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Stress Awareness Month

April marks the start of Stress Awareness Month, which has been held every year since 1992. 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.

Infact, recent studies identified that 65% of people in the UK have felt more stressed since the COVID-19 restrictions began in March 2020.  

The three key causes for concern are feelings of disconnection, uncertainty, and a worrying loss of control, which is why this year’s theme for Stress Awareness Month 2021 is ‘Regaining Connectivity, Certainty and Control.’

This year the Stress Management Society is encouraging people to take part in their 30 day challenge, and so it’s easy to do.  Simply download their April calendar and pick one action each for your Physical, Mental and Emotional Wellbeing to carry out every day.  

You can find out more about the 30 day challenge and all the resources available to you here: https://www.stress.org.uk/30daychallenge/

There are other things you can also do to help alleviate stress, including:

  • Talk openly and freely with friends, family and colleagues about stress and its effects.
  • Share your coping mechanisms – if something has worked for you why not share it. It might benefit someone you care about. 
  • Be nice to those who are stressed and anxious – treat others experiencing stress with compassion and empathy.
  • Look after yourself – Take time out of your day to relax or do something that you enjoy, and don’t be afraid to say no to requests that are too much for you. Don’t forget to exercise and eat well, even when you feel too stressed. 

Stress is a significant factor in mental health issues, including anxiety and depression, but it is also linked to physical health problems like heart disease, problems with our immune system, insomnia and digestive problems, which is why it’s essential we all talk about how we’re feeling, to not only make others aware but to also break the stigma of stress, anxiety and mental health issues.

As well as speaking to friends, family and colleagues, there are many organisations that you can talk to if you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, including Mind, our chosen charity for this year.