Stress Awareness Month 2022

Stress Awareness Month has been held every April since 1992 to raise awareness of the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic. The last two years have been the most challenging we have faced and in 2020 our services were overwhelmed by people that are struggling and seeking support.

What is stress?

If you feel overloaded by demands being placed on you, or your reaction to being put under pressure is to feel upset, worried, or unable to cope, you might describe yourself as feeling stressed. Stress is not a weakness, and no one should feel they will be judged if they admit they are struggling dealing with stress. Stress can affect anybody. When you are stressed, it can feel like you are caught in a loop, and everything that happens to you makes you feel more stressed. To help you be ready to respond to situations that can seem threatening or stressful your body will make physical adjustments. It might release hormones to increase your heart rate or boost your blood pressure or stop your digestion so that you can “fight or flight”. But these responses should only last a few minutes and problems can arise when you experience feelings of heightened stress for long periods of time and your body is constantly behaving in a way to help you fight back, because this can make your feelings of stress worse.

What can you do for Stress Awareness Month?

Talk about stress and its effects – let’s 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 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. 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 and empathy. 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. 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.