Stress Awareness Blog

Stress Awareness Blog

April is National Stress Awareness Month, so for my blog this month I thought it would be a good opportunity to talk about what stress is, how you can manage it, and where to seek advice and support from if it starts to get too much.

What is stress?

1 in 4 adults feel stressed every day and 74% of people have felt so stressed at some point they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope with day-to-day life. Stress is an ever-more part of modern life with people reporting signs of stress increasing each year. Stress is when the mental and physical demands feel more than we can cope with in turn becoming stressed.

What can cause stress?

There are many environmental, social and personal factors which can lead to you becoming stressed. This can include relationship breakdowns or troubles with partners or family members. It can be work worries, ill-health or financial worries.

Spot the signs!

Stress can lead to us feeling more tired than usual, unmotivated to do day-to-day tasks and overwhelmed. It can lead to a change in our behaviour such as being agitated, restless or quicker to anger. It can also lead to changes in appetite, sometimes eating more to try and make yourself feel better which often leads to guilt or under eating due to lack of energy. It can cause people to struggle to get to sleep or staying asleep.

One of the important points here is a change in behaviour could indicate that you or a family or friend is currently struggling with stress and may need some help.

Coping strategies

One of the best ways is talking to someone about your pressures whether that be a friend, colleague or family member. However, we know that it is hard to start that conversation, and there are other services available which might help. One of these is downloading an application on your phone or tablet. These can help to guide you through some mindfulness and breathing to help lower cortisol levels which is the bodies stress hormone. It is also a good place to store your worries where you can write them down to take them out your head and seeing them can help us find a solution and understand our emotions.

AI responses on apps can also be very helpful to rationalise feelings and help us think clearly when our brains are muddled with stresses. When we feel ourselves becoming overwhelmed, one of the best options is to PAUSE (take a break), REFLECT (how are you feeling and why do you feel like this?) and then PRIORITISE (think what tasks need doing first)!

Looking after yourself is important and incorporating enjoyable activities into your schedule can help. Try to get 30 minutes of exercise each day as this can improve mental and physical well-being. Exercise could be as simple as going for a walk, which allows us to get fresh air in nature, or chair aerobics, which has scientifically been shown to reduce stress.

There are also a number of online and in person services that can help you to manage and deal with stress. Just some of these are: 

Thank you again for reading this blog and join us next month when we take a look at cervical cancer.

Cllr Lynne Schuller, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Bassetlaw District Council.

Last Updated on Tuesday, May 21, 2024