Moving more to reduce stress: highlighting Stress Awareness Month
Posted: Wed, 19 Apr 2023 16:20
April is Stress Awareness Month, which exists to increase awareness and knowledge of the presence and impact of stress in our lives. We live in increasingly challenging times, and moving more can play a significant role in helping to manage inevitable stress levels. In this blog, to highlight the impact that stress can have, we're pleased to share some stories from the Active Oxfordshire team about how being active helps to keep stress at bay.
Right now, we're living through a cost-of-living crisis which is having a huge impact on general stress levels as we are faced with an unprecedented increase in utility bills and everyday items. For many, it can feel overwhelming. So, what can we do to manage it?
Firstly, noticing the signs of stress is important. We need to check in with ourselves frequently to notice if we're not quite feeling ourselves, recognise the causes and put strategies in place to deal with those feelings.
A small, manageable amount of stress is to be expected and something that we are well equipped to handle. But unattended, continuous stress can lead to serious consequences on our physical and mental health. Being prepared for periods of stress can make it easier to manage them, this is what many people refer to as our resilience - our ability to deal with stress.
Active Oxfordshire supports hundreds of projects around Oxfordshire to help people enjoy the benefits of physical activity, alleviating stress being a major one of those benefits. Taking care of your overall wellbeing can look different for everyone, here are some things you could get involved in across Oxfordshire to help you manage stress and overall wellbeing:
Move Together is a county-wide pathway into physical activity, designed to provide support, advice and guidance to people living with long-term health conditions, helping them to move more and improve their physical and mental health and well-being. Being stressed can lead to feeling lonely and isolated, taking up physical activity or group exercises can help with that.
YouMove provides low cost or free fun activities including swimming, badminton, tennis, climbing, activity packs and a wide range of community activities to families with children in receipt of benefits related free school meals, helping them to enjoy the benefits of physical activity. Financial strain is a leading cause of stress, YouMove aims to alleviate some of that stress by taking away the burden of expensive fitness activities and experiences.
Stress can impact mental health when left unmanaged. Anyone in need of mental health support should check out Oxfordshire Mind, which exists to ensure that anyone who has mental health difficulties has somewhere to turn to for support. Their Information Service provides information about mental health and services in your local area. You can access the service by phone on 01865 247 788 9.30am-4.30pm Monday to Thursday, Friday 9.30am-4.00pm (closed bank holidays) and email at email@example.com.
oxme.info is a service provided by Oxfordshire County Council targeted at children and young people. It includes lots of useful resources including stress management and overall wellbeing opportunities, activities and services for children and young people in Oxfordshire.
Recommended apps to help with stress:
Calm: guided meditations and sleep stories to ease stress and improve sleep
Headspace: train your mind for a healthier, happier life by reducing daily anxieties and stresses
Breathe2Relax: portable stress management tool