Stress Awareness Month: Regain connectivity, certainty and control

April is stress awareness month and it’s more important than ever to be aware of our own stress levels and those of our local children in care.

Managing stress can be difficult and, if not handled properly, can negatively impact physical, mental and emotional health.

Previous years have been enormously challenging as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue and months spent living under lockdown restrictions, which have included dealing with changing routines and social distancing, home-schooling, working from home, and other unsettling issues, take their toll.

A survey by the non-profit Stress Management Society has shown that 65 percent of people in the UK have felt more stressed since the first lockdown began in March 2020, while charity Place2Be estimates that 85 percent of the young people they support have been negatively affected by the pandemic and that they have seen an increase in referrals around self-harm and suicidal thoughts in secondary school pupils.

And, of course, we must remain mindful that it’s not uncommon for looked-after children to experience symptoms of stress, anxiety, and even depression as they face uncertainties and trauma over their home life, experience separation from their family and friends, and many other concerns.

We could all use some help after a tough 12 months!

Since 1992, April has been Stress Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness of the causes and cures for stress, and this year the theme is ‘regaining connectivity, certainty and control’.

Join the campaign’s 30 Day Challenge and pick one action each for your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing to carry out each day. As it takes 30 days to turn actions into habits, this challenge will maximise your chances of turning useful knowledge and techniques into positive behavioural change.

Here are even more actions that you can do this Stress Awareness Month:

  • Talk about stress. Work with your friends, family, and the children you look after to reduce the stigma that is associated with stress by talking about the topic openly and freely.

  • Share your coping mechanisms. If something has worked for you, share it! It could benefit someone you care about and, in the meantime, it may help you take your mind off your own challenges.

  • Be mindful of others. Especially to those who are stressed and anxious. We all, undoubtedly, experience stress and anxiety at some point in our lifetime and children in foster care even more so. Treating others experiencing stress with compassion and empathy will go a long way.

  • Look after yourself. You need to consider self-care, particularly when looking after others, so take time out of your day to relax or do something that you enjoy. Don’t forget to exercise and eat well, even if you do feel stressed.

It is crucial to continue to look after yourself if you feel stressed or anxious. Make time to relax when you need to and learn to say no to requests that are too much for you.

Our Support Services

You can access support through our Therapeutic Team, who work to strengthen the stability of placements and support the emotional wellbeing of young people. You can also access advice and support if you have any concerns about a child’s mental health and wellbeing.

You can also access 24 hour support via our social worker teams during office hours and via our emergency service for out of hours support.

If this has inspired you to consider fostering and you would like to provide a supportive and caring home environment for a child in care, then do get in touch today.

Learn more about fostering in Rotherham

If you have any questions about fostering in Rotherham, book a call back with a member of our experienced team at a time that suits you. All our call backs are confidential.