International Stress Awareness Week

As we are in International Stress Awareness Week, it is a good time to give some thought to stress.

We all experience stress at different times. When the feeling of being stressed persists for a period of time, it can have a negative impact on our mental health.

To reduce the length of time we feel stressed, it can help to start to recognise when we feel stressed, then take some time to try and identify the cause, so we can try and deal with it.

Some of the time, we are worried and stressed by things which are beyond our control; things we can’t change. If that is the case acknowledge it and try to put it to one side. For example, we can’t control other people’s actions or other people’s opinions or responses. We can’t control the weather and we cannot control the past. We only have the present moment.

If it is something we can control, then consider if there are any practical steps we can start to take to reduce the stress….do we need to slow down, are we taking on too much, could we ask someone to help us?
It is important not to be hard on yourself. Though we all know there are times that can be easier said than done, as I lately experienced…..

I had a few days holiday recently and the night before my holiday was due to start, I made a list of everything I wanted to do…the list was rather long!

But I was pleased with myself because I was determined to get through it all as I thought that would mean my holiday was worthwhile.

Roll on to the end of day 2 of my holiday and I realised I had hardly stopped running around trying to get through my list and tomorrow was my last day of my short holiday. My plan for day 3 involved an early start and a lot more `tasks`. I decided at that moment I needed to slow down and have a day to myself doing nothing if I wanted. The next day I woke up, packed a picnic and went to the beach with my dog for a walk. I left all the tasks on `to-do` list and ignored them. This was a day for doing less, not more. It was a time to be outside, walking with my dog and reducing my stress. So, my tip for this week…slow down.

Chair, FECAVA Mental Health & Wellbeing Working Group



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