GTP22: Are you returning to work? How do you feel?

David Andrew Coaching

This blog post has been produced for the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce as part of the 2022 Growth Through People campaign.

Growth Through People is the Chamber’s annual campaign aiming to help local firms boost productivity and grow through improved leadership and people management skills. In 2022 this involves 8 free webinars and events sharing best practice advice and guidance taking place throughout March, and a Growth Through People conference on 30th March. In addition, throughout the campaign the Chambers will be publishing thought leadership podcasts and blog content such as this.

Thanks to our Headline Partners and Sponsors – Aston University, Birmingham City Council, South and City College Birmingham and the West Midlands Combined Authority - all Growth Through People workshops are free to attend. Interested readers can find out more and register to attend Growth Through People workshops here, and the Growth Through People conference here.

A question I asked every morning driving to work." I don't feel like going to work today," I groaned in the car and eventually, even my wife got tired of listening to me. Long story short; It did not end well, and it became a seven-year learning curve and a transformational journey that renewed my mind and reshaped my paradigm.

It began from a grade four worker perspective for over two decades working for the largest local authority in Europe as a print buyer, advertising, marketing, sales, and income generation.

To have a job is a blessing to earn a living, but it can also be a curse for many. I went down the rabbit hole of those experiences and looking back; I am grateful that it taught me lessons; otherwise, I'm not sure how would I have learnt. It's equally important to understand that one must not kill (metaphorically speaking) themselves to understand life. I love the way Jack Ma – the Chinese multi-billionaire Tech Entrepreneur and founder of the Alibaba platform such as Amazon shares wisdom:


  • Grapes must be crushed to make WINE
  • DIAMONDS from under pressure
  • Olives are pressed to release OIL
  • Seeds GROW in darkness

Whenever you feel crushed, under pressure, pressed, or in darkness, you're in a powerful place of transformation. TRUST THE PROCESS".

No one is immune to feeling stress

Stress and mental health have hit our headlines over the last few years.

Anything can cause us to become stressed. Everything we do is interconnected and highlighted through our feelings and emotions.

Simple things can trigger stress, like being stuck in a traffic jam, missing the bus or train, misplacing the car or house keys, getting kids ready for school, and I am sure the list can go on.

When one area of your life suffers, it potentially spills into other areas of your life. 

For example: If you become stressed because of your work, the stress feeling it related behaviours can spill into your family relationships and then lead to health issues, overeating, weight gain, addiction to substances and so on. You get the picture.

Employment in the UK

The number of people working in the UK has reached a record high of 32.54 million, the Office for National Statistics. So, with 32.54 million people employed in the UK. Why do people become stressed, anxious, depressed and that often leads to illness through work?  

HSE {Health and Safety Executive} defines stress as "the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demands placed on them". The pressure is part and parcel of all work and helps us be motivated. But excessive force can lead to stress which undermines performance, is costly to employers and can make people ill.

Difference between Mental Health & Mental Illness Good Stress vs Bad Stress

It's essential to recognize that mental health issues are different from mental illness and how to treat them and understand good stress versus bad stress.

Remember! Everything is interconnected and has the potential to spill over into other areas of your life.

Infographic source: Compilation from researching various mental health articles documents, psychotherapist blogs and writings in June 2020. (Google search)

Take these steps to eliminate Bad Stress.

Especially when you are under constant stress, your health and well-being are affected. In the long term, stress can lead to more physical effects.

  • Start talking to someone you can trust and are interested in listening to how you feel. I would recommend a transformational coach who has proven successful through the same experience.
  • Also, speak to your manager about how you feel. There is no need to suffer in silence.
  • Work together with your manager and talk about making some adjustments to your workflow. It may take time to adjust, but it's good to talk and make a start.
  • Remove visual connection with things, people, etc., that are some of the apparent stressors to make things easier on yourself. Minor complication equals less stress.
  • Join group therapy sessions where you can learn relaxation and breathing exercises. 
  • Relaxation is a learned skill, and it is something that gets easier with practice. Believe it or not, it can be comforting to visualize a positive outcome simply. 
  • Practice mindfulness and meditation to calm your thoughts. Believe it or not, you will feel peaceful when you simply visualize a positive outcome.

I conclude with five takeaway points

  1. Remember your life matters, and you are valuable. 
  2. Do not let others manipulate or dictate your life. 
  3. You have the potential to take back the control from those who mentally hold you captive.
  4. The possibilities of getting back on track and enjoying the fulness of life are in your hands.
  5. You will be surprised how quickly you can bounce back and become keen when you start to make small changes to how you think and perceive challenges. It is also known as the "Paradigm shift"

If you would like to talk more about your mental health challenges, I have the experience and the expertise to help you. I would highly recommend that you do speak to someone who can help.

Contact me:

Read my blogs on mental health, midlife crisis and much more.