1st November 2017 – Stress Awareness Day
National Stress Awareness Day falls on the first Wednesday in November each year, and is a highly important date in the calendar. We all know what it’s like to feel stressed – being under pressure is a normal part of day to day life.
Sadly, stress is often overlooked and dismissed as simply nothing, however it is much more than that. Becoming overwhelmed by stress can lead to mental health problems or make existing problems worse. According to the Mental Health Foundation, 12 million people visit their GP with mental health problems annually, many of whom are dealing with stress.
National Stress Awareness Day is a great opportunity to take a moment to think about our own personal well-being and understand the best ways to manage stress. People deal with pressure in a variety of different ways. There are countless techniques to cope with stress and issues caused by it, from keeping active, to eating a balanced diet, to meditation. Sometimes seeking medical help by professionals is beneficial.
To help you maintain our well-being and staying healthy, noticing what’s making you stressed can help you learn how to deal with problems before they get worse. This is particularly important in the workplace where stresses of workload and working relationships are highly common. Tackling this is the first step to feeling happy and care-free!
My top stress-busting tips:
1. Be active: Exercise won’t make your stress disappear, but it can help to reduce the intensity of your emotions, help to clear your thoughts and let you to deal with your problems in a more calm and rational manner
2. Take control: The feeling of loss of control is one of the main causes of stress and lack of well-being. Taking control is empowering and a crucial step to finding a solution.
3. Connect: A good support network of colleagues, friends and family can ease your work troubles and help you see things in a different way.
4. Have “me” time: In the UK, we work the longest hours in Europe, meaning we often don’t spend enough time winding down. Set aside a couple of nights a week for some quality “me time” away from work and commitments.
5. Avoid unhealthy habits: Over the long term, unhealthy habits such as comfort eating, caffeine, alcohol and smoking cigarettes won’t solve your problems; they’ll just create new ones.
6. Help others: Research shows that people who help others, through activities such as volunteering or community work, become more resilient. If you don’t have time, do someone a favour every day.
7. Work smarter, not harder: Working smarter means prioritising your work, concentrating on the tasks that will make a real difference. Time management is key.
8. Try to be positive: Look for the positives in life, and things for which you’re grateful. Try writing down three things that went well, or for which you’re grateful, at the end of every day – it sounds cringe, but it is known to help.
Don’t forget to take care of your mental health.