Did you know… April is Stress Awareness Month? This year’s chosen theme is ‘Community’. The Stress Management Society has chosen this because they feel lack of support can cause loneliness and isolation, which in turn lowers people’s wellbeing, which can have an impact on mental health, which can unfortunately lead to mental illnesses. and can lead to mental illness.
For carer’s especially, it is often difficult juggling everyday tasks with the pressure and expectations of caring. Now with activities reopening up from Covid, there are many opportunities and choices of Community projects available for almost anyone to try depending on what you enjoy.
Most are free and meet at regular times and do not require any previous experience. You can have some quality time for yourself with like minded people and even make friends or a support network.
Some recent research said that those who are involved in the community feel happier and live longer and we couldn’t agree more. Being part of a community provides a sense of belonging and an opportunity to talk to others.
Although it’s often a hard step to take, getting back into community activities post covid will definitely aid towards helping lower stress levels. Whether you’re a caregiver or receiver, having people to talk to and depend on, and making new connections through hobbies or a social group can all have significant benefits in reducing stress levels.
Things to try
Why not try visiting places like your local park for a walk, lunch or to chat with a friend. There are also many community spaces, and libraries with different activities. For some culture maybe visiting a museum. Did you know, you can even take an online interactive tour so you save the traffic jams and queues. You could join a club such as a community games clubs where you can learn and play different games. Gardening clubs where you can watch your hard work grow and change with the seasons.
Or if you’re more of an ‘indoorsey’ person, there are Choirs and book clubs you could join. There are also many good neighbour schemes. These do differ in each area, but it’s an opportunity to help people with tasks such as transport, household tasks, befriending, pet care, gardening, letter writing etc.
There are local dog walking services such as BorrowMyDoggy.com where people can arrange to walk and care for people’s dogs when the owners are unable to. Allowing a pet lover who might not be able to own a pet or fully able to commit to one to have one for short stints so you can get your doggy fix and help someone out. For practically minded people there are projects across the country such as ‘Men in Sheds’ and ‘Women in Sheds’. Even litter picking groups which are not only great for the environment but also gives someone a sense of purpose.
Whatever you decide, now is the time to reflect and decide what little things you could try to give yourself a short break. This could be from once a week, fortnightly to even once a month. Start by making a schedule of what you would like to try and how often you can commit. What would you need to help you to achieve this? Most information is easily available to find in your local areas, online, or via Social Media Groups.
However you decided to help mitigate your stresses, keeping yourself and loved ones happy is the most important factor. And we would love to hear from you!
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