International Stress Awareness Week 2019 – 4th to 10th Nov

International Stress Awareness Week

International Stress Awareness Week came about in 2018 when the International Stress Management Association [ISMA UK] decided to expand the annual event from 1 day to an entire week. National Stress Awareness Day was traditionally held on the first Wednesday in November in the UK/USA and has turned out to be the day that attracts the greatest activity on social media.

What Is Stress And How Does It Affect Us?

Stress is a part of life and it is unlikely that all but a very few can avoid it completely. Some stress is actually essential for all humans – however, too much or poorly managed stress causes harm to our mental and physical health and relationships. Modern life has brought about a surplus of stress factors. When we are faced with a challenge, or a threat to our well-being, the body experiences stress. When you’re dealing with struggles in your life that leave you in a state of constant worry, stress can be a real killer. Failure to deal with stress in your life effectively can lead to serious health problems, including mental illness, increased blood pressure, heart disease, and a decline in your immune system.

Healthy Stress Awareness And Management Strategies Are The Key To Improved Health

The theme for this year is ‘RESILIENCE – the Power to Succeed’. And of course, this ties in very strongly with I’m Enough’s focus on Digital Resilience. Like it or not, stress is here to stay, and so is the digital social environment that particularly young people are exposed to. So if we accept that ignoring the issues is not going to make them disappear, what then can be done to cope with stress in our lives?

Firstly, being mindful of your response to stress is very important. By observing your response to isolated, healthy stress situations can make you aware if ever you find yourself in this state for prolonged periods. Chronic ongoing stress can, if not treated, develop into mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, as well as having negative impacts on the body.

Some of the tips recommended for dealing with stress are:

  • Try to focus on 1 thing at a time so as not to be overwhelmed
  • Take regular breaks from the factors creating stress – this includes taking breaks from digital social media.
  • Accept that there are things that you cannot control – like the opinions of other people. Let them go.
  • Avoid unhealthy substances such as caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine – they add to the stress on your body
  • Try to be more physically active
  • Try to eat as healthily as possible
  • Learn some physical relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga
  • Get enough sleep! Experts recommend between 6-9 hours of sleep per day
  • Spend more time outdoors. Not only does this soothe you mentally but exposure to sunlight allows your body to make vitamin D, which if you have too little of can cause depression.
  • Talk to someone, anyone, about the factors which are stressing you out. Some resources can be found here.

Tackling stress from multiple angles can make a huge difference in your mental and physical health. Above all, you need to realise that you are enough just as you are. You are much stronger and more capable than you may think. Use this week to reflect on your own validity and value, and begin to take the actions required to build your resilience and claim your power to succeed.

Emergency and help lines


Anxiety phone line – 0800 269 4389 (0800 ANXIETY)

Mental Health Crisis Helpline

Mental Health Crisis Helpline - 0800 800 717


Depression and anxiety affects us all differently.
Free 24/7 Helpline: 0800 111 757 Text 4202

Website Address

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland


Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email or online chat


Whatever you're going through, call us any time on 0800 726 666.

Website Address
Suicide Crisis Helpline

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
What's Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18 year olds).
Phone counselling is available Monday to Friday, midday–11pm and weekends, 3pm–11pm. Online chat is available 7pm–10pm daily.


Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline) for young people up to 18 years of age. Open 24/7.

Sexuality or gender identity helpline
Description – Phone: 0800 111 757 or email or free text 5626

Website Address
Supporting Families in Mental Illness

Supporting Families in Mental Illness - 0800 732 825.

Mental health services – Ministry of Health

We all face challenges to our mental health at various times in our lives. The way we’re feeling can change how we think and how we deal with tough times.

There’s a range of resources and services available to help including phone and online services and information, as well as face-to-face support.

Most services are free and provide information and confidential advice from trained professionals. There's also information for family, whānau, or friends if they need advice and support.

If you’re told that there is a waiting time for a service, please still reach out and make contact. Other supports can be put in place – ask what you can try in the meantime.


Helplines for children and young people

Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time to talk to a trained counsellor.

To talk to a trained counsellor 24/7 call the Depression helpline – 0800 111 757.

To get help from a registered nurse 24/7 call Healthline – 0800 611 116.

Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email or online chat.

What's Up  – 0800 942 8787, (for 5–18-year-olds). Phone counselling is available Monday to Friday, 1 pm–10 pm and on weekends, 3 pm–10 pm. Online chat is available from 7 pm–10 pm daily.

Website Address