Stress Awareness Month

April 3rd, 2023

Written by Katy Maude

Stress Awareness Month has been held every April since 1992, to raise awareness of the impact of stress and how we can manage it effectively. The word ‘stress’ often has a bad stigma attached to it – how many times have you heard a colleague say, with a despairing look on their face, ‘oh god I’m SO stressed’?! However, stress can also have a positive impact on your day too. It is an everyday part of life and helps you meet your daily challenges. Stress can motivate you to reach your goals, ultimately making you a smarter, happier, and healthier person. That's right. Good stress is vital for a healthy life. It can also give you a sense of achievement, when you have been stressed over a task and go on to complete it – it can be very rewarding.

Good stress vs bad stress

You may think every type of stress is bad, but that isn’t the case. Good stress is short-term and it inspires and motivates you, focuses your energy and enhances performance. Bad stress, on the other hand, can be harmful to your health if you do not recognise and deal with it appropriately.

To lead a healthy and positive life, it’s important to distinguish between the different types of stress and take the appropriate steps to prevent the feeling of stress taking over our lives. This starts with YOU.

This year's campaign focuses on taking action. It is our personal responsibility to make a positive change, and that all starts by taking a mindful approach to overcoming the feeling of ‘bad’ stress.

How to stress less

Take a break from social media

The average screen time per day in the UK is 5 hours, to put this into perspective that is around a third of our time awake. Disconnecting for a while will increase your productivity and focus, to get whatever it is you’re stressed about done – live in the present. Comparing your life to others on social media is bound to make you feel that you’re not doing enough- change that thought process. Balancing your time is also a good way to prevent a build up of stress. We often try to do too many things at once- instead, give a single task your full attention, and you may be surprised how much quicker you can get things done.

Take care of yourself

Self-care is having a proactive approach to protecting your own happiness and wellbeing, especially during stressful times. Eating healthily, exercising, getting plenty of sleep, and giving yourself a break all have a positive effect when it comes to lowering feelings of stress. Personal wellbeing starts with you – so make yourself a priority.

Make time to unwind

Take the time to do things you enjoy – and that doesn’t mean scrolling through your phone. Be mindful with what you do in your ‘down time’ and use this as a time to unwind and enjoy the simple things in life. Whether it be reading a book or going for a walk, sometimes we need to slow down and give our minds something else to focus on.


If you’re feeling overwhelmed, speak to your friends or colleagues, a problem shared can genuinely be a problem halved, and taking the time to discuss what’s going on in your head can often instantly make you feel better. It can lift the weight off your shoulders and also give you a perspective that helps minimises how big the task really is.

A lot of stress we deal with is down to procrastination and worrying about something that hasn’t actually happened yet… would you put your umbrella up before it started raining? No. So try to stop worrying about something that may or may not ever happen!

So, when the feeling of stress creeps up on you, firstly try to determine whether it’s a good type of stress or not (and make sure you’re honest with yourself – a certain level of stress is normal and manageable) and put the right steps in place to prevent too much stress building up in the first place.