About Us


Professional Development

Knowledge Hub





Stress at work

STRESS. Stress to me is the start of a very slippery slope into full blown anxiety and its insidious partner, depression.

I thrived in high stress environments for years and years. I worked well under pressure, was motivated by deadlines and a high workload. Loved a crisis, enjoyed the adrenaline rush it brought. That worked for me. I did well at my job, progressed, moved into the senior leadership position I had always wanted and netted a Head of Comms job before my 30th birthday.

Then it just stopped working. The years of stress, huge pressure I'd put on myself and punishing internal monologue made my brain break. That was the only way I could describe it at the time. It felt like a switch had flicked in my brain and it just didn't work any more.

Years of high stress had turned into anxiety and depression and things needed to change.

And change things I did. I took time off (a few weeks the first time round, three months the second - darker - time), changed my working hours, introduced one day a week working from home, learned how to manage differently, delegate effectively and give my team more responsibility.

These things did make a difference, but I felt like managing my mental health and thriving in my Head of Comms role just weren't compatible.

So, I took redundancy at the start of this year and set off on a new course as a workplace mental health specialist. I'm using my lived experience to help organisations understand, talk about and tackle mental health in the workplace.

Everyone is different, I'm not saying that stress always leads to more severe mental health issues, but it's not sustainable long term and as the IoIC's campaign quite rightly highlights - we all matter at work. You're not just a worker bee, doing your best for the hive. You are your organisation's biggest asset.

Internal Comms is often a high stress, high volume industry. You're the first port of call in a crisis; you're in on the organisational secrets before anyone else; you're often working with some of the most senior people in the organisation; you're the face of the brand internally.

In our industry, it's easy to just plough on and think 'I just really need a proper lunch break,' 'I'll be fine after the weekend,' 'once this big project is over, it will all go back to being manageable.' But that might not be the best thing for you - or your team.

So, this April, stop. Think about how you're feeling, are you struggling to sleep, to focus, to prioritise? Have you noticed a colleague showing signs they might be stressed or overwhelmed? These are all subtle signs of stress that are easy to ignore in our busy lives.

Awareness months, days, weeks are great for helping you think about an issue. But it's just the first step. To really make an impact, you need to take action. So I've put together this free stress worksheet to help you do this and start to tackle these symptoms in yourself or in your team, as well as some tips on how to run an exercise around stress in your team.

By noticing and starting to reduce your signs of stress, you'll gain focus, time and hopefully happiness.

AskFutureNet - #WeMatterAtWork
Trust in a Brexit world


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Thursday, 26 May 2022
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.
  • 20th April 2022
    2021 was a pivotal year for IoIC As organisations navigated the challenges of “stop-start” and uncertainty from the pandemic, the Institute leaned in to support its members in these continuing...
  • 25th March 2022
        This Year's Komms Klub Award Winners Showcased the Best of the Central and North Region's Talent, Innovation and Expertise. Did your entry make it to the top of the charts? We are...
  • 22nd March 2022
      The IoIC joins British businesses in condemning P&O’s abrupt sacking of 800 workers to replace them with cheaper agency labour.   “While redundancies at a struggling firm may be...

Latest Jobs

Our Sponsors

Room Booking

Thanks for staying with us! Please fill out the form below and our staff will be in contact with your shortly. The see all of our room options please visit the link below.
See All Rooms