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It’s Stress Awareness Day. There’s only an hour or so left but I wanted to mention it because Stress is misunderstood. The term ‘stressed out’ is over-used and people need to know more about what it really means so they can help themselves, friends, family and colleagues. I’ve been there and know how hard it was to manage.
I could write pages about this (and one day I will) but here are just a few points: Stress is not the same as pressure (a dangerous misconception, especially in a work environment); Stress can be terribly debilitating – physically and emotionally; it can stop you in your tracks and make everyday tasks difficult; a lack of awareness and understanding (within you/folk around you) makes the problem so much worse.
Recognising it is half the battle. That sounds like a cliché but when I picked up a leaflet from the Glasgow Steps team everything made sense. Knowing what Stress does and learning the science behind it is fascinating and liberating. Getting through it and finding your way out the other side feels amazing. And if I hadn’t had so many problems with it I wouldn’t have even considered the path I’ve chosen now. The bad stuff makes the good stuff even better.
I talked about this a little on Twitter today and got great feedback – tweets from people who have experienced similar problems, who are still living with Stress, and a ‘thank you’ or two for talking about it publicly. Is mentioning a weakness a good thing? I don’t know but I’m going with my gut instinct on this. I feel it’s an important issue and I wanted to mention it in case it helps someone realise what’s going on in their life.
If you want more information, there was an excellent webcast this afternoon which is now archived to watch again, there are some helpful downloads on the NSAD website, and loads of useful stuff on the Glasgow Steps website.
Anyway, that’s today’s Public Health Announcement over. If anyone wants to know more or just have a chat about it then please do get in touch.