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Published on : April 3, 2024 17:25

Stress Awareness Month 2024

Whether at home or in the workplace, Mental Health is important and something we should all be aware of. In such a fast-paced world, it can be all too easy to feel overwhelmed and susceptible to stress-related issues – but nobody should suffer in silence. April 2024 is Stress Awareness Month and a time when The Stress Management Society is launching its #LittleByLittle Campaign. 

Small actions can have enormous power in helping to combat stress and improve mental well-being. In support of Stress Awareness Month, here are several small, everyday actions you can take to feel calmer and more relaxed. 

Remember, if you are feeling high levels of stress or anxiety, there are people you can reach out to. The Stress Management Society provides a number of resources to help with understanding and managing stress, while The Samaritans are an excellent service for individuals who need someone to talk to. 

If you find that you are struggling with your mental health, you may also want to speak to your doctor. Just like any other illness, finding the right support as soon as possible is vital to getting you back on the right track.

Reach Out to Someone

Talking to family and friends can go a long way to relieving stress. They say that a ‘problem shared is a problem halved’ and getting something off your chest can provide a welcome release of pressure.

If you are worried about a particular source of tension or anxiety, speaking with someone may give you a different perspective while even just knowing that you aren’t alone can help you feel a little better.

You also take the time to reach out to someone even if you aren’t feeling anxious yourself. Asking if someone is okay or just saying ‘hello’ is a great way to build a sense of community and encourage a sense of well-being.  

Get Enough Sleep

Making sure that you have enough sleep and are feeling well-rested can help to combat stress. According to the NHS, the mental health benefits of good sleep include boosting our mood, reducing stress and helping with anxiety – so a good bedtime routine is just as important as what you do when you are awake. 

There are several steps that you can take to ensure that you enjoy a good night’s sleep and feel well-rested. You may want to consider avoiding caffeine after 4pm and making sure that you reduce your screen time before going to bed. 

Sleep is important, so making sure that your bedroom is a calm and relaxing environment is a vital step toward helping you feel more relaxed. 

If you have something on your mind, you may also find it helpful to write it down and set it aside for tomorrow. Journaling and having a plan for how to manage day-to-day worries can help to clear your mind, allowing you to rest.  

Enjoy a Little Exercise – On Your Terms

Being active can be an important contributing factor to mental health, but it shouldn’t be a source of additional pressure. Taking small steps to get active can be anything from taking a walk or doing some stretches – there’s no need to hit the gym or run a marathon!

Even getting outside and doing a little gardening can help you exercise, and you’ll probably find that the fresh air helps too. 

What’s important is getting those endorphins flowing and the good news is that even small amounts of activity can get you moving and help to let off steam.

Get Back to Nature

Again, nobody is expecting you to reject the modern world and live in a forest (unless you want to), but spending a little more time outside can help you unwind and feel less stressed. 

Anything from gardening, going for a walk or eating your lunch outside can be an opportunity to get some fresh air and stimulate your senses with the beauty of nature. 

Spending a lot of time indoors can feel safe, but it can also lead to feeling trapped and claustrophobic, so don’t be afraid to get out and see what the world’s up to today – even if that world is just your own garden.  

Take a Deep Breath 

Taking control of your breathing can be a powerful tool for reducing stress and anxiety levels. When we are suffering from anxiety we hyperventilate – or breathe too much. 

This is because stress and anxiety trigger a fight or flight response where your body prepares to either run away from or take on a perceived threat. However, often with anxiety or stress, you don’t actually need all of that extra oxygen as there isn’t anything to run away from, so it is important to try to regulate your breathing to help your body return to a relaxed state. 

The NHS recommends breathing techniques that can help to regulate breathing and help you feel less stressed. For example, take a sitting or standing position and place both feet flat on the ground. Make sure that your feet are roughly hip-width apart.

  • Now, let your breath flow as deep down into your stomach as is comfortable, without forcing it.
  • Try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  • Breathe in gently and regularly. Some people find it helpful to count steadily from one to five. If you aren’t able to reach five at first don’t panic – everyone has different bodies and regulated breathing can take a little time to get used to. 
  • When you are ready, let the air flow out again counting from one to five.
  • Keep doing this for at least 5 minutes.

The best part of these exercises is that you can do them at any time, so they could be part of a routine to help you move on with your next task. For example, you could undertake some breathing exercises to clear your head before setting out for a short walk.

Be Aware of Mindfulness

You may have heard of mindfulness and how it can help to improve mental health and relieve stress, but what is mindfulness and how does it work?  

According to, mindfulness is ‘Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.’ 

In a sense mindfulness is the innate ability we all share to be aware of where we are, what we’re doing, and how we are feeling. It’s something we potentially take for granted, but can be an important tool in feeling grounded and more in control. 

Practising mindfulness is perhaps a combination of all of the steps above, with the addition of a little meditation and personal reflection. Meditation can be a great way to really focus on the self to give you a real sense of where you are and how you are feeling. 

This can be combined with breathing exercises and moments of personal reflection to help your body return to a relaxed state. Getting out to nature and taking a moment to reflect in the fresh air is also another great way to practise mindfulness.  

Mindful offers a wonderful guide to mindfulness, including exercises that can help you to begin meditating and practising mindfulness for yourself. 

Useful Links 

Stress Management SocietyMindSamaritansMindful | NHS


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