Stress Awareness Month takes place every April to raise awareness of the causes, signs and coping strategies for stress.
Millions of people around the UK experience high levels of stress. It is a significant factor in mental health problems including anxiety and depression. It is also linked to physical health problems like heart disease, the immune system, not sleeping and digestive problems.
What is stress?
Everyone experiences some pressure in their lives – it's how we feel when something is important to us, and when we need to perform or deliver something. It helps us get things done. We experience stress when we feel there are too many demands on us, when we feel overwhelmed and unable to respond appropriately or cope with whatever it is we're dealing with. Stress is an important physical response for humans – when we feel stressed the body releases hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol which give us a boost of energy – ready to react quickly to dangerous situations.
The theme for Stress Awareness Month is ‘Regaining Connectivity, Certainty and Control’. We are encouraging you to carry out one action each day to benefit your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
- Go for a walk - even if you don’t feel like it, a change of scenery can do the world of good for your mood.
- Digital Detox – do something you enjoy that doesn’t involve a screen to allow you time to disconnect.
- Make a ‘to do’ list - get it all down on paper and then prioritise what needs to be done. What is the most urgent and important, and what can be planned for later?
- Brain training exercises - such as sudoku and puzzles keep different parts of the brain stimulated. Take a break and try doing a puzzle.
- Keep a happiness journal - reflect on your day by recording what made you happy, it’s great when you read them all back.
- Ask for help if you need it – it’s okay not to be okay.
Mental Health Support
- Mind Lancashire - promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems. Call 01257 231660 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm)
- The Samaritans - provide confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, call 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)
- NHS Lancashire & South Cumbria – provide wellbeing and mental health support. Call 0800 915 4640 or text ‘Hello’ to 07860 022846 (Monday - Friday 7am-11pm and Saturday - Sunday 12pm-Midnight)