Three in ten HR professionals say that work negatively impacts their mental and physical health, according to a recent report by The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD). That’s a worryingly high statistic by anyone’s standards.
Whatever factors lie behind it – the aftermath of COVID, new technologies, remote working, evolving roles, and increasingly heavy workloads – the issue should be addressed as a matter of priority. People and professionals need to be in great shape – mentally and physically – to be able to help others. As the saying goes, you cannot give from an empty cup.
The CIPD has published a reminder of how you can best protect yourself from stress, anxiety, and burnout. We have summarised the main thrust of its advice below, for your convenience.
– Set clear work/life boundaries. Whether working remotely or on-site, make a point of shutting down your computer at the end of the official working day and not sending work emails outside work hours.
– Take regular brain breaks during the working day, always take your lunch break, and treat your weekends and holiday days as sacred.
– Take exercise – yoga, jogging, a gentle walk in the local park – every day ideally.
– Realise that time spent doing the things you love – being with friends and family, visiting art galleries, checking out new restaurants, traveling, sailing, or bungee-jumping – is time well spent. And act on it. The well-being benefits you get will have a positive impact on all areas of your life at home and at work.
– Understanding your personal stress triggers and how you respond is also important. So examine both the root causes of spikes in your stress levels and your knee-jerk reactions. Think of alternative responses that could help remove stress from the situation. Breathing exercises or a quick walk may be all that lies between an anxious you and a calm you. For helpful advice and context on stress triggers, please read this helpful article from the CIPD.
By practicing self-care and prioritising your well-being, HR professionals protect themselves and the vital role they play at work. When you’re operating at full throttle, you’re in the strongest position to help others to do the same, so everyone benefits. In addition, you’ll provide a great role model for others to imitate and it feels goooood!
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