16 May Understanding Anxiety
Mental Health Awareness Week
Mark your calendars, Mental Health Awareness Week commences May 15th, and this year’s theme is anxiety. To honor the theme, we are understanding anxiety; looking at what it is, the causes, and coping mechanisms.
Anyone who has ever felt worried or fearful can officially state they have had anxiety. However, there is a handful of individuals that unfortunately must cope with heightened anxiety on a day-to-day basis. If you or someone close to you suffer from anxiety, then understanding any possible events which can cause it, and how to cope in these events is important.
- Exam Pressure
It seems no coincidence that Mental Health Awareness Week commences on the same date as when academic exams begin across the UK. Completing exams and coursework can place a great deal of pressure on both students and teachers. Many students will experience anxiety when it comes to their exams, especially those in higher education (Year 11, Sixth Form, College, University) with their grades determining their future.
- Leaving/Starting a Job
Whether you’re handing in your resignation letter or signing the dotted line on your new contract, both scenarios can heighten anxiety levels. Making any decisions that could potentially impact your future can leave you feeling worried or fearful. However, you should never let anxiety put you off from leaving your current job if the decision puts you at ease and makes you happier.
- Work-Life Balance
Juggling work and your personal life can be challenging. The pressure of needing to be consistently present across your work and personal life can cause anxiety. We need to have a good work to life balance so we can enjoy both separately and avoid feeling worried or fearful.
Sometimes it can be hard to tell whether you are experiencing anxiety. If you have previously suffered or currently suffer from anxiety it can feel like a vicious cycle, which you can struggle to get out of. But it is important to note that you are not alone and there are ways to cope with anxiety. You can try:
- Talking to Someone
Whether it be a specialist, a family member, or a friend. You should attempt to speak with someone else about your worries and fears. You never know, a family member or friend could be experiencing anxiety too, and speaking with them could help them in return
- Start a Thought Journal
If you struggle to speak about your feelings, you may find it easier to write them down. Be a small notepad you can fit in your pocket, or a diary you can keep in your bedside drawer. Write down what is worrying you or making you feel uneased, then take your time to address each problem individually.
- Try Exercising
Running, swimming, yoga, or simply walking. Any form of exercise that requires you to be active and present in the moment will help distract you from feeling anxious. Where possible, you should try and set aside time either per day or week where you can take time to yourself and exercise.
It is important to honor our mental health all year round, but especially from May 15-21, we encourage you all to take the time to evaluate your thoughts and feelings. If you think you are suffering with anxiety, or know someone who is, then now is the time to act. And remember, if you are struggling to speak to a family member or friend, there are people out there who are waiting for your call, you just need to make the first move.