April is Stress Awareness Month

Stress Awareness Month is a time to focus on your own health and wellbeing, as well as the wellbeing of others.

It’s also a great opportunity to make sure you’re doing everything possible to manage stress in your life.

What is Stress Awareness Month?

Stress Awareness Month is a month-long campaign to raise awareness of the impact of stress on health and wellbeing. It’s held in April each year, during which time you’ll see many organisations running events or campaigns aimed at helping people understand how they can reduce their own stress levels.

What is stress?

Stress is a natural response to a threat or distress. It can be physical, mental or emotional and it’s caused by events or situations (like an earthquake) or by our own thoughts and feelings (like when you’re worried about a loved one, or your workload).

What can you do to mark Stress Awareness Month?

Take time out to think about changes you could make. Stress can be something that you have no control over, but it’s also something that we can work on and manage.

By recognising what typically causes you to feel stressed, you can look at how you can actively manage this to help make busy and anxious periods less daunting.

Use stress management techniques

There are many different ways to manage your stress levels and reduce their impact – including breathing exercises, coping mechanisms and time out to think. Nowadays you can also find many mobile phone apps that will prompt you to take time out and guide you through stress management techniques.

Get enough sleep and eat a healthy diet

Both of these things are essential for good health – but they’re especially important if you want to stay happy and healthy during stressful times in your life.

Exercise regularly

Try activities such as running or swimming – or even a brisk walk to get fresh air into your lungs and provide a chance to clear your mind.

Take time for relaxation

Read a book or listen to music or your favourite podcast. This can be great in the morning to get you in the right frame of mind for the day, or to unwind in the evening.

What can your business do to mark Stress Awareness Month?

Stress Awareness Month is an opportunity to raise awareness of the effects of stress in the workplace. It’s also a chance for you as an employer to show how you can support your staff and make sure that they have the tools they need to manage their workloads. Including access to training, advice and support from managers or colleagues who have been through similar experiences.

Consider providing training to colleagues to become Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA), who can provide confidential support to people looking for help with managing their stress at home and in the workplace.

Make sure that everyone knows where they can go for help if they are struggling with work-related stress issues – from your benefits package and employee assistance programme, to practical resources.

What support is available to help with stress?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress, there are plenty of ways to get help.

Talk to a professional. Your GP can help you find the right treatment for you and make sure that any underlying problems are addressed. As well as putting you in touch with local support groups that can provide everyday help.

Talk to your employer or manager about what’s going on – as they’ll usually be keen to help and support you in any way they can.

Speak with charities who offer support services such as counselling or relaxation classes for people who experience mental health issues. They may also be able to provide information about local self-help groups where people suffering from similar conditions meet regularly for mutual support.

Here are just a few charities that can help you:

How do the Lighthouse Club help with stress management?

The NRL Group are proud to be a company supporter of the Lighthouse Club, the Construction Industry Charity.

The Lighthouse Club helps construction workers and their families with emotional, physical and financial wellbeing help. They offer support and advice, run workshops, training and events as well as providing confidential help.

The team aim is to assist construction workers to cope with stress and anxiety which can be brought on by financial troubles, physical health and emotional distress. They provide a range of support, both confidentially and without judgement, to help people begin to tackle their stress levels.

Services can be accessed a number of ways:

  • 24/7 help line – 0345 605 1956 (ROI 1800 939 122)
  • Text message service – Text HARDHAT to 85258 (ROI 50808)
  • Download their Apple or Android mobile app
  • Find a local beacon for 1-2-1 support

Start a conversation

However you mark April’s Stress Awareness Month, it’s crucial to remember one thing, no-one is alone. If anyone is struggling with stress or any other mental health challenge then there are people to talk to.

NRL Rail