Today, April 1st, marks the beginning of National Stress Awareness Month. As we reflect on the impact of the past twelve months or so, with statistics from the Mental Health Foundation indicating that 74% of UK adults were 'overwhelmed or unable to cope' at some point in the past year, it seems a timely reminder for us to take a step back, to understand the impact of stress on our health, and to learn how to reduce stress for ourselves and the people around us.
Recent research from the Stress Management Society has found that "65% of people in the UK have felt more stressed since the COVID-19 restrictions began", with "feelings of disconnection, uncertainty and worrying loss of control" highlighted as the biggest areas of concern.
With this in mind, the theme for Stress Awareness Month this year is "Regain Connection, Certainty and Control". The Stress Management Society have created and collated a range of beneficial resources and effective materials to help support those who are struggling. They are also hosting a 30 Day Challenge, encouraging people to choose one action each day to support their emotional, mental and physical wellbeing.
"It takes 30 days to turn actions into habits, which is why this is a month-long programme. The 30-day challenge will maximise your chances of turning useful knowledge and techniques into positive behavioural change" - Stress Management Society (2021)
For more information, check out the Stress Management Society website. There are many free resources on the site, including the SMS Stress Guide, Taking you from Distress to De-stress.
* Please be aware that you may have to pay for some of the resources available on the Stress Management Society website