April marks Stress Awareness Month – in a nutshell, stress is the body’s reaction to feeling under pressure.
Stress in small doses can drive us to get things done or can reflect a very exciting time in our lives… such as getting married, buying a house, preparing for a holiday etc.
However, too much stress can affect our mood, body and relationships making us feel anxious and irritable – this can manifest in stomach pains and headaches, or cause us to skip meals or comfort eat.
Although stress is not psychological it is linked to mental health issues. Excessive and long-term stress can contribute to a person developing a mental health problem i.e anxiety or depression, or it can make existing mental health problems worse.
Reflecting on what’s causing you stress – and why – is the first step to tackling it.
Things you can try to help with stress:
Stay connected - A problem shared is a problem halved, talking to someone you can rely on will help you feel less isolated in your own thoughts and feel more supported. If you’re still feeling apprehensive about meeting people face to face, our monthly online painting event is a perfect way to connect with friends and meet new people.
Lifestyle changes - be kind to yourself and give yourself time to do things that are not stressful. Try to be active and do some regular exercise, opt for a healthy balanced diet and try to get regular sleep. For more advice, read how being active helps mental wellbeing.
Be positive - there will be things that are out of your control, try to stay in control of the things that you can change rather than worrying about the things that you can’t. It is important to try and stay positive and see the good in situations or things around you in order to manage stress.
Challenge yourself - setting yourself goals and challenges, whether at work or outside, such as learning a new language or a new sport, helps build confidence. This will help you deal with stress. Feel free to download our 30 day wellbeing challenge pdf from the top of this page. For a creative challenge, we recommend our ultimate creative kit which will introduce you to colouring and painting.
The most important thing with this month is that you’re focusing on your health and wellbeing. Put yourself first for a change and focus on bringing those stress levels down in whatever way possible.