During this annual 30-day period, health care professionals and health promotion experts across the country join forces to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic.
The timing seems more appropriate than ever this year as people’s lives are put on hold and their routines and certainties challenged by the coronavirus outbreak. But even without the impact of coronavirus millions of us around the UK experience high levels of stress and it is damaging our health.
Overwhelmed or unable to cope
According to the Mental Health Foundation 74 per cent of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. Given current wider health concerns and the impact of these that’s a figure that’s unlikely to improve any time soon.
We, at Meningitis Now, are supporting Stress Awareness Month this month and will be using it to highlight our range of support for those impacted by the disease.
The most important thing to remember is that we’re still here for you and your family if you need us. Our Head Office may be closed but you can still contact our friendly nurse-led Helpline on 0808 80 10 388 (9am – 4pm Monday to Thursday and 9am – 1pm Friday) or email them on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Helpline is here to provide emotional support, answer your questions and explain more about the support that Meningitis Now can provide.
We remain active on our social media channels and committed to providing support and help to people who have experienced or who are concerned about meningitis. Our peer support groups on Facebook are still active, as we know how important they are, particularly for those who feel isolated.
What can you do for Stress Awareness Month?
Stress is one of the great public health challenges of our time. It is a significant factor in mental health problems including anxiety and depression. It is also linked to physical health problems like heart disease, problems with our immune system, insomnia and digestive problems. Individually we need to understand what is causing us personal stress and learn what steps we can take to reduce it for ourselves and those around us.
- Talk about stress and its effects – work together to reduce the stigma that is associated with stress by talking about the topic openly and freely with friends, family and colleagues.
- Share your coping mechanisms – if something has worked for you why not share it. It might benefit someone you care about and in the meantime it might help you take your focus off your own challenges.
- Be nice to those who are stressed and anxious – we are all undoubtedly going to experience stress and anxiety in our lifetime so treat others going through it with compassion and empathy.
- Look after yourself – we all need to think more about self-care. Take time out of your day to relax or do something that you enjoy. Don’t forget to exercise and eat well, even when you feel too stressed.
The most crucial thing you can do when you are stressed or anxious is to make sure you are continuing to look after yourself. Make time to relax when you need to and learn to say no to requests that are too much for you.
There’s lots more information, advice and helpful tools on the Stress Management Society website here.