For decades, millions of people have used the month of April to raise awareness of stress. This includes the causes of stress, how to understand stress, how to deal with it and much more.
As a company who often encounters people who are struggling with stress alongside their debts, we’d like to take this opportunity to talk about the relationship between stress and debt, and how it can have a significant impact on both the mental and physical health of individuals. Read on to learn more about Stress Awareness Month.
What is Stress Awareness Month?
Set up in April of 1992 by the Stress Management Society, Stress Awareness Month (SAM) was created with the purpose of raising awareness of the causes of stress and identifying the necessary steps to deal with the impacts of stress.
Awareness months such as SAM provides people with the opportunity to discuss stress, in a bid to remove the stigma associated with it and to hopefully help people feel more comfortable discussing their own experiences with stress. Months such as these play a huge part in the de-stigmatisation of mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression, as well as physical health disorders like fatigue, trouble with sleeping, muscle aches and so on.
With the rising impacts of the Cost of Living Crisis in the UK, more and more people are experiencing financial stress. This is why it is so important to start a dialogue with the people around you about stress, as they might also be experiencing it too.
What is the link between stress and debt?
Stress, as a symptom of multiple different mental health disorders, is often intrinsically linked with those experiencing problem debts. The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute stated that in a survey they undertook, 46% of their participants who had a mental health problem were also in problem debt. Our 2022 demographics also show that throughout the year, over 16% of people who sought debt advice also cited mental health as the cause of their debts.
It’s easy to understand why people who are experiencing trouble with debt are simultaneously experiencing stress. Whether it be from losing your job, a reduction in benefits or income, rising living costs and so many more, there are multiple factors which result in stress.
Not only this, but the thought of dealing with creditors, telling people you are experiencing debt, and finding the means to pay off your loans can be extremely overwhelming and stress-inducing. Many people often hide their debts from their loved ones because of feelings of shame, guilt and embarrassment, which only leads them to feeling more stressed and isolated.
How Can I Get Involved With Stress Awareness Month?
According to the Stress Management Society, there are a number of ways you can engage in SAM, including the following:
- Talk about stress and its effects with friends, family and colleagues
- Share your coping mechanisms – it may help someone else out there
- Treat those who are dealing with stress with compassion and empathy
- Practice self-care, including doing the things you love, eating well, exercising and more.
While it’s very important to keep these things in mind for April, it’s also key to practise them every single month to help reduce your stress levels where possible.
What Can We Do To Help Those Dealing With Stress?
If you feel you are experiencing stress because of debts, that’s where we can help you get on the right track. We offer impartial, free debt advice for those who are struggling with their finances. Our free debt advice tool allows you to input details about your financial situation online, so you don’t need to worry about speaking to people on the phone. Or, if you do want to speak to a debt advisor, we’re ready to listen and offer you the best advice we can.