With World Day for Safety and Health at Work coming up on 28th April, did you know that 92% of people surveyed in Singapore say they are experiencing stress in the workplace—compared to 87% globally—with 13% reporting they are suffering from unmanageable levels of stress?
According to the 2019 Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey, 21% of the respondents is getting sufficient sleep at night (compared to 28% in 2017) and only 18% exercise regularly (compared to 21% in 2017). This alarming downward trend is indicative of how an “always on” work culture is taking its toll on the Singapore workforce.
Work stress can have significant health consequences ranging from the relatively benign—such as colds and cases of flu—to the more serious such as cardiac disease and depression. Many employees ignore their symptoms because they fear being stigmatized or, worse, fired if they disclose their health issues. But if companies can support employees in managing stress and maintaining their overall well-being, their recovery will be much faster and less disruptive to the organization.
Samantha Smith, mindfulness coach and Cigna wellness ambassador, shares three quick ways to take control and improve your well-being at work:
Stay Organized: Planning ahead can significantly decrease stress at work. Being organized means doing the requisite prep work and allowing ample time for travel so you are running according to schedule. Keeping yourself organized also frees up headspace so you can be more efficient and productive at work.
Exercise More: Many people suffer from the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle. One way you can combat this is to get some exercise during your lunch break – from taking a walk or a class at the gym. This can help you refresh your mind, elevate your mood, and get into better shape physically and mentally.
Practice Mindfulness: Most of us are so used to stress that we tend to ignore its impact. Developing a practice of mindfulness – being present and paying attention – can help break the cycle and reconnect us with our bodies. Mindfulness equips us to be impartial, so that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without taking them personally, enabling us to respond rather than react to situations.