Say Yes to Dealing With Stress


Working in recruitment can be stressful at times. We asked members of Saragossa to undertake a challenge in which they had to commit to a different stress-busting activity at least once a day for a week. Here’s what they had to say:

Week 1: Exercise (once a day)

Leah Walters, Recruitment Consultant: I managed to commit to exercising every day of the week, either doing pilates or spinning. I happened to be having a pretty hectic working week that week, and I definitely found having the opportunity to switch off and focus on something else for a bit really helped calm me down. In particular I found morning exercise really helped – doing a spin class first thing in the morning woke me up and allowed me to approach the rest of the day with a more level head.

While exercise is definitely great for stress, it’s important not to put too much pressure on yourself and turn exercise into yet another source of worry. Forcing yourself to do something really hard every day might end up doing more harm than good. When it comes to exercising to relieve stress, there’s no need to overdo it – anything is better than nothing!

Week 2: Meditation (once a day)

Harry Thistlethwaite, Associate Consultant: To be honest, I really had my doubts about this one going in, and even after the first couple of sessions I was still a little unconvinced. But I stuck with it, and after giving it a fair chance I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

I decided I would do my meditation (10 minutes of guided meditation using an app) at the start of each day to help me collect my thoughts and allow me to go into each working day feeling as positive as possible. First thing in the morning, it can be easy to get caught up thinking about all the things you have to do that day. Taking just a little time to step back every day can help you more effectively prioritise and work out what you need to get done first.

I found doing it first thing in the morning made me far more likely to actually commit to doing it. At the end of a working day, sometimes it’s difficult to make yourself stick to a routine. I’d definitely recommend meditation as a way to relieve stress, at least a couple of times a week.

Week 3: Yoga (once a day)

Rebecca Cawley-Hassall, Head of Finance: I made a commitment to a minimum of 30 minutes of yoga per day. I did a mixture of morning ‘energising’ routines and evening ‘restorative’ ones, all using an app, and occasionally doing both in one day! It was pretty cool – I selected the length of my practice and the type of yoga I wanted to do, focusing on my flexibility in the evening and on getting my heart rate elevated and my blood flowing in the morning.

I definitely felt some positive changes. As well as feeling less stressed and more energised every day, I even saw some small improvement to my flexibility after just a few days, which is crazy. As an added bonus, I felt lovely and smug all week knowing that I was now a yogi – that’s why people do it in the first place, right?

I’d definitely say yoga could become a new favourite hobby of mine. Not in a spandex-wearing, hemp-eating, chakra healing crystal kind of way, mind you – but anything that I can do in my pyjamas is always going to be appealing!

Week 4: Sleep (8 hours a night)

Marcus Jones, Marketing Manager: Getting enough sleep is something I’ve been trying to get better at for a while now. Like a lot of people, I usually struggle to switch off at the end of the day, even when I want nothing more than to call it a night. The biggest problem for me – and again, I don’t think this is unique to me – is I tend to stay up late staring at my phone. I wish I could say being productive, but more often than not I’m just idly scrolling.

Making the extra effort to put my phone away was really helpful in terms of allowing me to get to sleep more quickly, and as a result I woke up each morning feeling far more fresh and able to think much more clearly. The better you sleep, the more easily you wake up. The more easily you wake up, the more you get done – it’s as simple as that.

There aren’t really any downsides to making sure you get enough sleep, and I would strongly encourage anyone who’s currently feeling a little tense to firstly take a look at their sleeping schedule and end-of-day routine, and see what could be improved. You’ll be happier, and your colleagues will probably be thankful when you’re coming in a little less grumpy every day.

What do you do to alleviate stress, either in the workplace or in your personal life?

Saragossa are a talent provider specialising in the Financial Technology, Financial Operations and Data Science sectors. Our role is to match clients with high calibre candidates. Our work encompasses filling temporary contracts along with building permanent teams and resourcing projects. To find out more, please contact or call 020 7871 3666.