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Health and Wellbeing at Barclays

Our top tips for managing stress while social distancing.

A lot has changed over the last few weeks, and we're all adapting to a new routine, both in our personal and professional lives. Whether we’re adjusting to working and studying from home or finding new ways to stay safe while travelling to work, we’re all having to adapt, which can be stressful. Unfortunately, this is expected. But there are a few ways we can reduce and respond to stress while social distancing, and to ensure we’re looking after ourselves during this difficult time. So, we spoke to our health and wellbeing team to get their advice. Here’s what they said. 

How can I reduce my stress levels? 

For a lot of us, our commute has changed drastically, which has led to a disruption in our schedule. Although we may now have more time at home, when our calendars start to fill up and deadlines begin to stack, our stress levels increase. This can be detrimental to our overall health and productivity. 

So, to ensure we continue succeeding while social distancing, what can we do to reduce our stress levels?   

Deal with stress during the day  

Don’t let your work or studies spill over after the working day is done. If you have too much on your plate, let your team, manager or teacher know, and you might be surprised who has the availability to help. Then, when you’ve wrapped up for the day, draw a mental line between work and home. 

Reach out and connect  

It’s important to remember that everyone gets overwhelmed at times and others will understand how you’re feeling. Reach out to your support circle – catch up and talk through your pressure points.  

Sweat it out  

Exercise releases endorphins, which relieve stress and boost your mood. We might, for the most part, be confined to our homes at this moment in time, but there are plenty of ways to workout indoors. Get moving – whether you use your stairs or a tin of beans to get your muscles working, your body will thank you for it.  

Put technology in its place  

We’re lucky to be so thoroughly connected. But don’t let your tech take over your life. Set boundaries. Where possible, reduce your screen time and don’t forget to take digital breaks, you’ll be reaping the benefits of lower stress levels before you know it.  

How should I respond to stress? 

We know that reducing stress levels won’t always work. So, in these cases, how should you respond to stressful situations? Your natural ‘fight or flight’ impulse may be triggered, but before you react, take a moment to assess the situation and consider your options objectively. Here’s our advice for responding to stress.  

1. Don’t ignore the cause of stress   

Remain calm and collected, but take action. Devise a solution for resolving the situation, then address it how you see best. Make sure you ask for help from others if needed.

2. Try not to worry about what you can’t change   

This is a hard one that a lot of people struggle to do. Try and remind yourself that if it’s out of your control then you need to let it be. Accepting the situation for what it is will allow you to step away and alleviate your stress.  

3. Be understanding 

Everyone makes mistakes and, at times, creates stressful situations for others to manage. This may be happening more often as face-to-face conversations are less frequent. If this happens, speak to the individual, address the situation and be forgiving – holding onto your frustration will only add to your stress. 

Moving forward  

We can’t change the world around us, but we can control how we manage our stress levels while we keep our social distance. We’re all in this situation together, so remember that no matter the cause of your stress, you don’t have to manage it alone. 

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