Mental Health Awareness Week
Stress is the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week. Stress is the feeling of being under too much pressure. This could be due to several factors, including having too much to do, other people asking too much of you or feeling like you have no control over a situation.
Whilst some stress is necessary or even beneficial, for example, preparing for an exam or meeting a deadline, severe stress can lead to depression or anxiety, or numerous other serious health problems. So, what can you do or not do to cope with stress?
What to do?
- Be active – exercise can help to reduce the emotional intensity, allowing you to deal with your problems more calmly.
- Take control – the act of taking control is empowering and will help you to find a solution that suits you.
- Connect with people – spending time with colleagues, family and friends can help you to relax and see things in a different light.
- Challenge yourself – set yourself a task in order to build your confidence which will help you deal with stress, such as learning a new skill, or starting a new hobby.
- Help other people – helping other people helps you to become more resilient. Try doing some volunteering or even just doing a favour a day.
And remember if it ever gets too much, always seek help.
What not to do?
- Don’t fixate on the things you can’t change – changing a situation isn’t always possible, so concentrate on the things you have control over.
- Don’t work harder, work smarter – prioritise your work, concentrate on tasks that make a difference.
- Don’t develop unhealthy habits – it’s tempting to rely on alcohol, smoking or caffeine as a means of coping, but these ‘solutions’ don’t solve anything, but rather just create more problems.
- Don’t dwell on the negatives – look for the positives in life, think of what you have to be grateful for.
- Don’t forget about you – have some ‘me time’ away from work. Spend time doing things you enjoy.