Stress Awareness Month takes place every April since 1992 to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic.
Stress is not always bad. In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. However, constant or extreme stress is bad for both the mind, body and eventually to the people around us.
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. 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 etc.
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?
1. Talk about Stress and it’s effects
There is a stigma associated with stress. By talking about the topic openly and freely with friends, family and colleagues, everyone will be more comfortable to share their experiences.
2. 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.
3. 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 it with compassion.
4. 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. Handling stress is an individual journey.
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.