Stress Awareness Month: Be mindful, top tips on managing stress from Door43

Stress Awareness Month: Be mindful, top tips on managing stress from Door43

Sadie White No Comment

April is stress awareness month. Being under pressure is part of normal life. But becoming overwhelmed by stress can lead to mental health problems or make existing problems worse. But how do you know when pressure turns to stress? If you’re feeling increasingly anxious, finding it hard to concentrate, feel snappy, have headaches, feel sick or feel your heart beating faster, you may be stressed as these are some of the signs.

Stress awareness month is a great opportunity to take time to think about our wellbeing and find advice and support on managing stress. With exams on the horizon it’s a good time to get some techniques in place to manage stress so you can do your best come exam season.

Our Door43 Wellbeing Practitioner Katie Ashton has come up with her tips and advice on managing stress. Door43 is our emotional wellbeing service for young people based here at Star House.

The 4 A’s

AVOID – Some of our stress can easily avoided, plan ahead, look to your surroundings and prioritise.

  • Learn to say no – try not to feel pressure to do tasks that aren’t necessary, reflect on your responsibilities and then look at the demands on your time.
  • Prioritise your ‘To-Do’ list into ‘today’, ‘this week’ and ‘within the month’ – this will limit the overwhelming feelings of having to do everything straight away.
  • Avoid contact with people who increase your stress levels – if this is going to be difficult, try to limit the time and make sure you have time to give yourself ‘time to breathe’ in the situation.

Remember!! A certain amount of avoidance is healthy – but please don’t use this technique in all situations, as this can create more difficulties.

ALTER – Recognise what you do or feel when you are stressed and then look at changing your situation.

  • State time limits on particular tasks e.g. if you need to clean, give yourself an hour and then wherever you are at, take a break.
  • Communicate your feelings – remember to take control of your feelings by using ‘I feel that sometimes…’
  • Manage your time – look at your day and see if there is a way to manage your time so you have time for yourself. Allow yourself a minimum of 30 minutes a day of self-care.

ADAPT – You may feel that you can’t cope with the current situation – changing your expectations can really help to reduce those stress levels.

  • Look at reframing the issue – what would a helpful friend say about the situation? Have a moment, breathe and take a step back.
  • It is helpful to look at the ‘bigger picture’ – will this situation matter in a month? A year? 5 years?
  • Find yourself a positive quote to keep that motivation up – “You are capable of so much more than you ever imagine” – find one that resonates with you – mentally repeat it, write it down, whatever works for you.
  • Adjust your standards – do you really NEED to do that cleaning at 10pm at night? Or, does that essay HAVE to be perfect? Try to change your definition of perfection and success – this will ease the guilty feeling.
  • Alternative thoughts – take a moment after that stream of negative thoughts, take the ‘negative glasses’ off, what if the outcome was positive? Try to think of thoughts opposite to your own – this is not easy, but give it a go and it will become easier over time.

ACCEPT – Unfortunately, sometimes there is nothing we can do about a stressful situation and we just need to accept things the way they are.

  • Practice your positive self-talk – “this situation is really difficult, but I’ve dealt with things like this before, I am strong and I will get through this”
  • Learn from your mistakes – ‘Remember that life’s greatest lessons are usually learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes’
  • Practice forgiveness – anger can lead to stress and if this is persistent, it can be exhausting. Forgiveness is difficult, but try letting your anger be released.
  • Talk to someone – Even if they offer no advice or guidance, speaking through the situation and having a listening ear can be very helpful.

Always remember – You can totally do this.

You can also drop into our Door43 at Sheffield Futures on Division Street Monday to Friday 10am – 5pm on Tuesday until 7pm and on a Saturday 9.30 – 1pm.

Door43 at Sheffield Futures on Division Street staffed by youth workers, counsellors, substance misuse workers, sexual health workers, careers advisors, volunteers as well as peer supporters.



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