April is Stress Awareness Month

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April is Stress Awareness Month

April is considered as Stress Awareness Month since 1992 with the main aim of raising the profile of the antidotes for this present-day epidemic which is affecting almost everyone. This awareness has been running for 29 years, and you will agree with me that we still have quite a long way to go especially with the increased effects of this Covid-19 pandemic on our mental health.

Millions of people globally are experiencing high levels of stress, and it is ruining our well-being. It is a major public health challenge, and unfortunately, it still is not being taken seriously like other medical and physical health conditions.

According to the Mental health Foundation, 74% of the UK adult population have been so stressed and overwhelmed or unable to cope over the last year.

This statistic is quite alarming, and I think more needs be done to help and support us and our future generations. It all starts with the awareness that stress is the main enemy of women’s health in the 21st century and not to forget that stress affects men too. No single one of us is immuned!

Read: Tips and exercises to manage childhood stress

Stress has been linked to several mental health problems, including depression and anxiety. It has also been associated with heart disease, problems with our immune system, insomnia, and other digestive issues. As a society we need to recognise the root cause of our stress and discover what measures we can take to either reduce, combat and/or overcome it.

Read: How to manage stress levels during a pandemic

Symptoms of Stress

It should be noted that stress causes different reactions in our body, which can be noticed both physically and psychologically. Here are some physical symptoms of stress.

Stress: Physical Symptoms

The impact of stress in the body can be very worrying because before the symptoms are made visible, it is already a dangerous sign just like you driving through a red traffic light (which is very dangerous when the right thing to do is to stop).

The good news is that if you feel a slight pressure coming from somewhere, try as much as you can to put measures in place to help you.

Here are some symptoms of how stress will show itself up in the body:

  • Dizziness and headaches
  • Digestive problems
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle aches
  • Tiredness
  • Skin problems (irritations)
  • Loss of hair
  • Hypertension
  • Tingling hands, just to name a few

Psychological Symptoms of Stress

Mental stress can be more difficult to realise since many people may mistake a busy and tiring day with stress. The attention to a much larger extent is in the details and will come across as:

  • Loss of interest in things
  • Mood changes
  • Attention, concentration, and memory problems.
  • Anxiety
  • Depression, just to name a few.

Emotional stress is closely linked to how we deal with the most difficult situations. Many people tend to keep their frustrations and difficulties to themselves, which is where stress and mental health go hand-in-hand.

It is important to see a therapist to express all these feelings and prevent the condition from getting worse. The National Health Service (NHS) has listed quite a few simple and useful tools.

Treatment

The treatment of stress focuses on three points: managing stressors, increasing resistance, and changing the way of coping with them.

Some steps that can be taken to address stressors:

  • Have a good night’s sleep.
  • Exercise
  • Brisk walking
  • Drink water and eat healthy meals.
  • Self-care and reserved moments of pleasure and relaxation
  • Avoid stimulants such as coffee, alcoholic beverages, and other drugs.
  • Have herbal tea

Therapy

Therapy to combat stress is a great tool for those who do not know what else to do to ease or diminish the effects of this condition. A Psychologists will identify the origins and causes of the problem and provide tools for the patient to lead a lighter and happier life.

Read: Types of Meditation

Stress is still surrounded by lots of taboo and prejudice, because those who cannot withstand the pressures of life are considered weak. This is wrong, the world needs to be filled with love and empathy for each and everyone one of us.

If you are reading this post and you feel overwhelmed by anything, be it physical, psychological, or emotional, please reach out to me by using the chat button below.

You can also try to seek help, either through a hobby, a conversation with friends or, if none of the attempts to relax and eliminate stress works, a psychologist’s interference might be needed.

Hope this post on stress and April being Stress Awareness month was a useful one for you. Please comment below with any questions and/or suggested topics on stress and stress management (smiley face).

Thanks for reading. Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay positive and see you in the next post.

Yvette Mayemelle Kaba
Yvette Mayemelle Kaba
Founder of UIC | Wife | Mum of Two | Inspirational Writer | Mentor | Aspiring Entrepreneur

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