Increase your wellbeing little by little this Stress Awareness Month

April is Stress Awareness Month in the UK, and the theme this year is #LittleByLittle, to highlight the power of small, everyday actions in combating stress and improving overall wellbeing.

April is Stress Awareness Month in the UKObserved every April since 1992, Stress Awareness Month aims to raise awareness of the causes and possible cures for stress, which The Stress Management Society describes as a modern-day “epidemic.”

Launching the #LittleByLittle campaign for Stress Awareness Month 2024, they explain that small, positive actions performed consistently can have a “transformative impact” on our mental health and wellbeing.

Stress-related issues are more common than ever in today’s fast-paced world, with a constant barrage of information leaving many of us feeling overwhelmed.

In fact, The Stress Management Society says data suggests that, in the UK:

  • 79% of adults experience stress at least once a month
  • 74% of adults have felt overwhelmed or unable to cope at some point in the past year
  • 52% of all workers are experiencing burnout, marking a 9% increase since before the pandemic, according to Indeed
  • But only 13% of workers feel comfortable discussing their mental health and wellbeing openly in the workplace

They also caution that stress can lead to negative habits such as heavy consumption of alcohol, eating unhealthily or smoking. These in turn can exacerbate the negative effects of stress. Prolonged stress can also lead to more serious mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety, and physical health problems such as heart disease, digestive issues and immunity disorders.

Make little changes this Stress Awareness Month

That’s why, this Stress Awareness Month, they are urging people to make manageable adjustments to their daily routine to support self-care and stress reduction. They say that even the smallest changes can provide a significant boost to mental health.

In a press release published to mark Stress Awareness Month, The Stress Management Society explains:

Stress Awareness Month highlights the prevalence of burnout among workers and aims to tackle this with the #LittleByLittle campaign“The statistics paint a concerning picture of the current state of mental health; a significant portion of the population faces stress on a monthly basis, with an alarming percentage feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope. Moreover, the prevalence of burnout among workers has seen a notable increase since before the pandemic.

“Despite these challenges, there remains a significant stigma surrounding discussions about mental health in the workplace.

“Beyond the immediate mental health concerns, stress can also lead individuals towards unhealthy coping mechanisms such as increased alcohol consumption, poor dietary habits, or smoking. These habits only serve to exacerbate the cycle of stress and exhaustion.

“Recognising the toll that information overload takes on our wellbeing, the #LittleByLittle Campaign emphasizes the importance of simple, manageable changes that seamlessly integrate into daily routines. By fostering open conversations and raising awareness, we aim to create a supportive environment where everyone can prioritise their mental wellbeing, one small step at a time.”

While many people feel that they don’t have time to maintain big commitments for their wellbeing, small, consistent habits and activities can be much more manageable and still bring a “huge benefit.”

Try simple steps such as a walk in nature each day this Stress Awareness MonthThe Stress Management Society cites a recent survey which found that 6 in 10 respondents agreed that stress-relieving hobbies improved their productivity and confidence, with over half (54%) agreeing that their hobbies reduced feelings of burnout from work-related stress. For example, just 10 minutes of meditation or light exercise each day can reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, improving mood and cognitive function while also helping to boost your productivity and self-esteem.

The Stress Management Society also refers to the “Butterfly Effect of Wellbeing” – this is the belief that “small changes in one’s routine can set off a ripple effect, leading to transformative outcomes for individuals and communities alike.”

They add:

“Participating in Stress Awareness Month can make a world of difference, not just for individuals but for their entire community.”

Small actions you can take each day to boost your wellbeing could include:

  • A short walk during your lunch break
  • 10 minutes of stretching in the morning or at night
  • 5-10 minutes of guided meditation each day
  • Spending some time in nature
  • Listening to music you love
  • Reading quietly for a short time
  • Checking in with a friend or family member
  • Taking some time to connect with someone new

Stress Awareness Month highlights importance of connection and community

Throughout Stress Awareness Month, The Stress Management Society also hopes to build communities of support.

