April is stress awareness month and with the current climate of Covid-19 and subsequent lockdowns, stress is at a record high.
This is particularly true for Essential workers who have reported more mental health issues, 50%, higher alcohol use, 36%, and more stress, 45%. This is stress has been emphasised by the level of concern for their families, the increased workload and the many challenges they are currently facing.
Although we are all facing challenges surrounding the pandemic essential workers are particularly feeling the stress linked to the challenges. Including; the increase in severely ill patients, experiencing trauma linked to covid-19 patients, lack of pay rises and health stress linked to contracting Covid-19 and passing that on accidentally to vulnerable loved ones.
If you are an essential worker or your loved one is an essential worker, there are a number of psychological and physical signs and symptoms to be aware of. Psychologically you may feel an increase in depressive or anxious feelings. You may also be easily irritable and be experiencing memory or concentration issues. Physically you may feel fatigued, be easily startled and changes in dietary habits and sleep patterns.
The sooner you spot that stress is rising the sooner you can use some of our stress-relieving tips. Which include; trying to maintain a healthy diet and sleep pattern, reduce your exposure to the news, keep in contact with your loved ones, video call apps are a great way to stay connected and keep people safe. And if you are really struggling reach out for help.