We all feel stressed from time to time. The pace of modern life, particularly in London, can easily lead to becoming overwhelmed. While a bit of stress can be what drives us it can fast develop into a problem which affects both mental and physical health. According to HSE, 12.5 million days were lost as a result of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17, while 526,000 workers reported suffering from these conditions over the same time period. Stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 40% of all work-related ill health cases and 49% of all working days lost due to ill health. The biggest cause? Workload.
As part of National Stress Awareness Month we want to help employees and employers in Midtown discover ways to reduce their stress-levels. We believe that our people are key to reaching our goals of driving long-term, sustainable, commercial and social growth. We want to do everything we can to make sure Midtowners are happy and healthy. How can you find calm and beat stress? Check out our guide below.
Meditation is not just a wellness buzzword. It is an age-old technique which is proven to reduce stress, depression and anxiety. With roots stemming from the Buddhist cultures of India and Southeast Asia, meditation has made its way into modern Western culture and become a key self care tool for many. Bodhi Yoga in Holborn offer several options for learning how to meditate and “develop concentration and emotional positivity, and to get a deeper perspective on your core values”. Classes run throughout the week, with regular day-long retreats and workplace classes available on request too.
While meditation and mindfulness are inextricably linked, mindfulness can also be used as a standalone tool to reduce stress. London Mindful describe mindfulness as “a simple and very powerful practice of training our attention. It’s simple in that it’s really just about paying attention to what’s happening here and now (i.e. sensations, thoughts, and emotions) in a non-judgemental way”. Concentrating on your surroundings can be an incredibly beneficial tool in breaking the habit of getting lost in thoughts that can generate or exacerbate stress. With courses covering self compassion, stress, leadership and cultivating happiness (to name just a few) and taking place over eight weeks or in a one-day intensive environment, there’s plenty of flexibility and a course for everyone looking to find calm and beat stress in their every day lives.
Yoga combines movement of the body with awareness of the mind, meditation and breathing techniques which reduce stress. A regular practice can help to lower blood pressure and your heart rate, and best of all, anyone can do it. There’s a style of yoga to suit everyone, regardless of ability and tailored to your needs. If you’re in the market for something to get you sweaty before you relax, try Vinyasa, or if you want to slow right down, Yin yoga is the one for you. Drop-in classes are available at Cockpit Arts, Holborn on a Thursday from 6pm.
Did you know that chronic sleep debt can lead to long-term mood disorders, like depression and anxiety as well as increasing stress? Whether you’re a sound sleeper or suffering insomniac, mood, productivity and health all benefit from more restful and restorative sleep. But how can we learn to sleep better? Cue Stretching the City’s Sleep School workshops on “Sleeping to Achieve, Succeed & Thrive” or developing “A Mindful Nights Sleep”. Covering everything from the neuroscience behind sleep to exploring sleep-inducing lifestyle and dietary habits and establishing stress-busting practices to help you switch off and sleep, you’ll leave these workshops ready to get straight under the covers and sleep like a baby. Stretching the City offer their workshops in your office for up to 50 people.
Art therapy might seem like a bit of a wishy washy concept, but there is science to support the idea that it’s more than a good way to find calm and beat stress. Drawing is a right side brain activity, while stress occurs in the left side of the brain, since it is what handles logic and emotional aspects of your life. When you draw it shifts activity to the right side of the brain, which is the creative side, relieving stress and thoughts that the right brain is placing on you. Don’t consider yourself to be an artist? No worries! The meditative quality of being creative combines with the distraction from your thoughts that art offers, meaning it’s a great way to get out of your head for a bit. Check out Holborn Life Drawing for their weekly class schedule.