Dealing with stress
According to Graham Anderson, Principal Officer and CEO at Profmed, the medical scheme that caters exclusively for the graduate professional market, stress is one of the main contributing factors of illness in the lives of professionals.
“The New Year presents the perfect opportunity to consider decompressing and getting your stress levels under control. While stress will always be a part of our lives, there are a number of things we can do to alleviate this.”
Anderson notes that a number of factors exist that add substantially to the stress levels of professionals. “Profmed’s annual Stress Index, which collected data from over 3 000 of South Africa’s professionals, revealed that in 2014 40 percent of respondents ranked family as the leading cause of stress, with 27 percent citing health, 17 percent work and 16 percent citing financial issues as their leading cause of stress.”
Anderson provides the following basic tips to ensure a stress-free year:
1. Keep on moving
Research has shown that almost any form of physical activity serves as a stress reliever.
Make it a priority to keep active, whether it be by working out in the gym or taking regular walks in your neighbourhood. This will help refocus your thoughts, in turn positively affecting your mood, allowing you to approach your day rationally.
Thirty eight percent of respondents in Profmed’s Stress Index credited exercise as their best coping mechanism to stress.
2. Get social
Reaching out to friends and family through social events, networking and making connections serves as a great distraction, taking your mind off stressful issues and providing relief. 17 percent of respondents to the Stress Index alluded that speaking to someone also aids in relieving their stress.
3. Take up a hobby
Whether it be playing an instrument, taking up a sport or entering quiz nights, taking up a hobby that requires your full attention could help ease stress. Focusing your mind on what you are doing, rather than residual stress from other areas of life, has therapeutic and calming effects.
4. Sleep does wonders
Lack of sleep can lead to trouble in concentration which threatens your productivity and health. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance that you get enough sleep, as this is your body’s chance to recharge.
“The above are just a few key elements that people can implement in their day-to-day lives to make sure that their stress remains at a manageable level. At Profmed, studies like the Stress Index Survey will continue to provide us with further insight into what causes our stress, how our stress is managed, and what can be done to better combat the consequences it has on our wellbeing,” concludes Anderson.