War. Inflation and the rising cost of living. Political uncertainty. Living with Covid. The pressures of what my old therapist referred to as “ordinary human misery”.
For many of us these anxieties result in the primal state of heightened awareness and readiness for action known as fight or flight. In the short term this is good, necessary even, as we are driven to take action to protect ourselves from harm. But in the modern world it can be easy to live in an almost permanent state of tension which is harmful to our mental and physical health.
This is stress.
During this National Stress Awareness Month (April 2022) it’s helpful to reflect on the difference between “good” stress – the sort that makes you ace that presentation or meeting – and “bad” stress – the lingering feeling of pressure and tension that can seem hard to escape. I’ve been there done that, with a history of sleep, mood and physical disorders (for stress is written in the body) I have had to learn to manage. (Tip – music helps!)
There is huge danger in keeping the “bad” stress hidden and secret. If we pretend to ourselves that everything is fine and we muddle through we can feel that we are coping, but we are not, we are just postponing. There will be some sort of reckoning.
At AVC Immedia we recognise stress as part of being human; our core values of humanity and empathy emphasise our commitment to supporting our team in difficult times, and I encourage everyone not to suffer in silence. As well as building a culture in which discussion of stress and/or mental health problems is positively encouraged, we also wanted to offer a tangible resource, and for that reason partnered with the good people at Plumm whose strapline – mental wellbeing for empowered teams- says it all.
Plumm offers a huge range of stress management resources as well as one to one counselling where required, all on a confidential basis. I’m delighted to be working with Plumm to offer a safe and supported environment for every one of our team.
Written by Ross Penney, CEO at AVC Immedia.