It’s Okay to Stress About Stress

International Stress Awareness Week is a welcome reminder that it’s time we start prioritising our wellbeing.

For anyone who doesn’t know, this week has been dedicated to talking about stress, mental health issues and setting aside time for self-care. The International Stress Management Association (ISMA) is a UK based charity that aims to educate people on stress management, both nationally and internationally. The charity holds a National Stress Awareness Day once every year – usually on the first Wednesday in November. Each year, they focus on a stress theme, and this year’s theme happened to be ‘Does Hi-Tech Cause Hi-Stress?’. As far as themes go, it couldn’t have been more relevant; our generation is constantly criticised for being unable to live without our technology.

Of course, there are negative aspects of our high technology usage, such as self-depreciation when you’re scrolling through your feed, seeing ‘beautiful’ people with more interesting lives. Despite this, there are also positives, like being able to reach out and connect with several others around the world at the touch of a button. But let’s not get too much into the evolution of technology, rather let’s talk about how it has affected our health – mentally and physically. The general trope is that social media has taken over every aspect of reality and our addiction to it is ruining our health and relationships. Regardless, it’s always good to use social media in moderation and if you feel like it’s really affecting how you feel about yourself, then maybe it’s time to go on a detox and cut yourself off from the online world for a while.

Let’s take control of our lives. And let’s not give stress an opportunity to overpower us.

National Stress Awareness Day aims to raise awareness about stress and the impact it could have on our mental health, challenging the stigma that surrounds mental health and, most of all, promoting the importance of wellbeing and stress management.

If you feel like you need help and you don’t want to talk about it with the people you’re close to, then you can always join the ‘Mind Matters’ society. The society focuses on mental health and provides support for anyone who’s struggling by running weekly group/drop-in sessions, campaigns, talks, workshops and providing support services. Plus, their membership is free! Stress is normal but let’s not let it get the best of us. Let’s get a good night’s sleep. Let’s stay on top of our deadlines. Let’s take control of our lives. And let’s not give stress an opportunity to overpower us.

Iqra Arshad