Recognising and managing stress
Many veterinary surgeons and teams suffer from continuing stress, and yet it can be successfully addressed – the first step is to acknowledge its presence and then identify the causes so that appropriate actions can be taken.
What is stress?
Stress is quite simply the feeling of being out of control.
It’s caused both by external pressures, as well as by our internal reaction to being placed under pressure. Thus people react differently to the same situation – something that one person finds motivating may prove incredibly stressful to another.
Signs of stress
Whilst the signs will vary, a common one is a change to normal behaviour; reacting differently to a situation you have previously coped with.
Stress affects our emotions, our physical wellbeing and also our behaviour, and the signs can include:
- Feeling frustrated, angry, or judgemental
- Feeling overwhelmed, overburdened, that your head is full and you can’t switch off
- Changing sleep patterns – sleeping more or less, always feeling tired
- Becoming withdrawn or demotivated
- Being indecisive, unable to concentrate
- Worrying or avoiding situations
- Feeling tearful or more emotional
- Headaches, back aches
- Loss of pride in your appearance
- Reliance on alcohol or drugs to relax
- Succumbing to frequent coughs, colds and illness
- Reluctance to undertake hobbies and exercise
Commonly resulting in:
- Prone to accidents at work
- Working long hours and not taking breaks
- Arguments and disputes with colleagues
- Feeling rushed and not doing as good a job as you would like
- Indecisiveness and poor judgement
- Low morale
- High staff turnover
- Poor Work-Life Balance
Tackling the causes of stress
For some people it’s a specific event or situation that is stressful, for others it’s multifactorial – each situation alone is manageable but together they are stressful.
Asking for help is never an admission of weakness; it’s a sign of strength.
- Our perception of the situation
- How skilled we are at dealing with pressure
- Our own emotional resilience
I’m a CIPD accredited trainer in wellbeing and stress management and have created workshops that will make a real difference to both the individuals and your entire team.
A coaching programme can help you identify, address and overcome the professional and personal stresses in your life through increased resilience and improved self-esteem; helping you confidently make the right decisions for your career and your life. Drop me an email or give me a call and we can talk through how you can minimise the stressors in your life.
Join me on a stress management workshop “Thriving in Practice-Developing resilience in yourself and your team” learn how you and others cope with pressure and stress and gain the practical tools and techniques that will help put you back in control of your life and your career.
Stress affects 1 in 5 of the working population at any given time and has a major impact on businesses. It’s not only the number 1 reason why people take time off work, but also results in presenteeism with a massive impact on morale, motivation, productivity and general performance.
It is therefore vital that line managers create an environment and team culture that minimises stress.
I run in-house training for line managers equipping them with the tools they need to identify stress, manage it and minimise it. By the end of the workshop you will feel confident and able to deal openly and proactively with the issue of stress within your team. Give me a call and we can talk through the best approach for you and your team.
Bespoke stress management training includes time management, coping with the pressures of working in a veterinary practice, getting the best out of the people you work with and building effective teams.
Run as lunchtime or evening workshops, the sessions are created to address your team’s unique needs. Give me a call and we can talk through your teams needs and create a bespoke session that will work best for your team.
Developing a practice stress policy
Did you know that every veterinary practice must have an active Stress policy? This involves an up to date risk assessment to identify the workplace stressors your team are exposed to and an active record of the interventions you’ve made to minimise the risks.
All veterinary practices have a moral and legal responsibility to ensure that they are assessing the psychosocial risks to their employees. This shouldn’t be just another tick box exercise, addressing these factors has been shown to reduce absence rates, reduce employee turnover, improve productivity, improve profitability and importantly improve team morale. A win-win for all concerned!
For further information on what you need to do to fulfil your health and safety requirements, please contact me here.