April is Stress Awareness month, a time to raise awareness of the causes and relief strategies for the modern menace that we all experience.
It is no shock to learn that as a nation, our mental health has taken a hit over the few years, but stress can be experienced at any time and can be caused by anything.
Restricted social lives, learning to work from home, disrupted routines, and other general pressures all have a detrimental effect on our stress levels.
It is so important that we are able to recognise when these stresses build up and impact how we feel, and learn effective mechanisms to cope with these pressures. Here are some of the signs that may indicate you are suffering with stress:
- Headaches or dizziness
- Muscle tension or pain
- Stomach problems
- Chest pain or a faster heartbeat
- Difficulty concentrating
- Struggling to make decisions
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Constantly worrying
- Being forgetful
If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, here are some things you can do to try and deal with it:
- Try talking about your feelings to a friend, family member or health professional. You could also contact Samaritans, call: 116 123 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org if you need someone to talk to
- Routine – whether you’re still working from home, or back in your workplace, it’s important to have a routine and maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating well, getting enough rest, prioritising sleep, and getting some exercise.
- Take five and breathe – practising deep breathing exercises and mindfulness meditation are proven to help when we’re stressed.
- Keep your mind active – read, write, play games, do crossword puzzles, sudokus, jigsaws or drawing and painting.
- Do something that makes you sweat – exercise releases endorphins in your body, giving you a natural high – a brisk walk, running or playing five-a-side with your friends – any exercise will help
- Remember to be kind to yourself – life is busy and we all have a lot to deal with. Practising good self-care can help you to feel the best you can and tackle any stresses head on.
Money is the most universal source of stress. With the cost of living on the rise, it is no surprise that many people are feeling the effect of this on their mental health.
If you are struggling withy your finances, we are here to help.
Please reach out to the Money Advice Team, who are always on hand to offer support and advice to those who need it.
Free stress workshops
Valleys Steps are a well-being charity based in RCT who offer a series of free sessions to help others take the steps to improving mental health and well-being.
Regular online sessions are held to bring Mindfulness and Stress Management into your homes. For an extensive list of the sessions, visit Online Sessions – Valleys Steps
Stress is normal. but see a GP if you’re still feeling worried, anxious or low after a few weeks. If you think it will help, the GP can advise you about psychological therapy services in your area.
Dial 999 and seek help immediately if you cannot cope, if life is becoming very difficult or if you feel it is not worth living.