It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and the focus is on stress. Research has shown that two thirds of us experience a mental health problem in our lifetimes, and stress is a key factor in this.

What does strike me about stress is the ways it can present itself. For some it’s sleep-less nights, depleted appetite and whilst stress isn’t a mental health problem in itself, it often leads to depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide. It can lead to physical health problems too. In clinic, we see a lot of musculoskeletal pain due to it. Stress leads to tensions, which lead to holding our bodies in ways that aren’t natural and ultimately lead to pain.

Whilst our therapists can help ease those pains, it’s important for me that the clinic provides a environment to aid easing stress. Your appointment might be the one moment in your day that you sit down and talk about ‘you’ or have a hot drink and small talk with our lovely receptionists. It’s not too often I see patients leave the clinic looking more stressed than when they arrived (even after a tough Pilates session you look more elated than deflated!)

I don’t have a magic wand or top tips to beat stress. Life can be hard and balancing everything plus dealing with the challenges it throws up every now and again is a struggle we all face. But, by talking about it, not only this week, and sharing what helps us deal with stresses I think we can all help each other. There’s loads of information on the Mental Health Foundation’s website, including a ‘test your stress’ quiz … give it a go!

Contact the Client Care team to make an appointment with a Katie Bell Physiotherapist or book a Pilates class on 0114 327 2080.