Mental Health Awareness Week

14th May 2018

May 14th – May 20th is Mental Health Awareness Week. It’s hosted by the Mental Health Foundation and the main focus of this campaign is stress. In this week’s blog we’re going to be bringing you some helpful tips on how to help cope with stress.

A good starting point is to understand what stress is…. Stress can be defined as a feeling of being under abnormal pressure. There are many different reasons as to why you can feel stressed including increased workload, financial worries or even just going through a transitional period of your life. The onset of stress can often create physical symptoms, change your daily behavior and impact your emotional outlays.

It’s important to understand that stress is a natural part of life. The following tips are well supported methods that can help to protect yourself from stress.

Make sure you take time out of your day to relax. The process can be as simple as sitting back in your chair and counting to ten in your head or it can be as elaborate as taking a bath with 20 different scented candles surrounding you… Everybody is different, and they relax in different ways so make sure you know what works for you.

Exercise is fantastic at helping to relieve stress. If you don’t have regular exercise integrated into your schedule, take a look at changing this. If you’re struggling to find the time, try swapping a short car journey for a walk.

You need to be mindful of what you’re putting into your body. Simple changes like drinking more water can be a fantastic starting point. You want to cut down on junk foods and turn to healthier options as there is a growing amount of evidence showing how food can affect our mood. Smoking and alcohol are often what people turn to when dealing with stress. Although you may see instant relief, this isn’t a long-term solution. It’s best to cut down where you can

A major factor that impacts mental health is the amount of sleep you’re getting. Stress can often get in the way of a good night’s sleep so making changes to help ensure you get the best sleep possible is important. Here are some helpful tips on how to get to sleep from the NHS:

 www.nhs.uk/Livewell/insomnia/Pages/bedtimeritual.aspx

It’s really important to put things into perspective. There isn’t a person on the planet that hasn’t experienced a bad day before (The Queen, David Beckham, you name it). Take time out of your day to appreciate yourself and what you’re doing in your life.

For more information and support on mental health and stress, visit the official mental health awareness week website:

www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week