Did you know that April is Stress Awareness Month?


Education around stress, the causes, the impact on an individual, as well as what can help are much needed. 

For 2022, the Stress Management Society (https://www.stress.org.uk/) have set a theme of community – with the aim of raising awareness around how a lack of support can impact upon an individual’s mental health.  Sadly, a lack of support can cause loneliness and isolation, which in turn lowers our wellbeing and impacts negatively upon our mental health.
As you can imagine, the pandemic over the past 2 years has had a massive impact upon on people’s stress levels, in turn affecting levels of social isolation and an increase in mental health problems.


What do you think of when you hear the word community? 
It is much more than just a group of people.  Having a sense of belonging and connection with other people is important, we all need to feel accepted and supported.  Research has shown that those who are more socially linked to others are generally more happier, more physically healthy, live longer and have fewer mental health problems than those who have less connections.


Ideas of how you can connect more with others around you.
There are many ways in which you can connect with others, depending on your interests and time available.  Mixing with others can help our mental health.  Some people enjoy volunteering, whilst others may enjoy partaking in sports, hobby classes or other types of activities.  We all need a sense of purpose which in turn can give us a sense of enjoyment.  Distraction can be beneficial – talking and laughing with others can take our mind away from our worries. 


Useful ideas to help reduce stress with the help of your community:

  • Get socialising!
    When we socialise and communicate with others around us, this can be a good way to reduce our stress levels.  Sadly, stigma about stress does still exist and when we get talking to other people we have the chance to help break down the stigma. 
  • Get active!
    Exercise is great for our physical and mental health.  When we get active we give ourselves the chance to release any frustration and pressure linked to stress in our lives.  Find what works for you, some people enjoy walking, going to the gym, attending a yoga class, for example.  Even 15 minutes a day is a good start. 
  • Share coping strategies
    Maybe you have found something useful which works for you as a stress reliever?  You could suggest this to another person – you may learn something new from them to try too 😊
  • Look after yourself – you are important too.
    As the saying goes, you must put on your own oxygen mask first.  If you are burned out then you are not much help to yourself or others around you.  Self-care is vital, we need to take an active role in protecting our own wellbeing and happiness.  Here’s some ideas for self-care – https://www.oxfordcbt.co.uk/self-care/


The Stress Management Society have some great, free resources including their 30 day challenge which encourages you to pick one action a day throughout April for your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing – https://www.stress.org.uk/30daychallenge


There are various self-help resources available online, for example on the Getselfhelp website – https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/stress-self-help/


Sunderland Psychological Wellbeing Service (IAPT) offer a whole host of one to one talking therapies, as well as group classes – https://sunderlandiapt.co.uk/

Finally, please remember to look after yourself.
Here at the Essence Service, we support both the person with the diagnosis of dementia and their loved ones / carers.  We encourage our clients to reach out to us any time – a problem shared is a problem halved as they say. 
Contact us here.

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