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27th Apr 2021
Kirsty-Ann’s Story

Stress Awareness Month

5th Apr 2021

‘Where flowers bloom so does Hope’ *

Every year the month of April marks Stress Awareness Month. Stress can manifest itself in so many ways, both physically and mentally, and the impact can be all encompassing. This year, perhaps more than any other, we can all relate to the impact that stress can have on both us as individuals but also on our families, our friends, and our relationships with them.

It is also a year however where we have seen a clear and increased focus on mental health and how we can help and support those struggling. A strong focus on self-care, an emphasis on the positive impact of exercise, of sleep, of fresh air and of allowing yourself time to reflect are all themes that have seen themselves highlighted across the last 12 months.

And so, what can we take away from the last 12 months in terms of stress awareness?

Well firstly we have all learned that the world keeps turning regardless of how much or how little worrying we do. Spring continued to blossom last year when it felt like we were living some of our darkest days. And again this winter when once again we all struggled to process the changes we found ourselves faced with. As winter turned to spring, we again found ourselves seeing the blossom and daffodils appear in bloom, showing us so entirely accurately that the world will keep turning, and in turn giving us hope that so too will we.

Never before have we been encouraged so much to reflect on the changes we may be feeling internally, to discuss them, to reflect on them, to write them down. It’s given people an outlet and chance to learn what their own unique coping mechanisms and strategies may be.

And for our children too, it has been a monumental year. Yes, they have been subjected to huge amounts of change themselves, but what we are now seeing as a result of that is a clear focus on prioritising their mental health needs. Government and education are both working together to ensure our children are getting the support they need in processing the stresses they have been through over this last 12 months, with the end result surely being a positive one.

So, whilst this last year may immediately stand out in light of a month entitled ‘Stress Awareness Month’, perhaps it should actually stand out for positive reasons rather than negative ones. We are all so much more aware of how our bodies react to stress, how those close to us react to stress and we have all learned a little more about what our individual strategies to manage that stress are. If the focus continues to place mental health front and centre, this can only be of benefit to us all. In the future perhaps there will be no need to have a Stress Awareness ‘month’ as it will just be ‘business as usual’ for us all.

Lucy Howard, BulliesOut Digital Communications Officer

*Lady Bird Johnson

Photo by Tim Goedhart on Unsplash

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