Stress Awareness Month has been recognised every April since 1992, but this year it seems more important than ever. We’ve spent nearly a year in lockdown and our mental health and stress levels have really taken a beating. In a study conducted by Huawei on stress, gathering data from 2000 British adults, research identified that 65% of people feel more stressed since the Covid-19 restrictions began. It’s important, especially in these times, to learn to cope with our stress and mental health and find ways to deal with difficult situations.
The theme for Stress Awareness Month this year is ‘Regaining Connectivity, Certainty and Control’. As part of this campaign, they are hosting a 30-day challenge, encouraging people to take one action each day for their physical, Mental and Emotional wellbeing. You can find out more about the campaign here; https://www.stress.org.uk/national-stress-awareness-month-2019/.
In honour of Stress Awareness Month, we’ve put together some tips on how you can try and manage your stress.
What is stress and how does it affect you?
We all experience stress and all in different ways. Because of this, there is no single definition of the word ‘Stress’, but the closest interpretation we have is ‘physical, emotional or psychological strain.’
If not dealt with in the correct way long-term stress can lead to more than just mental health issues. From headaches and stomach aches to the more serious cases of strokes and heart disease can all result from stress.
Take time for you – Take a day each week and dedicate it to yourself. Go for a walk, have a bath, watch a film, do anything and everything that makes you happy on that day.
Take care of yourself – Make sure you’re eating healthy, exercising, getting plenty of sleep and making yourself feel great! You don’t have to bust out a 10km run each day, but make sure you move about in some way, whether it’s a fun bike ride, a walk in the park or a high-intensity workout.
Discuss your problems – Talk to your family or friends or even another source! You might not believe it but reaching out and talking to someone actually helps to deal with the issue.
Avoid drink and drugs – You might tell yourself that alcohol & drugs will help with your stress, and it might to begin with, but studies have shown that alcohol and drugs can actually trigger the stress response.
Recognise when you need help- probably the most important one of them all! If things are getting too much for you to deal with then it’s time to talk to a professional such as a counsellor, psychologist or doctor. It’s so important to recognise when you can no longer deal with your stress so that you can seek professional help as soon as possible in order to prevent any serious damage.
If you’re ever in need of someone to talk to, remember the SU & Student Services staff are all here to listen and help you if you need some support.