Newsletter Issue 49 – March/April 2009

Newsletter Issue 49 – March/April 2009

Posted by Ellie McLavin

Welcome to the spring edition of “In Equilibrium”.

We hope you’re enjoying the longer daylight hours and the first signs of spring as much as we are.

Please feel free to leap into our spring edition where we are delighted to bring you our first podcast in the form of a 7-minute relaxation exercise; provide a helpful stress tip; bring you several topical stress in the news stories; and give details of the new site launched by the Health and Safety Executive to help businesses prevent work-related stress.

Finally, a wee reminder to change your clocks this Sunday in order to save you any embarrassment by turning up an hour late on Monday morning!

And while we’re on the subject of time, we hope you’ll find a few minutes to read on …

In Equilibrium News

Relaxation Exercise now available as a Podcast

We are delighted to be able to offer you a 7-minute relaxation exercise which can be done either in the office or at home.  It is written and features the wonderfully therapeutic voice of Dr David Mason Brown.  When we tested it in the office, everyone stopped what they were doing and listened intently.  Dr David Mason Brown delivers our Lifestyle Management, How to Increase your Energy Levels, and Personal Well-being training courses.

CIPD HRD Conference and Exhibition : 21 – 23 April 2009 If you are attending the conference and exhibition this year, you will find us at Stand 114.  We would be delighted to meet you and assist with any questions you may have or further information you may require.

Contract awarded by ASCO Group We are delighted to have been chosen to deliver stress management courses to management staff of ASCO, the oil and gas supply chain logistics business.  The stress management training will eventually be rolled out to all ASCO managers on a global level.  

Stress Management  Tip

This month’s tip suggests that although we can’t necessarily change the situation we find ourselves in, accepting what we already have makes our lot easier to bear. 


We found the following websites interesting: – useful website which, when you input your date of birth, height and weight, will work out your body mass index and tell you where you fall on an indicator which ranges from underweight to obese.  It also links you to websites offering tips on a range of healthy lifestyle and eating options. – great selection to get the old grey matter springing back to life if it’s been hibernating over the winter months.  There are quick crosswords which you can either print off or fill in online, with a solution button you can use when you’re out of time … or stuck!  There are also 193 Hangman puzzles to try, as well as a useful selection of party games.  For the masochists amongst us, you can even try an audition test used in the television show “Countdown” – good luck!

Amanda’s Column

Amanda discovers that the old advice of saying “no” and meaning “no” can save a lot of soul-searching later!

Industry News

New website from HSE helps organisations tackle stress at work
The Health and Safety Executive has launched a new stress website to help businesses prevent work-related stress.

The website includes updated advice and guidance, tools to help prevent stress at work, a self-assessment questionnaire for line managers, and examples of things that have worked well for other organisations. The focus of the new website will be the Management Standards for work-related stress which have already been used successfully by many organisations.

Please visit to find out more and sign up for their stress e-bulletin to receive the latest information

Ensure your online information is fully accessible for everyone A website is now frequently the first port of call for potential employees and customers. But people with certain disabilities can find it difficult to access, navigate, or read the content of a web page if the information isn’t presented correctly.

Stress in the News

Beyond Stress – A Guide to Mental Health and Workplace Wellbeing New report which looks at the importance of recognising and addressing the wide range of mental health issues that can occur in the workplace.  £26 billion is the estimated cost to British business each year caused by workplace wellbeing and mental health issues, which equates to over £1000 per employee.  However, surprisingly, 45% of employers chose to believe that there are no mental health issues at work.

CIPD highlights importance of strong absence management in UK organisations Article in response to a report from the TUC showing that a quarter of the workforce went to work in January despite feeling they were too ill to do so.  Ben Willmott of the CIPD believes that effective line management is the key to maintaining healthy and productive workplaces.

Employers experience budget cuts, escalation of workloads and higher stress levels According to the latest quarterly CIPD/KPMG survey, employers are experiencing budget cuts, escalation of workloads and higher stress levels to cope with the recession.  While a majority of HR professionals feel less secure in their jobs, around half of the 892 employers who took part in the survey say that employee workloads and stress levels have increased in their organisation.  Read more Download the full survey report here

Sick and Tired of being Sick and Tired An interesting article which explains the commonly undiagnosed problem of Adrenal Burnout Syndrome.  Classic symptoms include extreme tiredness, difficulty sleeping, over-reliance on coffee, alcohol or nicotine.  The good news is that, once diagnosed, it can be treated.

… and finally as a word of warning

Dentists say – Stress leads to Teeth Clenching Dentists in Boston, USA have discovered that the current credit crunch is having a disastrous effect on some of their clients’ teeth.  They are seeing cases where the stress people are under caused by job insecurity, financial problems and sinking pension pots is causing patients to grind their teeth so badly, corners of their teeth are literally snapping off.


“If you treat an individual as he is, he will stay as he is; but if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.” Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, German dramatist, novelist, poet & scientist (1749 – 1832)

“Ideas are like rabbits.  You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” John Steinbeck, US Novelist (1902 – 1968)

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter.  Please remember that we are always delighted to receive your comments as they are one of the measures we use to ensure our quality and content is consistent and relevant.