The Strain Of Stress During Our New Normal

Working as part of a charity can be extremely rewarding, but this year has seen charities across the UK struggling more than ever, due to loss of funding and closure of shops because of the impact of COVID-19. This unique situation is putting more strain on charities, their employees, volunteers and service users.

We understand that due to the current climate, a lot more people from all walks of life are finding it harder than usual to deal with the stress of their personal mental health and work life, which is why it is so important to understand the way that stress can affect your body.

When your body perceives a threat, it responds with the release of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.

Physical symptoms can include:

• Chest pains

• Digestive issues

• Muscle cramps

• Dizziness or fainting

• Excess sweating

• Trouble sleeping

• Nervous twitches, nail biting or hair pulling

Emotional signs can include:

• Changes in behaviour

• Anger

• Depression

• Anxiety

• Over/undereating

• Frequent crying

• Difficulty concentrating

• Insomnia

• Feeling tired and exhausted

What to do when you’re stressed

As simple advice as it is, talking to an understanding family member, friend or colleague can be a really effective way to help you when you are feeling stressed. Many people will be able to understand the situation or feelings and can offer their own advice, as well as ways that may help to combat the stress you are feeling.

Admitting that you aren’t able to control everything can also help – this will assist you in handling the unexpected situations that you may be finding yourself in during 2020. Stress management can be as simple as learning how to manage your own expectations, it could be a matter of adjusting some thoughts that you may be having, so you begin to view them slightly differently.  

• Be realistic – you cannot do anything and everything at any given time, you aren’t a superhero! Set realistic goals and jobs for you and your staff.

• Don’t expect too much of yourself – or others. Everyone is an individual, so may not work the same way as you would, or they may also be feeling the strain of the current climate.

• Be flexible and compromise where it’s beneficial – it may be the case that compromise is actually a better way of working and may be less stressful for you or your team.

• Think positively and try to see the good in difficult situations. We understand how hard it is to think positively when you may be feeling stressed, but this is also a chance to start thinking of new ways of working, fundraising and getting support for your charity from your local communities.

•Try not to take work problems home – we will all be guilty of this at some point in our lives but it is really important that you try to keep work within your designated working hours and enjoy your time relaxing at home. Cook yourself a nice meal, start a new book or find a Netflix series to watch with a friend.

Charity insurance from Towergate

Towergate Insurance provide a charity insurance policy that includes access to a 24-hour stress helpline, available for you and your staff to use when you need it most.

To find out more about our charity insurance, visit our dedicated page.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for your general knowledge and does not substitute for the advice of a medical professional. It should not be used to diagnose or treat a problem.

About the author

James Anscombe Cert CII - charity insurance articles authorJames Anscombe Cert CII is a respected industry leader with over 10 years' business development experience protecting clients in the charity insurance sector. His professional area of expertise is working with and developing new clients within the not-for-profit sector, offering the best solutions to each individual charity to protect organisations for the long term.

This is a marketing article by Towergate Insurance.

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