Conference News March 2019 - Page 55

55 Stress Matters STRESS MATTERS: THE PLEDGES Sunnies on, head down Laura Capell-Abra, founder of Stress Matters, says that when the clocks change, so too should your sleep pattern here are always specific points in the year when you can tell it has changed seasons. Whether it’s what you wear, that you have an umbrella or pair of sunglasses in hand as you leave the house, or which type of enquiries you receive for future events. Add to that the changing of the clocks, this is one of those times of year. As we change the clocks forward, we change the amount of sunlight we are exposed to and how much sleep we get. Now the scientific part: our main source of Vitamin D is sunlight and lower levels of Vitamin D have been associated with greater drowsiness in the day and the amount of melatonin released by our bodies, impacting how tired we feel, can also be impacted by changes in the amount of sun we get. Our industry is way above the industry average for those with sleep problems, our Stress Matters research found that nearly three out of four reported issues with sleep and with the UK average around one in three according to the NHS, we have a bigger problem than most parts of the country. A lack of sleep can impact our short-term and long-term memory and limits our creativity and problem-solving skills – all pretty important things in this fast-paced, unpredictable industry. Our Stress Matters research found that the average number of hours sleep while on an event is 4 to 6, with 20% of events staff managing on less than four hours per night. Between nine and 38 minutes is the minimum amount of sun each of us needs a day to keep up our Vitamin D levels, so the more we can take a quick walk outside to get our lunch or do walking meetings, the better chance we have of a calmer approach to problem-solving, greater creativity and a good night’s sleep. “As we change the clocks forward, we change the amount of sunlight we are exposed to and how much sleep we get.” Stress Matters pledge number eight is to offer support to those team members who have sleep problems. So, with the changing of the clocks, let this be the month that you change your approach to how we view sleep. Communication and culture 1. There is a culture of openness about mental health led from the top. 2. Processes and procedures are in place so that employees can follow a clearly identified plan of support 3. Management is trained to provide basic emotional and stress management support. 4. A culture of fluid working is instilled. Resourcing 5. Team’s welfare is put at the centre of resource planning. 6. Team members are not expected to work for more than 14 days without two days off. 7. Team members are not expected to work more than 50+ hours per week more than once a month. 8. Sleep management support is offered to individuals who have sleep problems. Client and stakeholder management 9. Senior management supports individuals who are being subjected to unrealistic deadlines. 10. Team wellbeing charters are created and provided to clients.