- Online training courses related to mental health and wellness have risen significantly this year.
- The number of people learning anxiety management rose by almost 4,000%, with courses for stress management and meditation also in-demand.
- This suggests that workers are taking a holistic approach to wellbeing at work and consider self-mastery an essential skill.
The pandemic has triggered a number of health concerns that extend far beyond the coronavirus itself. Among them, workers are feeling increasingly stressed, anxiety is rising, and burnout has reached a new high.
While many employers have workplace wellness programs in place to help sustain and improve the mental and physical health of their workforce, some people are taking matters into their own hands.
New research by online learning platform, Udemy for Business, has found a sharp increase in training courses related to mental health and wellness.
Udemy’s 2021 Workplace Learning Trends Report revealed huge take-up in courses for anxiety management, stress management, and resilience skills.
Rise in course take-up in 2020 vs. 2019:
- Anxiety management: 3,967%
- Resilience: 1,296%
- Stress management: 1,015%
- Meditation: 886%
- Mindfulness: 784%
Udemy for Business also noted significant increase in other learning programs designed to improve soft skills such as time management and goal setting:
- Time management: 990%
- Motivation: 855%
- Focus mastery: 810%
- Self-discipline: 791%
- Memory: 679%
- Goal achievement: 581%
Drilling deeper into the findings, stress management courses for workers in the Healthcare industry grew 5,408%, while Government & Nonprofit workers studied and practiced meditation 40,659% more than they did in 2019.
The findings suggest that workers and their employers are taking a holistic approach to wellbeing at work and consider self-mastery an essential skill both to navigate the current situation, and for their future career.
“Learning and development extends far beyond vertical movement and technical skill development,” says Culture Amp Senior People Scientist Sahra Kaboli-Nejad. “This mindset is a fundamental shift to focusing on the whole employee, rather than simply the technical skills related to their outputs or deliverables.”
Coping with Stress and Anxiety at Work
A certain amount of work-related stress is considered normal, particularly in high-pressure environments. However, persistent stress and feelings of intense anxiety can indicate a more serious problem, and this should be addressed sooner rather than later.
The ADAA (Anxiety & Depression Association of America) provides help and support for people who are feeling overwhelming feelings of stress. Here are 7 tips to help manage stress and anxiety at work:
- Talk to a trusted coworker. Talking to someone at work you trust can help to significantly ease the burden of stress. Knowing that someone accepts your condition can be comforting and it may reduce any anticipatory anxiety about having a panic attack.
- Know your symptoms. Learn to recognize the symptoms of stress or anxiety and what might trigger them, and how to handle the symptoms if you experience any at work.
- Be realistic about workload and timescales. It’s important not to over commit or offer to take on projects if you don’t realistically have enough time. Schedule regular one-to-one meetups with your manager or a coworker, and use this time to talk about your workload or looming deadlines. Your manager may simply not realize you’re overextended.
- Avoid toxic coworkers. Try to ignore negativity and gossip in your workplace.
- Take breaks. A walk outside at lunchtime, or before and after work, or a few minutes of quiet meditation and deep breathing can help you regain calm and focus.
- Set boundaries. Even if you’re working from home a lot more than normal, try not to let your work encroach on your personal time. For instance, don’t check your work email after hours and switch off any work-related notifications.
- Follow a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthfully, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and limit caffeine and alcohol. Try to keep your body and mind in shape to handle challenging situations.
You may also find value in improving your time management, organization, and prioritization skills. Your workplace may offer online courses as part of a wider company wellness program. If not, why not request it? This could be a worthy addition and one that can help every member of the workforce navigate the current situation while strengthening vital soft skills for the future.