Stress Awareness Month is an essential time in 2023. With all that’s going on in our lives, it can be difficult to manage work, finances, and everything in between. In fact, it can be so difficult to manage our lives that we become stressed.
Being Stress Aware
While short-term, manageable stress levels can help us grow our resilience to future challenges. The very opposite can be said about ongoing stress. Chronic, ongoing stress can harm us physically and mentally, impacting our relationships with ourselves and those around us.
Additionally, stress and poor mental health are one of the biggest public health challenges that we face today. Sadly, even though that is the case, stress, and poor mental health are not always taken seriously enough. We continue to separate mental health from physical health and vice versa. But the reality is they cannot be separate – they are two sides of the same coin.
There is no health without mental health and stress can lead to health problems. From physical problems, like heart disease, insomnia, digestive issues, and immune system challenges. To more serious mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.
As we look to April, Stress Awareness Month addresses the causes and cures for our modern-day stress epidemic. It is the time when we have the opportunity for an open conversation on the impacts of stress. Dedicating time to remove the guilt, shame, and stigma around mental health. To talk about stress, and its effects and open up about our mental and emotional state. It is the time to share our mental health with friends, families, colleagues, and yes, professionals.
Take Action During Stress Awareness Month
During stress awareness month, try opening a dialogue and creating a safe space for people to have that conversation. To talk about the impact stress creates in their professional and personal lives.
Having the freedom to talk about stress brings hope to those who are struggling. Having hope is key to finding our way through and beyond our challenges.
However, hope isn’t just a feeling, it inspires us to take action. Action towards a conscious decision to see things differently and create a plan to achieve the desired goal. The goal of stress awareness.
This hope is what has inspired this month’s theme of stress awareness. An invitation to go beyond just talking and take personal responsibility for creating positive change. We should aim to create opportunities and consider how we are going to make things better.
Managing Stress, Tools, Strategies & Techniques
Stress management is defined as the tools, strategies, or techniques that reduce stress. They also reduce the negative impacts stress has on our mental and physical well-being.
There are a variety of techniques that can be used to manage stress. These include mental, emotional, and behavioral strategies. As well as physical and professional options. When stress management is used regularly we can optimize our well-being by using some of these techniques.
Incorporate Stress Management into Your Routine
Most working adults have little time to add items to their daily agendas. However, taking care of yourself is the only way to reduce stress. Consider the following techniques to better manage your stress levels.
Exercise can do wonders for your physical body, as well as for your mental health. Exercising regularly can increase endorphin levels in your body, which makes you feel happier. So, the next time you get the urge to skip a workout, compromise and go for a walk. Any activity is better than none.
Closing your eyes and taking a deep breath can go a long way in improving your mental health. That’s all meditation is. Either lay down or sit in a comfortable position and just breathe. Just 5 to 10 minutes per day can help to clear your mind and prepare you for the challenges ahead. If you’re new to meditation, search for guided ones online.
For some reason, many people resist talk therapy. However, speaking to a professional can help ease stress and challenge you to look inward at your behavior and patterns. There are very few people who say therapy, with the right professional, is detrimental to their health.
Something as simple as colouring can help ease stress and take your mind off your worries. Other creative ideas include:
- Writing or journaling
- Playing an instrument
- Board games
- Doing a puzzle
Reducing Financial Stress and Debt
Maybe getting your financial house in order is one of your top priorities. If you have a nagging worry over your debt, Stress Awareness Month is the time to act. You can start by speaking to a trained financial advisor. When you do, he or she can:
- Help you to develop a working budget.
- Discuss your spending habits.
- Identify areas where you can improve spending or save money.
If you’ve been avoiding this, commit to making the call today. Seeing your monetary position may sting but dealing with it will pay off in the long run.
Your Stress Awareness Management Plan
So which stress management strategies do you think will work best for you? What do you plan to try? Take a moment and jot down a few techniques or tools you plan to use. By planning, you’ll be more likely to use these tools when you actually need them. Additionally, once you see how these work for you, it may prevent future stress from arising.
What else could you do for Stress Awareness Month?
- To begin with, talk openly about stress and its effects. Let’s work together to reduce the stigma that is associated with stress.
- Next, share your coping skills. If something has worked for you why not share it?
- But most importantly, be nice to those who are stressed and anxious. Treat others going through it with compassion and empathy.
Final Thoughts About Stress Awareness Month
Connect with Others
There is nothing more calming than spending quality time with another human being. Especially one who makes you feel safe and understood. In fact, face-to-face interaction triggers a cascade of hormones that counteracts the body’s defensive “fight-or-flight” response. It’s nature’s natural stress reliever. So, make it a point to connect regularly—and in person—with family and friends.
As a final point. Just know that if you are stressed there are techniques and strategies to help ease your stress. And above all, know that you are not alone!
To understand more about the damage stress can cause to our well-being, please watch the Top of Her Game video. Elizabeth Manley’s Journey from Figure Skating Olympian to Life Coach. A deep and honest interview with Canada’s sweetheart and her journey with depression.
If you like this article, be sure to check out our Social Wellness post. Learn why it is important to connect and maintain strong relationships in your life.
As an added bonus, follow this link for a full how-to-guide on the best relaxation techniques for stress. Help Guide