Stress Awareness Month runs every April and aims to increase awareness and knowledge about stress and how it affects us.
We all know that stress is a part of daily life and can even be helpful sometimes, motivating us to do things. But when stress builds up to the point where we feel out of control or overwhelmed it can start to damage our health, our mood and our relationships and we can end up physically and mentally exhausted.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought extra challenges and uncertainty to people’s lives resulting in an increase in stress factors and stress levels for many.
Although we all experience stress differently, some of the telltale signs to look out for are:
- feeling overwhelmed
- having racing thoughts or difficulty concentrating.
- being irritable.
- feeling constantly worried, anxious or scared.
- feeling a lack of self-confidence.
- having trouble sleeping or feeling tired all the time.
- avoiding things or people you are having problems with.
- eating more or less than usual.
- drinking or smoking more than usual.
Recognising these signs in ourselves and others means we can do something about it – although we can’t always prevent stress, there are lots of things we can do to manage it better.
The Stress Management Society is running a 30 day challenge encouraging you to do something every day for your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and turn actions into habits. They also have some great tools and information to help you manage stress and reduce it wherever possible.
Visit the NHS Every Mind Matters to find out more about stress and top tips to help you deal with it.
Most importantly, try not to bottle things up. Talking things through with colleagues, friends or family can often help us see things from a different angle and they might be able to help in other ways too.
And if you’re looking for some further support there are local organisations and services in Stockport that can help.