1st April 2023 marks the start of the 31st year of stress awareness month.
Mental health and stress are now one of the biggest health challenges that we face in modern society, and despite this challenge and how common it is, it still has a stigma attached to it. We continue to separate mental health from physical health, but mental health can lead to physical health problems including heart disease, insomnia, digestive issues and more serious conditions including anxiety and depression.
During stress awareness month, which this year the theme is #choosehope, take time to talk about it and the emotions it can bring. It should be done in a safe space, and with people you feel comfortable with including friends, families, colleagues and professionals and by creating a safe space and opening a dialogue, you can talk about it and how it impacts you professionally or personally.
According to stress.org.uk having hope is imperative in finding a way through and beyond the challenges we face. According to them, hope isn’t just a feeling, it inspires us to take action. If we make a conscious decision to perceive things differently, we can create a plan to achieve the desired goal. So, go beyond talking, take action to create a positive change and encourage an opportunity for us all to consider how we can make things better.
What can you do during Stress Awareness Month
- Talk about Stress and its 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 share it. It might benefit someone and, it might help you take your focus off your own challenges.
- Be kind to those who are stressed and anxious – we all go through the experience of stress and anxiety in our lifetime, to remember to treat others going through it with compassion and empathy.
- Take some time for self-care – Take time out of your day to relax or do something that you enjoy.
If you are currently experiencing stress or anxiety, make sure you look after yourself – it’s the most important thing you can do! Make time to relax and learn to say no, especially to requests that make you feel more stressed!
For more information and newsletters visit the National Stress Awareness Month website where there is a raft of information and advice to help you or others including taking a free “are you stressed” stress level test.