Stress Awareness Month

Stress Awareness Month started in 1992 and is recognised every April. It is a way of raising public awareness of stress, both the causes and the cures. Our colleague, Nicola Martin, takes a look at stress and gives some hints and tips on how to cope with it.

Stress is a big part of mental and physical health problems, yet it is still widely ignored.

Stressful Times

As we all know, the world we live in and the way we live are large contributors to our stress levels. The hustle and bustle of busy towns and cities, technology, not enough time to do everything, busy lives – the list really is endless.

What can we do to cope with stress?

This is where I think people could learn things from autistic people. One thing we use a lot of is coping strategies to deal with the big, scary, stressful world outside.

Here is a list of things which may help make your life a little less stressful; also a couple of things which may help you relax when you become stressed. Try some of them and see if any work for you.

  • Have a routine. Even if it is just a guide to what you are doing that day.
  • Plan ahead. Leaving things to the last minute does not help with stress levels.
  • Ask for help. There is nothing wrong in asking for help, we all need it from time to time.
  • Have backup plans. As we know life does not run smoothly or how we would like, so make sure you have plan B, C, and D ready.
  • Technology free day. This is something I do, and I feel so much better afterwards. One day a week, usually the weekend I have no mobile phone, no laptop, no tv.
  • Use Stress balls, Fidget toys, and Stimming. All great ways to try and bring your stress levels down. I also find relaxing music or nature sounds work.
  • Talking. The most important thing you can do. Click on the link to read my article on the importance of talking. Time to talk day 3rd February – Talkback

Stress is something we all deal with, so please do not be afraid or embarrassed to admit it. The most important thing is to ask for help, whether that be from a friend, family member, or professional. We can all lead less stressful lives, it is just a question of finding what works for us.


Nicola Martin