Published Thursday, 01 April 2021
April is Stress Awareness Month and with a reported 65% of people feeling more stressed since the start of COVID-19*, health and care partners across Coventry and Warwickshire are marking the month by providing advice and support to help anyone suffering.
As feelings of isolation, uncertainty and loss of control remain at the forefront of people’s minds, this year’s theme for the month, co-ordinated by the Stress Management Society, is regaining connectivity, certainty and control.
Partners are encouraging people to take action against stress. It is estimated that it takes 30 days to turn positive actions into habits, and in light of this, Coventry and Warwickshire’s Wellbeing for Life initiative has produced the Active April calendar, designed to move towards positive behaviour change and build resilience for the future.
From cleaning to walking to dancing, the idea is to find time each day to do something active that is enjoyable and will relieve pressure, finding a sense of connectivity and control for Spring and beyond. The calendar encourages residents to keep active, take notice of their physical and mental health, as well as connect with others by sharing their activity each day and ultimately, have fun through the month.
The Step into Active April calendar can be downloaded from the new Wellbeing for Life website: wellbeing4life.co.uk. People can also share their Active April spring photos by using the hashtag #ActiveApril and tagging Coventry City Council or Warwickshire County Council on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Emily van de Venter, Associate Director of Public Health Warwickshire, said: “This past year has been extremely hard and has put a lot of pressure on all of us. By getting involved with Stress Awareness Month, it gives us a chance to recognise how the year has impacted us, and what we can do to help relieve the pressure.
“I encourage everyone to take this time to reflect on the challenges we’ve encountered over the past year and how, moving forward, we can look after our physical and mental health for the future. A great first step is to get involved with the Wellbeing for Life Active April calendar. By taking everyday tasks, like cooking and cleaning, and making them an active and fun event, we start to relieve pressure each day – I’ll be joining in with some Spring cleaning along to music to help make it fun and keep me moving!
‘Let this month be the motivation you need to look after yourself and keep active and healthy for the future.”
Director of Public Health at Coventry City Council, Liz Gaulton said: “Stress Awareness Month is so important and focuses on recognising the impact of stress for individuals on their long-term mental health and wellbeing, but also their physical health. Knowing where to access help and support to better manage stress can help to end isolation in communities and bring people together, breaking down the stigma and shame that many of us feel when experiencing a mental health problem.
“For the month of April I encourage all residents in our city to reflect on any personal challenges and difficulties they may have experienced over the last 12 months and take stock of how their mental health and physical health has been affected. Using tools such as the 5 Ways to Wellbeing and support from campaigns including Active April can help us all prioritise taking care of our wellbeing to make us more resilient for the future.”
*Data provided by the Stress Management Society.