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Mental Health Awareness Week: Managing Stress

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Everybody knows what it is like to feel stressed. Stress can be a useful drive that can help us to be more productive and feel more energised*, however chronic stress that becomes overwhelming over time can, not only, make existing mental health problems worse, but contribute to the development of mental health problems too.* If you’re feeling like you’re struggling to cope with your stress, consider the following…

  1. Take control

Confronting the source of the problem is empowering. Passive thinking like “I can’t do anything” will only make your stress worse. The first step to feeling better is to identify the cause of your stress and then think about how to find a solution.

  1. Be active

Two hours of moderate-intense aerobic activity per week (such as fast walking or cycling) will improve your self-esteem and wellbeing.

  1. Connect

Reach out to people around you—family, friends and  colleagues. This allows us to share feelings and support others. The more you give, the happier you will feel. Even the smallest act can count, like a smile or a “thank you;” or larger ones such as volunteering in the local community. Doing something kind stimulates the reward area of the brain, creating positive feelings.

  1. Keep learning

Gaining new skills by setting targets and hitting them can inspire a sense of achievement and confidence. Challenge yourself, whether at work or in your personal life.

  1. Be Mindful

Be aware of your thoughts and feelings, and when your thoughts take over the present moment. Remember these are simply thoughts that do not need to control us. Be aware, even as you about your daily routine, by appreciating the journey to work or taking a lunch time walk.

  1. Work smarter

Rather than working harder, prioritise your activities and leave the least important task for last. You may need to accept that your inbox will never read “zero” at the end of the day.

Further information on how you can manage stress can be found here. 

If you feel like you have a problem that can’t be solved, you don’t need to suffer in silence. The College of Animal Welfare offers free counselling services to their students on an on-going basis as needed, and up to six sessions are available to staff free of charge. Appointments are available face-to-face as well as by video conference, FaceTime or similar. For more information on how to book an appointment please visit our website.

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