Stress Awareness Month – small ways to make a big difference from the Devon Wellbeing Hub

Posted by Devon Partnership Trust in News, Recovery and wellbeing on 9th April, 2024

April is Stress Awareness Month and the theme for this year is ‘little by little’. Little steps and changes can go a long way in helping us to manage stress and lead to significant improvements in our wellbeing overtime. These small commitments to ourselves can also make the difference between thriving and coping.

The Devon Wellbeing Hub have put together suggestions of some small actions that can make a big difference:

  • Adapt healthier habits: Making small, healthy lifestyle changes can help us manage stress. It can be tempting to eat ‘comfort food’ when we’re overwhelmed, but what we eat can have a huge impact on our mood. Try making a wholesome lunch rather than buying something packaged on the go and opt for healthy snacks. Being physically active can be very effective in relieving stress and gives our brains something to focus on. Think about your commute - perhaps there’s an option to walk or cycle instead of drive? If you work from home, try and go for a short walk or jog during your lunch break, or before/after work. Not only does this help improve your work-life balance, but spending time outside also helps reduce stress and improve wellbeing. Additionally, think about healthy sleep habits - try to cut out screens an hour or more before bed, and if you can, vow not to pick up your phone for the first hour of the day.
  • Make time for self-care: Things can feel overwhelming when we’re stressed, but it’s important to have ‘me time’, especially when we’re busy. Set aside some time for socialising, relaxation or exercise – anything you really enjoy and allows you to unwind.
  • Write a ‘ta-da’ list: Alongside our to-do lists, writing a ‘ta-da’ list with everything you’ve done that day (no matter how big or small) can help you reflect on how much you’ve achieved, rather than always focusing on what still needs to be done.
  • Keep things organised and tidy: Research has shown cluttered spaces can have negative effects on our stress and anxiety levels, as well as our ability to focus, our eating choices, and even our sleep. Having a tidy home or workspace can give us a sense of order and control. It’s not always easy to keep top of domestic duties, but start small and try dedicating 15 minutes a day - you’ll be surprised the difference it can make.
  • Give yourself permission ‘not’ to commit: In a world where so many demands are placed upon us, some days it’s ok to realise that we’re doing the best we can. When you wake up each day, take a moment to recognise what you’re doing well. Even if that’s simply going to work, or just managing to get out of bed. Focus on what you can control, take a deep breath, and remember that if you need to take a break from ‘doing’ then that’s fine.

You can find more useful tips on how to manage stress on the Stress Management Society website and the NHS website.

Get in touch:

If you work in healthcare, social care or the police in Devon and are struggling with any aspect of your wellbeing, or you lead a team who would benefit from support, the Hub can help you today.

Please get in touch by emailing or by calling 0300 303 5455. You can also fill out the simple referral form on the Devon Wellbeing Hub website.