Stress Awareness Month
April is Stress Awareness Month, This is an annual campaign aimed at raising awareness of the negative effects of stress and providing tools and resources for managing it. The campaign is organised by the Stress Management Society, a UK-based non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting well-being and reducing stress.
Throughout the month of April, the Stress Management Society encourages individuals and organisations to participate in a range of activities and initiatives designed to help people understand and manage their stress. These include educational workshops, webinars, online resources, and social media campaigns.
The campaign emphasises the importance of identifying and managing stress in all areas of life including work, relationships, and personal health. It also promotes the idea that stress is a normal part of life and can be managed with the right tools and support.
By raising awareness about stress and providing resources for managing it, they hope to reduce the negative impact of stress on individuals, families, and communities.
Your call to Action
This year the Stress Management Society want you to recognise the importance of taking action to manage stress, rather than just accepting it as a normal part of life. They are asking you to take a proactive approach to stress management by committing to their 30-day challenge. This challenge involves setting a specific goal related to stress management and taking daily actions to achieve it.
Have a look at some examples of strategies in the Coping with Stress section below. These can help you determine potential goals and actions, such as practicing mindfulness or exercising regularly. The challenge is designed to help individuals develop habits and strategies for managing stress in the long term. You can pair this with your Journalise Journal, making use of the habit trackers and the daily check-in to support your chosen strategies.
What is stress?
Stress is a physical and psychological response to a perceived threat or demand, also known as a stressor. It is not necessarily a bad thing, and is a normal and natural part of life. It can be helpful in certain situations, such as when it motivates us to take action or avoid danger. However, chronic or excessive stress can have negative effects on our physical and mental health, relationships, and overall well-being. Some common symptoms of stress include anxiety, irritability, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and changes in appetite or sleep patterns.
Coping with Stress
There are many methods of coping with stress, such as:
- Relaxation techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce tension and promote relaxation.
- Exercise: Physical activity can help reduce stress and improve mood. It can also increase energy levels and promote better sleep.
- Time management: Effective time management can help reduce feelings of overwhelm and increase productivity, leading to reduced stress levels.
- Social support: Talking to a trusted friend or family member, or joining a support group, can help reduce stress and feelings of isolation.
- Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of talk therapy that can help individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to stress.
- Self-care: Taking time for activities that promote self-care, such as getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in hobbies or activities that bring joy, can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being.
These are just a few examples of strategies that can help you cope with stress. The strategy that works best for you will differ depending on the situation. It may also be different to that which works for others experiencing the same situation. You therefore need to explore different techniques and find those which work best for you. Remember that you can always seek professional help if needed too. The most important thing is to make sure you’re looking after yourself.
How Journalise Journals can help in coping with stress
Writing in a journal every day can help you get things off your chest. You can use your journaling to discover stress patterns, understand negative behaviour patterns, and explore the strategies and skills that help you cope with stress. In addition, Journalise Journals have several tools that can further support you.
Many of the daily prompts in the J101 Journal relate to stress by helping you understand what it is that triggers stress in you, and the strategies you can use to cope with it. Examples include:
- Stress bucket exercise which helps to visualise the things that cause you stress and the strategies you can use to deal with it.
- Breathing exercises which are a proven way to manage the physical reaction to stress.
- Meditation & Mindfulness exercises which can help by enhancing relaxation and improving emotional regulation.
Habit trackers are available in all our journals. Once you’ve found techniques that work for you, you want to make these part of your daily routine. The habit trackers allow you to log these and will act as a reminder to practise them. They will also give you immediate visual feedback on your success and an understanding of how you are progressing.
Each journal has daily check-in pages which will help you cope with stress:
- Habits check box to remind you to complete the habits you’ve added to your tracker as discussed above.
- Sections to prepare and plan for your day ahead, and to reflect and plan for the next day. This can help with managing your time, which can help reduce feelings of overwhelm and increase productivity, leading to reduced stress levels.
- A section for Self-care. Doing something for yourself and that brings you joy can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being.