People are encouraged to prioritise community and connection this Stress Awareness MonthTheir #LittleByLittle campaign includes a 30-Day Challenge which can be participated in as a community or organisation. This encourages community and connection, with people coming together to support each other’s wellbeing goals. This can create a sense of belonging and help to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.

The 30-day Challenge encourages individuals to pick one small, positive action to carry out each day for their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. This is because it is thought to take 30 days to turn actions into habits. It is hoped the 30-day challenge will help people to turn useful knowledge and techniques into positive and lasting behavioural changes that will help them to manage, minimise and prevent stress.

The Stress Management Society hopes that sharing the experience of the challenge in a group will also cultivate “a culture of encouragement and understanding, breaking down barriers and challenging the stigma surrounding mental health[…].”

The 30-Day Challenge includes a buddy system where participants pair up with another participant in the challenge in order to provide mutual support and accountability, ensuring both individuals stay committed to their wellbeing goals. Again, this concept also helps to normalise conversations about mental health and wellbeing.

More ways to take part in Stress Awareness Month

Participants are also encouraged to share their Stress Awareness Month experiences and goals on social media using the hashtag #LittleByLittle.

Anyone can check their individual stress levels onlineYou can also access a range of free resources, including 30-Day Challenge posters, infographics and more, at The Stress Management Society’s website.

They have also produced a video in which their Chief De-Stressing Officer, Nail Shah, explains a little more about this year’s #LittleByLittle theme.

The Stress Management Society also offers a free online Individual Stress Test, which provides participants with a score as well as a personalised report with recommendations. You can also opt in for expert guidance and stress management advice to help reduce your stress levels in just 7 days.

Other ways in which people are encouraged to take part in Stress Awareness Month, and to help tackle stress year-round, include:

  • Talk about stress and its effects to help reduce the stigma associated with stress and poor mental health
  • Share coping mechanisms you have found useful which may benefit others
  • Be kind to those who are experiencing stress and anxiety
  • Look after yourself – take time to relax or do something you enjoy and try to eat well and remain active even when you are feeling particularly stressed
  • Learn how to say no to requests that are too much for you and will lead to you becoming overwhelmed and unwell

Mental Health UK also provide advice and guidance about managing your health and wellbeing to help reduce stress levels, with advice relating to work-life balance, alcohol, exercise, body image worries, burnout, sleep and smoking.

Learning and development solutions for tackling stress

First Response Training (FRT) is a leading national training provider delivering courses in subjects such as health and safetyfirst aidfire safety, manual handling, food safetymental healthhealth and social care and more.

Learn how to support people with stressAn accredited Mindful Employer themselves, FRT’s specialist mental health training courses include Understanding Mental HealthMental Health Awareness in the WorkplaceManaging StressAnxiety and Phobias AwarenessSelf-Harm Awareness and Suicide Awareness.

They can also provide qualified, approved trainers to deliver accredited Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training courses, including the Adult, Youth and Lite versions.

A trainer from FRT says:

“While stress is not recognised as a diagnosable mental health condition, it can lead to more serious mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, and can also have physiological effects.

“It’s important to recognise the severity of stress and to learn proactive and positive ways for managing, minimising and preventing stress, both in the workplace and in our personal lives.

“We think the #LittleByLittle campaign is great for highlighting that people do not need to make dramatic, sweeping changes in order to reap significant benefits for their mental health. Small, simple acts of self-care each day can help to alleviate stress, boost mood and improve overall wellbeing.”

brief summary of our mental health training can now be downloaded as an infographic.

We also have a number of other free infographics available to download which provide simple tips for helping to manage your mental and emotional wellbeing and proactively manage your stress levels. These include:

You can also download our free Guide to Mental Health Training from our website.

For more information on the training that FRT can provide, please call them today on freephone 0800 310 2300 or send an e-mail to