Stretford Stress Busting

A programme of activities designed to reduce stress, anxiety and depression for the people of Stretford and the surrounding areas. This programme will increase both their mental wellbeing and resilience and often improve their physical wellbeing at the same time [win/win]. This programme ties in with the NHS 10 Stress Busters as outlined on their website. [https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/reduce-stress/]

Talking about Stress is often seen as less stigmatising than ‘mental health’ although it is the same thing and people often tie all the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression as one. People are more likely to accept that they are stressed than that the have mental health issues…..

These are Professor Cooper’s top 10 stress-busting suggestions:  Groups that address this issue
1Be ActiveExercise won’t make your stress disappear, but it will reduce some of the emotional intensity that you’re feeling, clearing your thoughts and letting you deal with your problems more calmly. For more advice, read how being active helps mental wellbeing. Get started with exercise  Sunday Stroll
Fresh Air Fridays Gardening for Health
Mums and Buggy Fitness Family Gardening Group
Eco Gardening group
Litter Picks Community cricket Community rounders Community basketball Community netball Community tennis Community football
2Take ControlThere’s a solution to any problem. “If you remain passive, thinking, ‘I can’t do anything about my problem’, your stress will get worse,” says Professor Cooper. “That feeling of loss of control is one of the main causes of stress and lack of wellbeing.” The act of taking control is in itself empowering, and it’s a crucial part of finding a solution that satisfies you and not someone else. Get tips on how to manage your time  Signposting and talking to each other
Youth Council
3Connect with PeopleA good support network of colleagues, friends and family can ease your work troubles and help you see things in a different way. “If you don’t connect with people, you won’t have support to turn to when you need help,” says Professor Cooper. The activities we do with friends help us relax. We often have a good laugh with them, which is an excellent stress reliever. “Talking things through with a friend will also help you find solutions to your problems,” says Professor Cooper. Read about some other ways relationships help our wellbeing.  All groups: Lunch clubs Youth Clubs Craft clubs Family clubs Nature sessions
The Tearoom Annual Events programme Community BBQ’s
4Have some me timeHere in the UK, we work the longest hours in Europe, meaning we often don’t spend enough time doing things we really enjoy. “We all need to take some time for socialising, relaxation or exercise,” says Professor Cooper. He recommends setting aside a couple of nights a week for some quality “me time” away from work. “By earmarking those 2 days, it means you won’t be tempted to work overtime,” he says.  All groups
The Tearoom
5Challenge YourselfSetting yourself goals and challenges, whether at work or outside, such as learning a new language or a new sport, helps build confidence. This will help you deal with stress. “By continuing to learn, you become more emotionally resilient as a person,” says Professor Cooper. “It arms you with knowledge and makes you want to do things rather than be passive, such as watching TV all the time.”  All groups
6Avoid Unhealthy HabitsDon’t rely on alcohol, smoking and caffeine as your ways of coping. “Men more than women are likely to do this. We call this avoidance behaviour,” says Professor Cooper. “Women are better at seeking support from their social circle.” In the long term, these crutches won’t solve your problems. They’ll just create new ones. “It’s like putting your head in the sand,” says Professor Cooper. “It might provide temporary relief, but it won’t make the problems disappear. You need to tackle the cause of your stress.”  Signposting Support groups in the building We don’t serve alcohol or allow smoking  
7Help Other PeopleProfessor Cooper says evidence shows that people who help others, through activities such as volunteering or community work, become more resilient. “Helping people who are often in situations worse than yours will help you put your problems into perspective,” says Professor Cooper. “The more you give, the more resilient and happy you feel.” If you don’t have time to volunteer, try to do someone a favour every day. It can be something as small as helping someone cross the road or going on a coffee run for colleagues. Find out more about giving for mental wellbeing  Volunteer programme
8Work Harder not SmarterWorking smarter means prioritising your work, concentrating on the tasks that’ll make a real difference. “Leave the least important tasks to last,” says Cooper. “Accept that your in-tray will always be full. Don’t expect it to be empty at the end of the day.” Get tips on how to manage your time better  Signposting and training
9Try to be positiveLook for the positives in life, and things for which you’re grateful. “People don’t always appreciate what they have,” says Professor Cooper. “Try to be glass half full instead of glass half empty,” he says. Try writing down 3 things that went well, or for which you’re grateful, at the end of every day. Listen to an audio guide on beating unhelpful thinking.  A positive atmosphere in all groups and the Tearoom Mindfulness sessions within groups
10Accept the things you can’t changeChanging a difficult situation isn’t always possible. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over. “If your company is going under and is making redundancies, for example, there’s nothing you can do about it,” says Professor Cooper. “In a situation like that, you need to focus on the things that you can control, such as looking for a new job.”  Sign posting

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