April is Stress Awareness Month

AAE Stress Resilience

April is Stress Awareness Month and after the past year it is likely that all of us are feeling some level of distress. According to the Mental health Foundation 74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.  Add the demands of working for an ambulance service and we will no doubt be seeing even higher rates.

We know that high levels of stress can damage our health and be a significant factor in mental health problems including anxiety and depression.  We also know there is a link to physical health problems like heart disease, problems with our immune system, insomnia, and digestive problems.

But how can we cope with this?

We need to take some personal responsibility and to understand what is causing us individually to feel stressed.  Then to find the tools, techniques and tricks that help us reduce our own levels and support those around us.

Stress.org.uk recently collaborated with Huawei to conduct a study on stress, gathering data from 2000 British adults. The research identified that 65% of people in the UK have felt more stressed since the COVID-19 restrictions began in March 2020, and that the main reasons - unsurprisingly - are feelings of disconnection, uncertainty, and a worrying loss of control.

So, April is all about finding ways to rebalance, find connection, face your fears, and put aside your need to control. We have attached a document below which is full of ideas for you to carry out each day for your own physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. You will have heard all of these before – but maybe now is the time to choose some to try and see what works for you.

For further information on stress and ideas you can visit the Stress Management Society website. EEASTs wellbeing page on East24 also contains a host of information regarding support available to staff.

And don’t forget to keep talking, sharing your coping mechanisms, being kind to each other and – most importantly – being kind to yourself.

Published 8th April 2021