I found this a shocking statistic but a government Heath and Safety report on Work-related Stress, Depression or Anxiety statistics in GB for 2017 indicates the teaching profession is not unique. In the latter report, work-related stress is defined as ‘a harmful reaction that people have to undue pressures and demands placed on them at work‘. So how do we avoid reaching the tipping point that causes a reaction?
For most of us work-place stress creeps up, the culmination of many little things, ‘oh it’ll only take you 5 minutes,’ ‘I’d just like you to…’ ‘I think we need a quick meeting each week to…’. Each ‘little’ thing is accepted, assimilated then normalised with many of us just getting on with it.
There are many websites to get advice about anxiety, for example AnxietyUk. The point of this blog is to help reflect on how you are feeling physically and emotionally and to recognise these feelings before you reach the point of ‘reaction’.
2. If the answer to any of these is yes then ask yourself why is this? You may not be able to answer but the fact you have recognised emotional and behavioural changes is a start. Some of these things happen to us all from time to time but when you ask yourself these questions week after week and the answer continues to be yes it is likely they are becoming part of your everyday life. At this point it would be wise to seek medical advice.
3. Take time to talk to colleagues, friends or relations – talking relieves stress and if you can ask what others think they may give you a different insight and allow you to change the way you perceived and processed an issue that caused anxiety.
4. Be honest with yourself, don’t make excuses, recognise you may have a problem. Sharing concerns is a significant step to relieving the problem.
Employers have a legal responsibility to look after the welfare of their employees and this includes stress related issues, so don’t be afraid to speak out before you slip over the tipping point and have a ‘reaction’.