Stress Awareness Month

Stress is something that affects 74% of the adult population to the point they feel overwhelmed or unable to cope (according to statistics published by the Mental Health Foundation), but has definitely been a bigger issue during the Covid-19 pandemic.

April 2021 marks Stress Awareness Month, and this year’s theme from the Stress Management Society is to ‘’regain connectivity, certainty and control.’’

At Enrych, one of our most successful projects during the past few weeks has been the start-up of the community garden project in Measham at Millennium Garden, in collaboration with one of our partners TCV. Being outdoors is an incredibly important thing for people’s mental health and according to the website Taking Charge, ‘’being in nature or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.’’ ‘’It may even reduce mortality’’, according to scientists such as public health researchers Stamatakis and Mitchell. ‘’Research done in hospitals, offices, and schools, has found that even a simple plant in a room can have a significant impact on stress and anxiety.’’

During these times, the Enrych PAs have also been active in helping reduce stress by helping clients connect digitally in activities such as ‘’Coffee Morning’’, ‘’Art Group’’, ‘’General Knowledge Quiz’’, ‘’Crafternoon’’ and ‘’Cyber Soccer’’ and helping their clients to connect with others with shared interests. The PAs have also been out into the community with their clients, whether it was a trip to Twycross Zoo or going for a walk.

It has personally made me feel more connected and helped to reduce the loneliness I had felt prior to the Covid-19 restrictions being lifted somewhat. Having a range of activities available is important so that people can pick and choose the level of interaction they are looking for.

I like to split my time between different things. There is still an element of anxiety I have towards face to face interactions, but I feel I get the best of both worlds with what Enrych have to offer. The ‘’Coffee Morning’’ and ‘’Cyber Soccer’’ are ever-presents in my week, and then on a Thursday, I split my time so that one week I go to help out at The Green Gym project in Measham, and one week I join the Art group. Having a mix of online and in-person connection is healthy for me at a time which is still uncertain.

The activities that Enrych have helped people to get involved in are a big reason why I personally have felt more connected, certain and more in control. I have become more focused on my connections through Enrych over time and this has removed elements of stress that I had previously felt, especially when the ability to meet outdoors wasn’t allowed. While the weather is good, this is even more a reason why me and everyone associated with Enrych are feeling more positive. With the sun sticking around for a while, the vitamin D is always a welcome boost to us all and as a matter of fact is a well known de-stressor.

 

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