Hello PPMA Friends

Wednesday 6th November is National Stress Awareness Day and Keeley Metcalfe who is Senior HR Adviser, Resourcing Solutions at North Yorkshire County Council and also PPMA Rising Star runner up 2018, has written a very insightful piece reminding us of the importance of taking a break.

“How often are you asked; ‘Are you busy?’ And how frequently do you say ‘No’?

More often than not we answer yes and that’s because we are just that; busy. The pace of modern day life and all the things we have to do means we do have busy lives, however even if you were having a quieter day would you ever say ‘No, I am not very busy today’?  There seems to be a negative association with saying you’re not busy, especially in a work environment where people possibly fear that they are not doing their job well enough if they are not ‘busy’.

There’s lots of publicity relating to well-being at work and an emphasis on taking time out to relax and unwind, giving your body and mind chance to take a break, in turn reducing stress and aiding productivity. Some people use exercise as an effective stress buster and socialising is equally effective for most, but it’s not very often that people tell you that they have spent some time doing nothing, where they have sat down, stopped what they’ve been doing and taken chance to take a break from technology including phones.

National Stress Awareness Day (6th November) aims to raise awareness of stress and its impact, while promoting the importance of well-being and stress reduction for individuals and organisations.

Meditation, or the modern term ‘mindfulness’ can be really valuable to help the body and mind to rest, effectively combating stress. Formal relaxation practices don’t suit everyone so instead just taking some time to sit down and stop what you’re doing can be the first step towards helping mind and body to relax. Learning to do this can be very difficult but many people who do so discover that they really enjoy these moments of time and benefits brought from a health perspective.

Everyone’s different but if you are finding that you’re constantly racing about and feel that you need a little bit of time to yourself, try just taking a few minutes of time without your phone to sit and do nothing. You may continue to be busy, but on occasions this may include treating yourself to some time being busy doing nothing!”

Keeley Metcalfe