Stress awareness month takes place every April, the idea is to increase awareness about stress, its causes and effects. It is important to discuss issues around stress as it has such a profound impact on our physical and mental health.
Too much stress in life is often linked to poor sleep, bad eating habits, and in some cases, has even been linked to serious heart and neurological problems. Stress also has a major connection to our mental wellbeing and can be an instigating factor for depression and anxiety.
So, why not consider doing one or several of the following for Stress Awareness month:
1. Talk – the more we talk and discuss the issues of stress and its causes, the more we help to reduce the stigma. In turn, talking about our stresses helps us offload, it can even help to get a different perspective. Family, friends and colleagues can all be very helpful here. Talking about it can feel like a weight has been lifted!
2. Be kind to those who are stressed – we want people to be kind to us when we are stressed, so let’s make sure that we are like this with them. There doesn’t have to be a magic solution here but just listening with kindness goes a long way to helping someone.
3. Share your coping mechanisms and the things that work for you – if something has been particularly helpful for you when you have been stressed, share it with other people. Even if it isn’t the right thing for them specifically, it helps them start to think about things in a more solution focused way.
4. Take care of yourself - the best thing you can do when feeling stressed, and most important in terms of your health, is to take care of yourself. Try to think about your daily routine and staying well – eat and sleep well, exercise and relax, even if it feels tough to do. Refuse any requests that you feel are too much for you, rearrange things in the day if you feel unable to mange them all.
So let’s help ourselves and each other cope with stress better, life can be difficult but with the right people, help and attitudes, we can get through such times and hopefully come out the other end more resilient and able to manage stress.
This content is general information only, not advice. If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health issue, please contact a mental health professional or contact the Samaritans.