BlogStress Awareness Month

Stress Awareness Month

By the Options Wellbeing Team


April marks the start of Stress Awareness Month.

Stress Awareness Month has been held every April since 1992 to raise awareness of the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic.

Suffering with stress

If the feelings of stress become too strong or go on for too long, they can stop us from doing the things we want to, making our lives miserable. Many people suffer with stress, and it is the second major cause of illness at work, after back problems. And a lack of support can cause decline in people’s mental wellbeing.

Signs and symptoms of stress

Each person responds differently to stressful situations. Something that one person might find stressful, might be fine for another. For the person struggling, there are not always clear causes of stress. Some people naturally feel more frustrated, anxious or depressed than others.

Some signs and symptoms of stress include the inability to concentrate, anger or irritability, crying or shouting and/or depression. Stress can also manifest itself physically through increased alcohol consumption or smoking, restlessness, constipation or diarrhoea and chest pains or palpitations.

Dealing with stress

Some stress is good for us, it’s how we react to it that is often the issue. We’ve put together a few top tips to help you deal with stress yourself.

  • Change your mindset – controlling your thoughts allows you to find a solution to a challenging situation and deal with stress. You can change your mindset with positive affirmations, such as repeating to yourself ‘I am calm, I am relaxed, I am stress-free’. Take a deep breath and take five minutes to repeat these to yourself.
  • Practice self-care – invest in your mental health and wellbeing with some self-care, this could be anything from going outside for a walk, reading a book or magazine, doing some yoga, phoning a friend or taking time to do something creative to take your mind off things. You can find more of our tips for self-care here.
  • Get a good night’s sleep – a lack of sleep is detrimental to our wellbeing and is just as important for us as eating and drinking. A lack of sleep can exacerbate stress, so it’s important to ensure you’re getting a good eight hours per night.
  • Get moving – exercise is a wonderful way to alleviate stress and it will leave you feeling refreshed and energised thanks to all those endorphins.
We can support you

When anxiety or stress and your reaction to it are dominating your life and there is no chance to switch off, it is time to seek help. Once you recognise, acknowledge, and understand it, you will have taken a huge step towards dealing with it.

We offer a free 20-minute consultation phone call where we can chat to you about your issues and point you in the right direction of suitable help. If you would like to talk with someone who is trained to listen attentively and to help improve things, please get in touch.


If you or someone else is in immediate danger, please contact 999 or the Samaritans on 116 123.