Edinburgh workers urged to ‘use lunch hour to beat stress’

One recent study revealed that 30 per cent of working adults in Britain have visited their GP in the past year seeking help for workplace stress and anxiety.

Lunch break reduces stress
Lunch break reduces stress

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says that in 2017/18, 595,000 people in the UK reported work-related stress that was so bad it was making them ill.

We can’t just walk away from work, but there are some steps we can take to help keep those stress levels in check.

Take a proper break

According to chartered occupational psychologist Emma Donaldson-Feilder, taking time to enjoy a lunch break is one way to battle work-related stress. Speaking to the NHS’s Moodzone site, she said: “As a general rule, taking at least 30 minutes away from your desk will help you to be more effective in the afternoon."You'll come back to your desk re-energised, with a new set of eyes and renewed focus.”

To help busy workers enjoy the benefits of a proper lunchbreak, One Square at Festival Square has unveiled a new express menu offering a fresh, seasonal main course and soft drink for just £12.

Chef Shaun Woodhouse’s mains include sea bass fillet with braised chicory and Violetta potatoes; roast breast of free range chicken with Italian sausage, smoked tomato and butterbeans, and king oyster mushroom and spiced pumpkin, pappardelle pasta – much nicer than a sandwich in front of a screen.

Add a starter or dessert for £5 each, enjoy the views of the castle, and have time left for a stroll back to the office.

Talk it through

According to NHS Inform it’s important to recognise when it’s all becoming too much and to speak out. Life coach Suzy Greaves says: “Have confidence in your ‘no’ when you think it's the right decision, even though it may not be the most popular one. In the long term, your ability to say no will be one of your most valuable attributes."

Remember, employers are obliged to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Spot the signs

Knowing when work is getting too much is key to stopping stress in its tracks. According to the NHS, working smarter, not harder – being organised and knowing what to prioritise – is crucial. Letting go of what can’t be changed and drawing on support of good friends to talk through issues – and seeking professional help if it feels overwhelming –are important too.

It also highlights the need to build in some ‘me time’ away from the cut and thrust of work, to relax, chill out and regroup. Need some downtime from a busy day at work? One Square at Festival Square’s new Express Lunch menu – including vegan options - is available daily from noon until 2pm.