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Address the Stress!

April is Stress Awareness Month and despite stress being something that we will all experience, people are often reluctant to talk about it because they feel embarrassed.

Stress on its own isn’t a mental illness but it can often be closely linked with many physical and mental health issues, especially if you experience it over a long period of time and can be both a cause and a symptom of other health issues. One example is IBS which can be both caused by stress but also be a cause of stress and be made worse by prolonged stress and anxiety.

It’s really important to understand that stress is a normal response to pressure in the world around us and we all go through it. Sometimes there is a benefit because it focuses our mind to complete tasks that are urgent or important. The key is to recognise when stress becomes more acute and starts to impact our health and wellbeing in the longer term. We experience it very individually but you can find some great information in the Mind guide about signs and symptoms here 

You can find endless resources online to give different ideas on how to prevent, manage and minimise stress and the right way for you will be different to others but there is one theme that applies to all of us – action changes things. Do nothing – nothing changes! Most of us are experts in our own feelings and mental wellbeing and will know the things in life that make us feel better and it’s important you make space and time for those but there’s also some overarching actions that give us better resilience – i.e. making us more ready and able to deal with what is coming: getting a good nights sleep, eating well, exercise (any is better than none!), getting outside and enjoying the sunshine or local scenery and finally – learning to say no when you aren’t able to take on anything else!

If you want some starting inspiration, we asked our team for what they do to feel better when they’re feeling stressed:

  • Wine and a cry
  • Long hot bath or a swim
  • Vigorous cleaning with the headphones on
  • Take a breather outside, sit on a wall near the open air theatre and listen to the birds
  • Walk the dog or do something useful that distracts me like batch cooking!
  • Go the gym and sweat it out
  • Go for a drive and sing along at max volume, or go to the football and shout at the ref!
  • Weight training!
  • Get out for a walk
  • Video games
  • Baking
  • Finding something to laugh at – going to spend time with funny people or watching comedy.

Managing Stress is one of our workshops in our Mind Talks service where you can learn from us and each other a whole array of tricks and tips! These happen right across Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale and if you’d be interested in coming along and want to find out when the next sessions near you are, give us a call on 01723 339838 or email info@swrmind.org.uk

If you are a local employer, we can offer bespoke training for staff or line managers on how to manage stress or wider courses such as First Aid for Mental Health. 13.7 million days are lost each year in the UK to stress and there are many simple ways that you can make small changes to the working environment that can reduce the stresses on your workforce. Get in touch with our Service Manager Catherine Mason on 01723 339838 if you would like more information.

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