Four Clothes2order team members tell us how they cope with the professional pressures of modern life

Did you know that April is Stress Awareness Month? Since 1992, this month has been about shining a spotlight on the causes of stress and finding ways to lighten the load. Let’s kick back and chat about how stress affects us and maybe even rethink how we handle those “pull-your-hair-out” moments. We asked some of our team to share their experiences of stress, and here’s what they had to say.

Eliska Pangracova, Shift Leader, Print Department

What’s your winddown routine like after work?

“I sing very loudly in my car on the way home! The genre depends on my mood. Don’t judge me; try it! Then, obviously, a good gym session always helps me to get rid of those stress hormones. Having a hot shower and a warm cooked dinner is a must. They are basics, but I listen to my body, and it works!”

Why did you become a mental health first aider?

“Mental health has always been a topic I’ve been interested in. I am the person people come to for advice about healthy lifestyle, the gym, or mental health anyway. Therefore, I was glad to hear that C2O cares about the well-being of its employees and I did not hesitate to join the Mental Health First Aider training to be a part of making a positive impact in our community.”

What would you advise to anyone who is struggling with workplace stress but feeling hesitant to reach out for support?

“People are social beings, and community is important. You don’t have to bear it all alone on your shoulders. Sometimes, getting a little uncomfortable can lead to significant changes, helping you move forward and grow. So don’t overthink it too much; seek out that one person, speak up, and just do it.”

Simon Turner, Marketing Director

How do you ensure you maintain healthy boundaries between your professional and personal life to stave off burnout?

“This is something I find quite difficult and don’t have a magic bullet for. With modern technology the temptation to check emails in the evening or send a Slack message when a thought comes to you over the weekend are all too real.

I don’t, however, find it personally causes me burnout, but I am aware that the hours I choose to work are not the same for everyone. If I send an email out of hours I increasingly try to schedule the send or make clear I am not expecting an urgent response. 

This is an area I need to do better at, so any tips on staying off devices in particular gratefully received!”

Are there any tools you use to help stave off stress?

“These are the mindset tools I find particularly useful when it comes to managing workplace stress:

  • Be in the present. You cannot control what has happened, only how you respond and react to it. Remember this, take a breath and start working on a way forwards.
  • Re-frame situations. Stress often comes by how we think of a situation. Rather than being stressed because you don’t know how to do something for example, re-frame how you think of it as “this is a great opportunity to learn” or “an opportunity to show resilience.” 
  • Ask for help. Stats show that few people like asking for help, but nearly everyone likes to help others. So ask! If you’re stuck or struggling with something at work then asking for support from colleagues or managers for advice, guidance or direct support can be a great way to share the load.”

Michelle Harris, Group Financial Controller and Mental Health First Aider

What coping techniques do you use to help manage stress at work?

“I employ various coping mechanisms to navigate challenging times. Engaging in open conversations and expressing my emotions is one of my primary strategies. Additionally, I prioritize regular breaks, and when I find myself particularly stressed or upset, I often take a walk to gather my thoughts and regain perspective.

Maintaining a clear boundary between my professional commitments and personal life is important to me. I find that going to the office for work, rather than working from home, provides a distinct separation between the two. Additionally, I make a conscious effort to refrain from checking emails or answering work-related calls once I’ve concluded my workday. Prioritizing family time, especially with a young child, is of utmost importance. By disconnecting from work during personal hours, I can focus and enjoy cherished moments with my family.”

What would you advise to anyone who is struggling with workplace stress but feeling hesitant to reach out for support?

“It’s easy to overlook the significance of seeking help for your mental well-being in the moment. Many individuals hesitate to discuss their feelings due to concerns about judgement from others. However, the truth is that opening up to someone can instantly alleviate some of the burden, leading to an immediate sense of relief. Not only does this positively affect you, but it also benefits those closest to you.”

Kyle Bedford, Product & Procurement Manager and Mental Health First Aider

What strategies do you find helpful to manage stress in the workplace?

“I prioritise taking my lunch break, even during peak workload times. Stepping away from my workstation for a walk during lunch helps refresh my mind for the rest of the day. I also make sure I have open conversations with my team, whether they are working from home or in the office.”

Why did you choose to become a mental health first aider?

“I wanted to become a mental health first aider after seeing that post-pandemic, a significant portion of our workforce transitioned to remote work. Recognising the absence of easily accessible mental health support across the internet for remote workers, I volunteered for the role to bridge this gap.”

What would you advise to anyone who is struggling with workplace stress but feeling hesitant to reach out for support?

“As mental health first aiders, our primary role is to provide a supportive ear for individuals navigating workplace stress. No concern is too big or small—we are here to work with the team to find solutions. If speaking in person feels too daunting, taking a small step to sending a trusted colleague an email or message is a great place to start.”

If you need any help or are struggling with any aspect of stress, we recommend visiting the two websites below for advice:

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