Stress Awareness Month 2021

Written by: Rosie Lobley

As we come to the end of a busy April, we have been utilising the useful resources provided by the Stress Management Society to look after ourselves and support each other.

The Stress Management Society has overseen Stress Awareness Month every April since 1992, aiming to raising awareness of the prevalence, impact, causes and cures for stress, both in people’s personal and professional lives. Stress can cause or intensify physical and mental symptoms; it is shockingly widespread – a 2018 survey by the Mental Health Foundation found that 74% of UK adults had ‘felt so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope’ – and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the problem.

In January 2021, the Stress Management Society partnered with Huawei AppGallery to conduct a survey of 2,000 nationally representative adults across the UK, to gauge the mental wellbeing of UK residents during the pandemic. 65% of the respondents reported that they had felt more stressed out since the beginning of COVID-19 and the associated restrictions and lockdowns; with 53% saying they felt more anxious than usual and 44% saying they were more depressed. The increase in stress levels was more severe among full-time workers, particularly those on the ‘frontline’ of combating COVID-19.

To help people observe Stress Awareness Month 2021, the Stress Management Society hosted a 30-day challenge, encouraging participants to take actions every day in April to improve their own physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. At Spirit, we have been taking collaborative action to alleviate stress, by sharing coping mechanisms and resources, encouraging each other to communicate if we’re feeling overwhelmed, and practising self-care. As a little bonus, to recognise the tremendous effort our staff have been making and to lower the risk of workplace stress, we’ve given everyone the opportunity to start the UK Bank Holiday early with an afternoon off doing things that make them happy! 😀