Stress Awareness Month: Nurturing Wellbeing #LittleByLittle

April 2024 marks Stress Awareness Month, an annual reminder of the importance of not just acknowledging stress, but actively seeking ways to manage it effectively.

According to a recent UK-wide stress survey conducted by Mental Health Foundation, nearly three-quarters of adults (74%) have experienced moments over the past year when stress left them feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope. This year, we’re sharing stress-busting tips for the workplace, along with insights from professionals in our sector.

Recognising the signs

Stress, in moderation, can be a motivator, helping us accomplish tasks and focus on priorities. However, chronic stress can take a toll on both our physical and mental wellbeing.

Identifying the signs of excessive stress is crucial. Symptoms include fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and physical ailments like headaches or stomach aches. It’s essential to not only recognise these signs in ourselves but also be aware of them in colleagues and employees.

Promoting open communication

Creating an environment where individuals feel comfortable discussing their stressors is key. Encourage open conversations about stress and mental health, providing opportunities for people to share their experiences without fear of judgement.

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

EAPs provide confidential counselling and resources for employees dealing with stress or other mental health issues. Our helpline offers emotional support round-the-clock, recognising the demands of industries like print, paper, packaging, publishing, and graphics, where operations often run continuously. Mark Young, MD of Bluetree, explains; “As we run a 24 hour shift here, having somewhere to point our team towards at any time of day is incredibly important to us.”

Training and workshops

Provide opportunities such as workshops or online learning for stress management, mindfulness, and resilience to equip employees with practical tools for navigating stress. Allocating time during the workday for wellbeing-focused activities, such as ‘lunch and learn’ sessions, is increasingly valued in our sectors. offers additional tips for coping with stress at work.

Encouraging people to seek help when they need it

Highlight the importance of seeking help when needed and promote the idea that seeking support is a sign of strength, not weakness. Kim Hill, HR Business Partner and Wellbeing Lead at Paragon, has found this culture shift to have a significant positive impact, adding; “People have told us that they feel so much better for reaching out, and this promotes a culture of collaboration, support, and resilience. When individuals feel comfortable seeking assistance, whether for emotional or practical challenges, they open the door to learning, problem-solving, and self-improvement.” 

Our free, confidential, independent employee helpline offers practical and emotional support for times when stress feels overwhelming. Visit the helpline pages to learn more.

Get in touch

If you, or someone you know needs support, or you’d like to know more about our free, confidential helpline, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

To find out more give us a call on 01293 542 820
or click the button below.

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