Stress Awareness Month Insight picture
The below insight has been written by Ross Miller, Workplace Wellbeing Lead at Cantium Business Solutions: 

Every April since 1992 has been Stress Awareness Month. A whole month dedicated to raising awareness of the cause and impact stress can have on everybody. But is one month a year enough?

In the past year alone, more that 74% of people have reported feeling so stressed that they were unable to cope. Combine this with the current global Covid-19 pandemic, and the financial, physical and mental health impacts of lockdown and social isolation, that percentage is only likely to increase. So, there has never been a more important time to be able to identify stress in both ourselves and others, and find a way of coping with it.

Stress can be tough to spot in others and is still often a taboo subject that has stigma attached to it. For this reason, many people feel uncomfortable openly speaking up, but there are signs of stress that we can look out for so we can support the people around us.

Emotional signs such as irritability and being more argumentative, which when you’re stuck in isolation can have a huge negative impact, are easy-to-spot stress indicators. Tearfulness, a lack of confidence and losing one’s sense of humour are other emotional signs of stress, that can leave us feeling drained.

It’s important to consider people’s behaviours when looking out for stress. Negative habits such as consuming more caffeine and alcohol, as well as drug taking and increased smoking can be sure-fire signs someone is under stress. If someone is more indecisive, lacking motivation or has trouble remembering things, it’s safe to say this could be stress related.

Stress can also have physical impacts such as tiredness and headaches, which only add to the general negative feelings that person is experiencing. A lack of care over appearance is another red flag when it comes to recognizing stress.

Spotting the signs of stress is not an exact science. A person may display all, some, or only one of these indicators. However, with a bit more understanding of what to look out for and a willingness to support others experiencing stress, we can help make every month stress awareness month!

Interested in reading more about maintaining good mental wellness? Our recent insight explores the issue of control, and how a shift in mindset could make all the difference to our daily outlook. Read more here.