Support Your Wellbeing During Stress Awareness Month

Thu 1 Apr 2021

April is Stress Awareness Month, which given the various challenges we have all faced in adapting to lockdown life over the past year, could not be more timely. During Befriending Networks' Q&A Sessions about Wellbeing and Self-Care, many of our members shared how they are involved in a chain of support: befriendees are supported by befrienders, befrienders are supported by staff and staff then need their colleagues, managers or trustees to support them. Through discussion, it became clear that it was this final link in the chain that was often the one feeling the strain. As befriending staff, we want to do our best for the people who rely on our organisations, but that should not come at the cost of our own health. So how can staff be supported? Some members shared that they had designated times to talk with managers or colleagues, while others had links with local mental health charities and services that provided outlets.

There are also small ways to take positive actions on a daily basis that, collectively, help lift the spirits. The video below shows some of the ideas that were shared during the session and through further discussion via social media.

As the challenges of easing out of lockdown and uncertainty about the future continue, managing stress will also continue to be an important skill in the coming months. On Wednesday 21 April from 12:30-13:30 will be a special Q&A for Stress Awareness Month if you'd like to dive a bit deeper into this topic; sign up here.

Before you finish reading this article, take a moment to take a deep breath. Notice how you're sitting and see if you can make yourself more comfortable by planting you feet on the floor, sitting away from your screen and shrugging your shoulders back and down. Now take another deep breath, pause before moving on to the next task, and remember to continue to check in with yourself throughout the rest of today. Taking daily time, even a few moments, to dedicate to taking care of yourself is essential and should be non-negotiable and if you need help justifying this, say that Peggy from Befriending Networks told you to!