People in the automotive industry struggle more with their mental health than other UK workers
Sixty-six percent of respondents to a recent survey said stress had most affected their health and wellbeing, followed by poor sleep and low mood.
This is according to the automotive charity BEN, which surveyed 1001 people in the automotive industry.
Worryingly, workplace stress has increased by 8 percent this year, with higher workloads and pressure to meet targets leading to the rise. Other factors include a shortage of staff, colleagues lacking the required skills, and bullying.
The BEN survey also reveals that there has been an increase in people affected by a poor work-life balance (up from 34 percent to 44 percent of respondents), and having the time to rest and relax (up from 41 percent to 50 percent).
Arguably the most significant data from the survey shows that people in the automotive industry struggle more with their mental health than other UK workers. One in three (33 percent) automotive workers said they had issues managing their mental health, compared with one in six (18 percent) for the UK.
Rachel Clift, health and wellbeing director at Ben, said: “The findings tell us that stress is presenting as a real area of concern for our automotive workforce. Through our annual surveys, we listen to our automotive family so we can fully understand the health & wellbeing issues they are facing, enabling us to provide the support they need.
“In addition to stress being the biggest issue, it’s clear to see that automotive workers are also under more pressure and aren’t taking enough time to rest and relax outside of work. There are also some worrying trends relating to the cost-of-living crisis, such as skipping meals. In light of these results, we want everyone who works, or has worked, in the automotive industry to know that we’re there for them, so please get in touch if you’re struggling.
“We’re also here for employers too, so if you’re worried about stress in your workplace, please do reach out and connect, emailing Rachel.Clift@ben.org.uk to discuss how Ben can support your organisation and the health and wellbeing of your employees.”
BEN has the following advice for reducing stress and feeling more in control in the workplace:
- Take five and breathe
Practising deep breathing exercises are proven to help when we’re stressed. Taking a few slow, deep breaths can help you get your heart rate under control and lower your sense of stress. You can also try mindfulness or mediation.
Whether you’re still working from home, or back in your workplace, it’s important to have a routine and maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating well, getting enough rest, prioritising sleep and getting some exercise.
- Keep connected
Maintaining healthy relationships with people we trust is important for our mental wellbeing. Whether you go for a walk, chat over the phone or video call – talking to others can help. If stress is making you feel lonely or isolated, shared hobbies can also be a good way to meet new people.
- Spend time in nature
Spending quality time with nature is great for your mental health, it can help reduce stress, balance your mood and help you feel more positive. Being outside not only helps our mental health but also helps boost our immune system as we increase our vitamin D.
- Tune out
Get lost in something you enjoy – whether that’s watching a series/film, reading a good book, listening to a podcast/music, DIY or learning something new. Tuning into something else gives your mind a chance to rest and could help distract you from a stressful situation.
- Do something that makes you sweat
Exercise releases endorphins in your body, giving you a natural high – a brisk walk, running or playing five-a-side with your mates – any exercise will help.
- Focus on the little things
In tough times it’s important to focus on the little things that make you feel happy. Each day, take time to reflect and pick out the three things you are grateful for that day, this will help you feel in the moment and focus on the positives.
- Be kind to yourself
Life is busy, with many pressures and demands to juggle. Learning, observing and engaging in self-care is a key life skill that helps us stay focused, feel happier and often lends itself to a better work-life balance.
- Keep your mind active
Read, write, play games, do crossword puzzles, sudokus, jigsaws or drawing and painting. You can also learn something new.
- Be aware of your emotions (feelings)
Our thoughts influence our feelings and affect how we behave. It’s good to acknowledge that some things are outside our control right now. Make a list of everything that is worrying you.
Click here for more tips and advice on how to deal with stress. You can also call BEN on 08081 311 333.
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