April has been Stress Awareness Month (SAW) for more than 30 years now. So, after all those years we should be aware of the causes of stress and the harmful impact it can have on our lives, right?
Well, yes, for those who’ve been paying attention. But it’s all too easy in our busy lives to brush aside any stress-related problems as just part of the day-to-day, something that has to be endured rather than treated.
Overall, it’s a huge positive there are continued efforts to help people realise they don’t just have to suffer alone. But there is inevitably a danger that with so much information now available on stress and anxiety that it becomes a kind of wallpaper. It’s there for other people but not really for us.
There’s a different theme for each SAW. 2023’s is moving on from just asking people to recognise that there may be harmful stress in their life. It’s encouraging them to take action to tackle it.
The Stress Management Society is a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping individuals and businesses recognise and manage stress. Through its campaign #choosehope, it has learned that having hope is vital to finding a way through our challenges.
By its reckoning, ‘hope isn’t just a feeling, it inspires us to take action‘. It’s about making a conscious decision to perceive things differently and create a plan to achieve a goal.
This year’s SAW is all about going beyond talking and that initial awareness. It’s about taking action and personal responsibility in creating a positive change. The campaign mantra is Action Changes Things. (If you’re looking on social media search #ActNow).
For an individual that might seem an awful lot to take on board. Where do you start, how do you keep going, how do you know if it’s working – are just three questions that might spring rapidly to mind.
The society has got you covered though, with a whole suite of support and resources to undertake its 30 day challenge (as in, it takes 30 days to form a new, positive habit).
To get you started, take the stress test to see how much of an issue you’ve got.
For the challenge, your commitment is to choose one action each for your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing to carry out every day. There’s useful tips and tricks and a daily de-stressing planner. There’s also a handy reminder on how to stress less, like ‘be strict with your boundaries, work is work and life is life’.
And, following the #ActNow guidance, don’t worry that we’re already past the first of the month. Start as soon as you’re able if you want to make a difference.
I WILL BE ETERNALLY GRATEFUL. AMANDA MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE HER ONLY CLIENT AND HOLDS YOUR HAND TO GUIDE YOU THROUGH