This week is Mental Health Awareness week and the focus is on stress. Sadly life isn’t always easy and so stress is something we all experience at some point. However, like many things associated with our mental health we are not always good at talking about it and thus don’t always get the help we need. Sometimes stress is good for us and can motivate us to do something however when it builds up it can have a detrimental effect on both our physical and mental health. 

I have talked previously about some of the things I do to look after my mental health, including listening to music, talking to friends and sharing a nice cup of tea with a loved one.  I would love to know what works for you.

Sometimes when working with children I will get them to write down the things that make them happy and we call this their happiness plan. I encourage them to place this somewhere they, and their parents/carers will remember and to work through it when they are sad or anxious. This is something we would all benefit from as when we are stressed, unhappy or anxious we can’t always work out what to do to help us and this plan is a useful reminder and checklist.

Some organisations are focusing on how to reduce stress in the workplace. One thing you could do if you are feeling really brave is to write a note for each of your colleagues about what you like/respect about them professionally or personally. I have done this before with colleagues and friends and it always goes down well and people often keep the notes and look at them years later and they still have a profound effect. It is particularly helpful when a team is going through a difficult time and usually it is the people who are most resistant to taking part in this exercise that benefit the most.

Well take care and let’s all try and keep the stress at bay for ourselves and others.

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