April is Stress Awareness Month. It’s a great time to think about how to manage stress in yourself and how you can support other people too. One of the best ways to manage stress is to make sure you’re taking care of your wellbeing, so take a look at all the support we have available.
Staying physically active is one of the best ways to relax your body, mind and improve your mood. Alongside our Essex Sport facilities, we have exercise workouts recorded by staff, which you can access on our Wellbeing Directory. We're also offering free face to face yoga sessions on our Colchester Campus from May, which anyone will also be able to access via Zoom.
There's a close relationship between sleep and mental health. Living with a mental health problem can affect how well you sleep, with poor sleep in turn having a negative impact on your mental health. Our How to Sleep Better Webinar, led by the NHS, can help you develop better sleeping habits. You can find it on our Wellbeing Directory.
The mental health benefits of meditation include better focus and concentration, improved self-esteem, and lower levels of stress and anxiety. Alongside our free yoga sessions, we’ll also be offering regular face to face mindfulness sessions at our Colchester Campus, which will also be accessible via Zoom.
If things are bothering you, talking about them can help lower your stress. You could talk to family members, friends or perhaps consider meeting one of our Dedicated Mental Health First Aiders on campus or zoom for a confidential chat.
It is important to accept that you can’t do things perfectly no matter how hard you try. You can find helpful advice and resources to try to improve your own capacity to withstand experiences that might cause stress on our building resilience pages.
Figure out what are the biggest causes of stress in your life. If you’re able to identify what they are, see if you’re able to eliminate them from your life, or at least reduce them. If the stressors are within your work environment, perhaps consider completing a stress risk assessment form with your line manager and reviewing this regularly.
You can access support from Validium, our telephone Employee Assistance Programme, or SilverCloud to access online wellbeing support based upon Cognitive Behaviour Therapy concepts. You can also request a single Cognitive Behaviour Therapy session with a therapist without the need for a referral by emailing a request to Occupational Health.
If you continue to feel overwhelmed don’t be afraid to seek further help. It is important to do this as soon as possible so you can start to feel better. You can do this by speaking with your line manager to get a referral to your Occupational Health service.