Feeling that September stress? You’re not alone!

Feeling that September stress? You’re not alone!

By The Health Promotion Team

Research shows that many individuals experience a very large increase in perceived stress once September rolls around. Whether this stress can be attributed to the start of another school year or everyone (including managers, clients, and coworkers) finally being back in the office after vacations, being conscious of stress levels in the month of September is important. 

Stress often presents itself in one of five different ways. Look through the following questions to assist you in identifying your stress level and where your stress manifests itself:

  • Behavioural – Are you acting more impulsively? Are you making more mistakes at work? Are you experiencing any changes in eating/sleeping habits?
  • Social – Are you avoiding social interactions more than usual?  Are you finding yourself in more conflict at work/home?
  • Physical – Do you feel your muscles are more tense? Do you have nausea? Do you feel yourself breathing faster?
  • Mental – Do you find yourself more easily distracted/unable to stay attentive? Are you finding yourself forgetting things more frequently?
  • Emotional – Are you experiencing more anger than usual? Do your loved ones find you are more moody/irritable than usual?

Alright, you’ve identified you are more stressed than usual, what next? Health Promotion has a few techniques that have proven to be helpful at decreasing stress levels. 

  • Technique 1: Learn to say NO – some individuals have difficulty saying no when asked to pick up an extra task or stay late and help a co-worker. Being a team player is a great quality but can become stressful when we are taking time away from our hobbies, family, and regular to-do’s. Health Promotion recommends writing down and practicing how you would say no when someone asks you for a favour/assistance. Having something prepared may help you to avoid falling into the trap of saying yes because you were placed on the spot.
  • Technique 2: Identify your priorities – everyone has unique priorities. You may prioritize personal time or time to get outside. Me writing this may prioritize time with my friends and family. Whatever you identify as a high priority, plan and manage your time around ensuring, at minimum, you have time to commit to your highest priority. 
    • Ex: Steve prioritizes working out. He has two kids and is too busy to get to the gym in the evenings. To ensure he can work out, he has enrolled in lunchtime PSP fitness classes. He has also looked into options for morning classes he can attend in the event he has a lunch-time meeting or has an extra busy day.  

Interested in learning more about how to manage stress at home or in the workplace? Register for Health Promotion’s Stress.Calm program on 01 & 08 December!