Break stress before stress breaks you

Feeling tense? The Chartered Accountants' Benevolent Association offers tips for accountants struggling with stress. More than eight out of ten accountants are suffering from stress-related problems, according to new research from the Chartered Accountants' Benevolent Association (CABA).

In a recent poll commissioned by CABA, 82 percent of accountants said they suffered from stress, with 77 percent citing long working hours as a cause for concern. Meanwhile 71 percent said their work/life balance was poor.

More than a quarter of accountants said they drink in excess of the recommended level, while an eight admitted to misusing drugs in the last year. The study also revealed that the suicide rate for female accountants is three times the average for other occupations.

"Accountancy is a profession where long hours are common and excessive demands are frequently made by employers on staff. The current economic climate has not made this any situation any easier, with many feeling that their jobs are under threat," said Kath Haines, chief executive at CABA.

The research was carried out ahead of National Stress Awareness Day, a national event organised by the International Stress Management Association which takes place on 3 November.

"Accountancy is a high-pressure profession but employers need to ensure that they are monitoring their staff for signs of excessive stress. It makes no sense to pile more work onto someone who already cannot cope - in terms of both the impact on their work and their personal life," said Haines.

Top ten stress busters

For those suffering with stress related issues, the CABA offers the following tips:

  1. Have a support network
  2. Make sure your diet is healthy
  3. Exercise
  4. Sleep well
  5. Practice deep breathing
  6. Improve your posture - release muscle tension
  7. Use relaxation techniques
  8. Reduce caffeine intake
  9. Reduce alcohol intake
  10. Review and reduce use of over the counter medication

Details about National Stress Awareness Day and advice on coping with stress and associated issues such as unemployment, debt, drink, drug and alcohol can be found at www.caba.org.uk and www.isma.org.uk.

CABA holds a rolling programme of workshops designed to help accountants cope with stress. More details can be found at caba.org.uk/services/training.

This article originally appeared on our sister Web site, AccountingWEB.co.uk.
 

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