Stress Awareness Month
April is Stress Awareness Month and this year’s theme is “community”
Stress Management Society shares “A lack of community support can result in feelings of social isolation and loneliness. Feeling lonely has a negative impact on mental health, particularly when these feelings are longstanding, and research suggests that it is associated with an increased risk of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, sleep problems and increased stress.”
Based in the heart of the community, our health and wellbeing charity improves people’s lives through physical activity and healthy recreation. Our staff and customers have built an incredible community atmosphere, whether that’s in our centres or virtually on our Everybody @ Home online portal or our Everybody Memberzone Facebook Group.
There are many ways our community can come together to reduce feelings of isolation, loneliness and improve their mental health and we are here to help you find something you enjoy doing. Have a chat with our friendly staff, meet other members and socialise through a range of services and activities within our facilities, from lunch clubs, stay and play sessions, health walks, exercise classes, sport sessions and dedicated exercise referral programmes to support your mental health.
Health Referral Lead Gavin McKeith shares
With it being Stress Awareness month, it’s important to understand that suffering from forms of stress is normal. There can be a number of different factors in everyday life which can increase stress in individuals. What can be helpful is to understand what we can do to help manage stress levels, and one common way is through exercise.
Research has suggested that taking part in aerobic exercise for around 20 to 30 minutes can help with feeling calmer, with the calming affect lasting for several hours after the exercise session. There is also increasing research suggesting other forms of exercise, such as yoga & tai chi can have a beneficial effect on the mind (Jackson, 2013). A reason for why exercise can such a beneficial effect in relation to stress management is because when people engage in exercise, it has a physiological affect in our hormone responses, which helps releases chemicals from the brain which help improve our mood and behaviours, for example chemicals called dopamine and serotonin (Greenwood & Fleshner, 2011)
In terms of how much exercise you need to do to help with Stress Management, it comes under the current recommendations for people to engage in 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. Through talking to people on a daily basis who engage in exercise, one common theme I’ve found talking about exercise in relation to stress and mental wellbeing, is when people are either going to the gym, attending a class, or jumping in the pool for a swim, they may be doing it for physical health benefits, but actually during that time, these exercise sessions allow you to mentally relax. It gives you time for yourself, where you don’t have to think about other aspects of life, you have that exercise session to focus on YOU!
If you are suffering from stress and feel you could benefit from starting to engage in some form of exercise, why not have a look at our 12-week exercise referral programme where we can help support you in that journey. For more information, please visit https://everybody.org.uk/what-we-offer/get-fit-and-healthy/health/everybody-exercise-referral/
Upcoming Volunteer opportunities
We also have a range of volunteering opportunities coming up in the following areas: Aquatics, Ability for All, Junior coaching, Taste for Life and Health Walks. The perfect place for you to make a difference in your community. Whether you are looking to get out of the house, meet new people or would like to help others, volunteering provides you with everything you need to gain the feel-good factor.
Stress Management Society shares “Socialising with others has multiple benefits for our mental health. Whether it’s a sport, hobby classes or volunteering, activities like these all give meaning and purpose to our lives and make us more confident. Having the opportunity to laugh and chat with others in social situations serves to temporarily distract us from our worries by turning our focus outwards instead of inwards. And being able to talk through problems and share our worries with others decreases our stress levels. As the saying goes, a worry shared is a worry halved, and less worry equals less stress.”
For more information about our facilities and services or current opportunities please visit our website.
Greenwood, B. N. & Fleshner, M., 2011. Exercise, Stress Resistance, and Central Serotonergic Systems. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, 39(3), pp. 140-149.
Jackson, E. M., 2013. STRESS RELIEF- The Role of Exercise in Stress Management. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, 17(3), pp. 14-19.