How to make the most of stress awareness month in the workplace
19 April 2022
In the modern world, stress is an increasingly common factor in many areas of our lives. Stress awareness month is a chance to take a step back from it all and check in with ourselves and our colleagues and provide understanding and support for those who might be struggling.
What is stress awareness month?
Stress awareness month has been running every April since 1992, sponsored by the Health Resource Network. It’s a campaign to raise awareness of the common causes of stress, how to recognise it and the impact it can have on our daily lives. The ultimate aim is to achieve lower stress levels and reduce the risk of mental and physical health conditions linked to chronic stress.
How do you celebrate stress awareness month?
Observing, or celebrating, stress awareness month can take many forms. It’s all about being kind to yourself and others around you and taking the chance to rest and reset in a way that’s accessible to you. Here are some ideas:
1. Be open about how you’re feeling- if you’re experiencing stress, don’t suffer in silence. Telling someone how you feel might help to ease the burden of it and talking it through could be a good way to find solutions that are manageable.
2. Take a break- stress awareness month is the perfect occasion to take some time off and recharge. Even if it’s just a couple of days, or a night off from the kids, taking time out from your day-to-day routine provides an opportunity to prioritise your mental wellbeing.
3. Lend an ear to others- if you notice that someone around you is stressed, ask them how they’re doing or if there’s anything you can do to help. Even just being there to talk might really help.
4. Focus on your health and wellbeing- eating well, getting a good night’s sleep, exercising and keeping a good work/life balance are all useful factors in preventing and helping to combat stress.
5. Try some mindfulness activities- it can be difficult to switch off when we’re stressed so activities like yoga and meditation are powerful ways to clear your mind and be present in the moment. Mindfulness can be as simple as taking a walk and paying attention to what’s going on around you.
6. Spread the word- promoting stress awareness month around the workplace and beyond is another great way to make the most of it and get others thinking about what they can do differently.
What are the symptoms of excessive stress?
Prolonged stress can have a negative impact on your health, work and personal life so it’s important to recognise the signs and symptoms of stress so that you can take action to manage it. The symptoms of stress are often both physical and mental and can come across in the way people behave. They include:
• Muscle pain or tension
• Stomach discomfort
• Feeling overwhelmed or worried
• Difficulty concentrating
• Struggling to sleep
• Being irritable
How to incorporate stress awareness month at work
HR representatives could use this opportunity to promote stress awareness month throughout their organisation and share information and resources on recognising and managing stress. With workplace stress being a widespread problem, this is a good opportunity for those in leadership positions to look out for signs of stress or overworking in their team. It’s a chance to build on their skills to effectively support employees suffering from stress.
Spread the word
Find out more about how you can help to manage stress in the workplace with our easily accessible stress awareness course.Find out more