April is Stress Awareness Month- and let’s face it, we’re living in pretty stressful times. At BusinessLodge, the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of all of our staff and our clients is of the utmost importance and we’ve set up our centres with this at the heart of everything we do.

We’ve put together an overview our top tips for reducing stress in the workplace – and how BusinessLodge clients can benefit from the facilities we have on offer.

Take a break

Workers in the UK have the right to one uninterrupted 20 minute rest break, provided they work more than six hours per day. Yet how may of us actually take our allocated breaks? With 90% of people who do take a full break feeling refreshed and ready to go back to work afterwards, it really is crucial for our physical and mental wellbeing, not to mention our productivity, to take a little time out.

Stepping away from our desks is a proven way to keep energy levels up and stress down during the day. What’s more, it’s an opportunity to stretch our legs, helping to counteract the risks associated with sedentary jobs. So, while we might think that powering through the day without stopping shows how serious we are about work, it’s actually by taking a break, recharging the batteries and using the time to nourish ourselves properly that will make us more productive in the long run.

BusinessLodge clients have a wide range of places to take a break – from our coffee points and outdoor space, to our designated chill out areas, complete with table tennis.

Don’t skip meals

Let’s be honest, we can all be guilty of skipping lunch from time to time –  with some of us slipping into the habit on a regular basis. In fact, a study revealed that as many as 82% of employees don’t take their lunch break – and don’t actually eat anything at all!

We believe that it’s crucial to rethink this approach so that we condition ourselves to view our lunch break as a time to eat healthily, as well as getting moving as well. Clearly, we need a balanced intake to ensure we’re receiving optimum nutrition. Otherwise, depleted blood sugar levels, rising cortisol and sluggish metabolism mean we aren’t able to function at our best, are more likely to make mistakes, are more at risk of feeling ‘hangry’ and are more susceptible to both weight gain and illness.  And if you are already feeling stressed – low energy levels will make you feel a whole lot worse.

Our Grab n Go points at both Bury and Stoke are well stocked with sandwiches, fruit and snacks to ensure you keep fully fuelled throughout the day. Clients at Bury also have access to Olive’s Kitchen, which offers a wide range of nutritious foods to eat in or take away.

Go to the gym

If you are really feeling the pressure, how about using your lunch hour to go to the gym? Exercise has the potential to increase our self-esteem, reduce stress and anxiety, help prevent mental health problems and improve the quality of life of people who already experience mental health problems.

It also lowers the level of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also boosts the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators. They are responsible for the “runner’s high” and for the feelings of relaxation and optimism that are generated by vigorous workouts — or, at least, the hot shower afterwards.

Many people believe they are “too busy” to go to the gym, but BusinessLodge clients have no excuse, with state-of-the-art gyms for their use at both of our sites in Bury and Stoke. Building a before or after work-workout has become part of life for many of our clients – saving them loads of time in the process!

Connect with others

As human beings, we need interaction with others – and in times of stress, this is more important than ever. As our clients know, when you take a workspace with BusinessLodge, you are getting more than a place to work – you are joining our unique community.

Whether you are a one-man band or 120-strong team, we’re proud of the friendly, inclusive atmosphere that we’ve created across all our sites. Our buildings are designed to suit a modern work force and include plenty of communal space, break out zones, a games room (Stoke), a gym, a café (Bury), coffee points and grab and go food service. We’ll often see groups of clients from different businesses coming together for a catch up. As they say – it’s good to talk!

Have a coffee

For many of us, a great coffee is the first thing we will reach for if we are feeling jaded. It’s well documented that caffeine can keep us alert and give us the “pep up” we need – in safe amounts of course. Coffee increases dopamine levels – the “feel good” neurotransmitter and helps to block adenosine receptors which are responsible for making us feel tired and sleepy.
Caffeine molecules have a similar structure to adenosine and when it locks out these receptors, it can trick them in to making us feel brighter and more alert.

In addition, a study at John Hopkins University demonstrated that caffeine can enhance memory consolidation for us to 24 hours after consumption. This means that if you drink coffee right after learning something new, chances are it will ingrain itself on your brain more clearly. BusinessLodge client can take advantage of great coffee from our machines in our grab n go areas – with the finest coffee beans.

Stress is a serious issue, now more than ever before. At BusinessLodge, we have several information points with posters that display information from Able Futures on how to combat stress in the workplace.  If you feel that you, or someone you know might need some additional support, here are some phone numbers where you’ll be able to get some professional advice. Remember, there is always someone who will listen, and it’s absolutely ok not to be ok.