Stress Awareness Month has been held every April, since 1992 to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for modern stresses. Despite this running for 20 years we have got a long way to go. According to the Mental health Foundation 74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.
Millions of us around the UK are experiencing high levels of stress and it is damaging our health. Stress is one of the great public health challenges of our time, but it still isn’t being taken as seriously as physical health concerns. Stress is a significant factor in mental health problems including anxiety and depression. It is also linked to physical health problems like heart disease, problems with our immune system, insomnia and digestive problems. Individually we need to understand what is causing us personal stress and learn what steps we can take to reduce it for ourselves and those around us.
What can you do for Stress Awareness Month?
- Talk about yours and others Stresses and it’s effects – work together to reduce the stigma that is associated with stress by talking about the topic openly and freely with friends, family and colleagues.
- Share your coping mechanisms – if something has worked for you why not share it. It might benefit someone you care about and in the meantime it might help you take your focus off your own challenges.
- Be nice to those who are stressed and anxious – we are all undoubtedly going to experience stress and anxiety in our lifetime so treat others going through wit with compassion and empathy.
- Look after yourself – we all need to think more about self –care. Take time out of your day to relax or do something that you enjoy. Don’t forget to exercise and eat well, even when you feel too stressed.
The most crucial thing you can do when you are stressed or anxious is to make sure you are continuing to look after yourself.
Make time to relax when you need to and learn to say no to requests that are too much for you.