April is Stress Awareness Month, and we’re sharing some tips and highlighting how we are supporting Restart Scheme participants back into work, despite challenges we all encounter every day.
Cosmic’s Restart Scheme team of digital trainers is helping people to develop the skills and knowledge to feel digitally included and be able to access and be successful in the current job market.
Why not try some of the resources linked from this page.
Definitions of Stress
Stress – Noun
1. Pressure or tension exerted on a material object.
2. A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.
3. Particular emphasis or importance.
An NHS self-help guide says this about stress:
“Stress is what we feel when we are under pressure. It is a completely normal response which we all experience from time to time... it is not dangerous. In fact a certain amount of stress can be quite helpful and motivating.
“If we are stressed regularly our emotions will usually be affected. People often feel:
- Angry, irritable and wound up
- Anxious and full of dread
- Unhappy, upset and tearful
- Lacking in interest
- Overwhelmed and frustrated
- Guilty and worthless
Responses to stress
It’s sometimes difficult to be kind to yourself when you are under too much stress, or not enough stress.
The good news is there are things you can do to help with stress and help you to be more affective in getting back into work, or in changing jobs.
The first of these is to ‘unlock your happy’. The Stress Management society provides a simple chart below, outlining the key activities you can do and how they can benefit you and your mental wellbeing, “from distress to de-stress”.
Learning how to adopt a positive mindset is also key to dealing with your stress and not allowing it to overwhelm you. The Stress Management society state that “Being in control of your thoughts increases your ability to find solutions to challenging situations and to deal more effectively with stress”.
How Cosmic help with stress
Here at Cosmic, our team of Digital Skills trainers promote positivity and encourage their participants to deal with what is in front of them at the time, instead of manifesting over worries in their head, creating the overwhelming feeling of ‘stress’.
Job hunting, filling in application forms and attending interviews can be a daunting thought, with potential to feel as if you are not good enough or ‘Why would they pick me’. Our Digital Skills trainers support their participants to prepare for these processes by assisting with not only digital upskilling, but also teaching them valuable employability skills, helping them to stand out amongst other applicants. If a participant feels confident and prepared when attending an interview, they are less likely to feel stressed about it beforehand.
It is important to note the difference between feeling stressed and feeling nervous. Stress can be paramount when someone has not prepared for what they are about to face but by working with our Digital Skills trainers, participants will not need to stress about the unknown.
Feeling a little nervous before an interview is a good thing as it means that the applicant cares.
There are lots of free apps available to support with stress management that can be easily downloaded to your Android or Apple device from the App Store.
Here are some popular ones:
Breathe2Relax – Helpful instructions and exercises in diaphragmatic breathing and more information about the effects of stress on the body.
Happify – An app based on research to train your brain using activities to support with anxiety and stress through positive attitude
Headspace - Identified as “A gym membership for the mind.” Get access to a series of guided meditation and mindfulness sessions.
Personal Zen – If you like playing games this app might be great for you. Developed with a professor of psychology and neurosciences this app has a series of games based on clinical findings to support with reducing anxiety levels.
On YouTube you can find a video for just about anything!
Why not search for videos/tutorials about stress awareness and management: Learn breathing techniques, about stress buckets, positive mindset and much more.
Or why not try listening to some soft music in those times of stress like nature sounds, relaxation or meditation.
Further reading, help and advice