The 17th National Stress Awareness Day is taking place on 4th November 2015 to celebrate helping people to deal with stressful times in their lives.  The aim is to increase understanding of stress across the country and to improve access to coping methods and advice. This year’s theme is “Employee wellbeing as a worthwhile investment in your business”, which provides an ideal opportunity to reassess stress at work and how we deal with it. Stress at work can have a variety of causes, from worry over keeping a job, to conflict with colleagues and tasks that seem unmanageable. If you are interested in getting involved in the campaign, you can visit the National Stress  Awareness Day website to learn more about the project. We have also put together a few tips for dealing with stress for National Stress Awareness Day…



  1. If you are suffering from highly stressful problems, you could consider trying deep breathing or deep muscle relaxation techniques. Many techniques seek to combine deep breathing and muscle relaxation, with yoga and tai chi being reported by some patients as being beneficial. The NHS has published these deep breathing tips which they recommend trying out for 3 to 5 minutes at a time and repeating several times a day when you experience moments of higher anxiety. 
  2. Make sure you get into a healthy sleep routine, as this is essential for your body to recover. Have a look at this series of 8 podcasts by Moodzone, which offers tips to help you get a good night’s sleep. For example, the podcasts recommend both going to bed and getting up at the same time each day in order to establish a routine and also taking half an hour to wind down and relax before going to bed. 
  3. If you aren’t sure what is causing your anxiety, you could consider keeping a stress diary for a few weeks and reviewing it to spot a pattern of triggers which exacerbate it. You might want to keep a note of things such as the date and time of activities, how you felt physically, what you were doing, who you were with and what you were thinking about etc. This can be useful to identify your individual stress triggers and start thinking about how to cope with these.
  4. Spend time outside exercising: Exercising cannot necessarily take all of your worries away, however physical activity can clear your thoughts, release endorphins and allow you to deal with a problem more calmly.
  5. Talk things over with your support network of family, friends and colleagues to help you look at solutions in a new way. Making time for social activities can also act as a anxiety buster. If you need to talk to someone about stress, Mind has a helpline which you can call on 03001233393. You may also want to reach out by reading about other people’s stories and methods of coping with stress, for example Jessica who blogs for Mind. The Campaign Against Living Miserably provides support for men aged 15-35. The Samaritans have a 24-hour helpline on 08457 90 90 90. 

If you are suffering from exam stress in particular, you may find this leaflet from the NSPCC useful. We have also blogged about stress at university in our student health post


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