Wednesday 3 November 2022 is Stress Awareness Day, a day for us all to check in with our bodies and minds. Rethink Mental Illness will highlight how stress can negatively affect anyone’s mental health and wellbeing and how you can manage your stress before it becomes a problem.
At Children’s Health Scotland, we recognise that stress can affect the health and wellbeing of children and young people. Michelle Wilson, Lead of the Children and Young People’s Health and Wellbeing Service, said: “Stress can be incredibly detrimental to the wellbeing of children and young people. Within our Self-Management Services (SMS) Programmes, we emphasise the need to take care of mental and physical health using relaxation techniques and mindfulness. It really helps the children and young people we support to cope with the stress associated with their health conditions and with everyday life.”
What is Stress?
Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure. This causes your body to release hormones for a “fight or flight” response. Signs of stress include feeling tired, headaches, worrying excessively, forgetfulness, changes to sleeping and eating habits, and many more.
How can you cope with stress?
There are many things you can do to cope with stress. The Rethink Mental Illness website both have great advice and tips for how to cope with stress. Firstly, it’s important to acknowledge that you are feeling stressed by checking to see if you have symptoms of stress. Once you know you are experiencing stress, you can take action to reduce your stress levels with some simple and effective changes:
- Talk to someone about how you feel. This could be a chat with someone you trust, such as a friend, family member or health professional. We have some information from our 2022 Scottish Children’s Health Week activity book which can help you to speak about how you feel.
- Make lifestyle changes, such as getting plenty of sleep, exercise and eating well. Try power posing as a way to move your body into shapes which will help you feel confident.
- Learn to relax using mindfulness and breathing technique such as our Butterfly Body Scan below, our Create a Calming Corner activity, or using resources you can find here.
- Do something fun! Find a hobby that you enjoy like listening to music, baking, sports or reading, and do it. Making time for yourself is essential to feeling less stressed. We have created a Stress Awareness page with activities for everyday of the week dedicated to helping you to relax and have fun.
At Children’s Health Scotland, we believe all children and young people across Scotland have the right to the best possible health. We have many stress related resources on our website which you can view here. If you would like to contact us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.