I am entering the pre-holiday pressure zone and in light of recent tragic events thought it would be a good idea to check out my own 8 Top Tips to ease the pressure and to get all my work sorted out before I leave.
With stress in the workplace now costing the UK economy an incredible £7 billion a year, holidays are times that we need to cherish and respect.
Counting the Cost of Work-Related Stress
We all know that work-related stress is expensive, but ignoring it can be hugely more costly. As managers and employers, we need to understand that stress can and does affect productivity and performance and often results in time off work. Having recently read up on work-related stress, I recommend a simple, but highly practical e-guide to managing stress and psychosocial risks. The guide is designed specifically to help employers wanting guidance on what steps they can take to manage it. If this is an area you would like to learn more about, then look out for a new European Erasmus+ project being led by Exponential Training called ‘Fit for Business Growth’ (due to start September 2015).
Being mindful of my need to ‘chill out’ not just whilst on holiday, but also in the run up to it, I have recently been using a couple of great apps to help me to learn to better manage my own stress and general wellbeing. One called Calm invited me to complete Seven Days of Calm. I did and the results are very impressive.
Analysing Fitbit App
One of the indicators of stress is the resting heart rate. Before doing the Seven Days of Calm my Fitbit app was showing my average resting heart rate in the low 70s. Just 10 days later and it is now averaging just 58 – 60. Being sceptical, I thought maybe this was
down to sitting and meditating for 30 minutes per day until I realised that I had also increased my physical activity levels as well.
Do I feel better? Am I more productive and focussed? Again, being a sceptic and being aware of the ‘Hawthorn effect’, maybe it is more due to a heightened awareness. Then the penny dropped – that is what the Calm mindfulness app is all about – developing a sense of awareness.
So, forgive me as I type my blog. I am working with the sound of a stream trickling by and birds in a forest. I never thought I would have the time for 30 minutes meditation each day, but like all thoughts when you challenge them, other things become possible.
I have now bought the full Calm app and intend listening to it whilst relaxing in the South of France with a chilled white wine and watching the world go by. How will you prepare for your holiday?
Relax and have a great vacation, in the knowledge that you left everything in the best state possible before going away. If you have any great tips for planning how to have a stress free holiday, share them with others by commenting below.