise that you or your colleagues may be under a lot of stress and that you are all there for each other to provide support and help when needed.
If you think someone is under a large amount of stress and needs professional help, please guide them towards the Lifeline Australia crisis line (see below).
What do we do at Back In Motion to reduce stress?
For example, our team at Back In Motion Mentone has many systems set up to help reduce stress levels at work. We have clear and open lines of communication between all team members – this helps to avoid confusion and misunderstandings. We encourage everyone to voice any stress or worries they have to the team or to just one colleague if they are comfortable to, so that we can help. We make sure to have one lunch break a week that is all at the same time so we can sit together and have a laugh whilst eating lunch. Our two social co-ordinators organise social events regularly so that we can interact with each other in an environment outside of the practice.
If you are stressed at work, I would encourage you to discuss this with your manager and see what changes could be made at your workplace. It’s likely that if you’re stressed in that environment, so are others. So you could be helping them out too!
What are the negative impacts of stress?
Sometimes you won’t realise you are under a large amount of stress until some of the negative side effects of that stress start showing up. These can include:
- Irritability and becoming frustrated
- Difficulty relaxing
- Low energy
- Reduced immune system; frequently getting sick
- Constant worrying
- Click here to find out more
Make sure you know the symptoms and can recognise if you or your loved ones may be suffering from excessive stress. The first thing to do is consult your GP and discuss a referral to a psychologist. They can be enormously helpful during times of stress and seeking help from a psychologist does not mean there is ‘something wrong with you’. Everybody needs help at difficult stages of their life and talking to friends/family may not be enough. Some things that happen in life are just too stressful to handle on your own and you shouldn’t feel bad for asking for help.
What can you do to reduce stress?
Exercise – be active!
- Regular exercise will boost energy levels and assist with relaxation. It is a natural defence system against stress.
- If you’re struggling to find the time to exercise, look at what you can do within your daily activities to incorporate some exercise
- A walk during your lunch break or a quick exercise class at the gym
- Park your car down the street from work and walk the rest of the way
- Use the stairs instead of the lift at work
- Do some squats whilst brushing your teeth and some heel raises whilst waiting for the kettle to boil
- It’s not always easy, but it will be worth it!
Open up to others
- Talking through your problems with others is a great way to help find solutions to them and help you feel more in control
- Most of the time we feel stressed when we do not know how to address a problem, or we are unable to address it alone
- So, open up, talk to a friend, a family member, a colleague or anyone you feel comfortable with… They may have some great ideas!
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is another way to help reduce stress. If you haven’t already you could start with
- Cutting out alcohol – it may feel good and relaxing to start with, but you’ll always feel worse afterwards, especially if that one glass turns into one bottle
- Eating healthy – keeping up those greens and getting rid of the sugar will provide you with more energy and help avoiding a rollercoaster ride of energy throughout the day
- Getting enough sleep – if you are struggling to fall asleep first try cutting out screens 90 minutes before bedtime. It’s a great place to start.
- These techniques can be as different as we are from each other. Your relaxation technique might be reading, listening to music, doing art or talking to your family. But sometimes it is good to have something that will relax you a little more, such as mindfulness or meditation. If you’re not sure where to start, there are some great apps that can help you learn how to perform these techniques. For example, Smiling Mind.
What is Lifeline?
Lifeline is an Australian charity committed to reducing the suicide rates through connection, compassion and hope. Their vision is for an Australia free of suicide.
They provide 24-hour crisis support and prevention services through phone calls, online chat and a new text message service too. They provide multiple resources to those in need and looking for more information. If you are a friend or family member of someone in trouble, these resources can be very helpful for you too. There is information on several different problems such as panic attacks, financial problems, depression, family violence and much more.
How to call/access/donate?
Lifeline’s 24 hour crisis line is 13 11 14. There is a new call every minute to this number for a variety of reasons, including:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Anxiety and/or depression
- Stress from work, family or society
- And much more
You can access their website at https://www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp which has more information on how to donate or volunteer.
Amanda (Mandy) Lowe BPhysio (hons) is Director & Principal Physiotherapist of Back In Motion Mentone. She has a keen interest in knee pain in runners (competitive and recreational), dry needling and hand/wrist injuries.