Managing mental stress on site: 5 helpful tips to build a routine that works for you

Work can be stressful in any situation but it is often exacerbated for employees working in the oil and gas, energy and construction sectors due to the added strains of remote living, long shifts, exposure to climate extremes and irregular communication with the outside world. If not managed properly, stress can negatively affect your mental health and can lead to fatigue, loneliness and feelings of anxiety or depression.

Here are five tips to help you build an on-site routine that works for you and will help to manage and alleviate your mental stresses.

Healthy body, healthy mind

First and foremost, look after your physical health and well-being. Diet affects every aspect of your health, so be sure to make healthy meal and snack choices that nourish your body and to drink plenty of water. Follow it up by engaging in regular exercise before or after your shift.

Limit alcohol and caffeine

While it may be just what you feel like at the end of a long day’s work, alcohol is actually a depressant and can alter mood, energy levels and sleeping patterns. Similarly, too much caffeine can increase feelings of anxiety. Make sure to limit your intake, keeping exaggerated mental health issues at bay.

Get enough sleep

Working on-site can disrupt your usual sleeping pattern but nonetheless, it is crucial that you are well-rested in order to stay alert at work and avoid adverse effects on your mental health. Lack of sleep can lead to fatigue, mood disturbances, poor concentration and impaired judgement.

Practice self-care

Self-care doesn’t need to be elaborate or complicated, especially when you’re on site. Do something that makes you feel calm and happy, which could mean reading a book, stretching, or meditating.

Communicate and socialise

Being away from family and friends for long periods of time isn’t easy, so it’s important to stay in touch with loved ones back home. At work, socialise with your workmates, lean on your on-site support network and be sure to seek support whenever you feel like your mental load is becoming too much to handle.

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