April is Stress Awareness Month
Throughout April at Avonbourne, we’re thinking about stress as once again it’s Stress Awareness Month. It’s been held every April for the last 29 years, and for many people this last year has been particularly stressful as we have all had to face big changes to the way we live our lives.
Stress Awareness Month aims to highlight how many people are facing stress, what can cause it, and also how to ease it. Stress isn’t automatically a bad thing, but left unchecked it can become a factor in various physical and mental health problems. It’s something that affects all of us at different times, and to varying degrees, and thankfully there are ways to combat stress.
What exactly is stress?
You hear people say, ‘I’m so stressed!’ almost as a throwaway comment, though it might be true. Stress is how our bodies respond to any kind of ‘threat,’ which might be anything from several deadlines due at work today, to something that continues for a longer period of time. It might even be a perceived threat. Stress is what produces the ‘fight or flight’ reaction in us, through the release of stress hormones. With that in mind, some stress can be a good thing; it raises our game for a short period to get us out of ‘danger.’ When stress is prolonged is when it starts to become a problem and can begin to impact our health.
What causes stress?
There can be all sorts of reasons that might cause someone stress, including big life events like moving home or getting married, financial matters, or work. Things will affect different people in different ways and something that one person might find stressful might not bother another at all. It can be a very personal thing and should never be dismissed. Sometimes, there is no obvious cause for stress. It’s important then to be able to recognise the signs of stress, both in yourself and in others. Here at Avonbourne, we get to know all our residents as if they were part of the family, so we can spot when something isn’t quite right.
Spotting the symptoms of stress
When you consider that stress can present itself emotionally, behaviourally and even physically, it’s easy to see how most of us might feel some kind of stress sometimes. It can come on quickly, with an obvious cause, or it might creep up on you over time and you might not even be aware that it’s happening. That’s why making regular time for relaxation is so important, and if you’re thinking you’re too busy for that, you probably need it even more.
The team at Avonbourne is always working hard to make sure there is plenty of opportunity to relax, however you like to do that. There are quiet spaces for reading, a cinema room, lounges for those who relax by chatting with friends, and there’s always a packed itinerary of activities. Head over to our Facebook page to see some photos of what we’ve been up to recently.
You can find out more about Stress Awareness Month here.