Stress Awareness Month

It’s Stress Awareness Month

To mark Stress Awareness Month, we discuss some of the main causes of stress and share some of our ideas on how to improve your mental wellbeing and support others.

What is stress?

Stress is the body’s reaction to feeling threatened or under pressure. In some situations, such as when working on an important task, a stress response can be beneficial and help us to be motivated. But too much stress can have a negative impact on our mental and physical health, making us feel like we can’t cope.

How stress affects us

Stress can affect us in lots of different ways. It can affect our mood: making us feel irritable or anxious. Plus, it can affect our cognition too, making it harder to concentrate or make decisions. It can also impact our sleep, leaving us feeling exhausted.

Being able to recognise when you’re feeling overwhelmed can help you avoid the situations that cause stress. You can also develop coping mechanisms to help when you do find yourself feeling stressed.

Coping mechanisms

Here are some ideas on how to cope with stress:

  • Talk to someone about how you’re feeling: it’s important we ask for help when we’re struggling
  • Plan and break tasks down into more manageable chunks: this will help you to not feel overwhelmed by everything you need to do
  • Do something active: physical activity can help use up nervous energy and is good for our wellbeing
  • Try using a positive mindset: this can be hard when you feel overwhelmed but thinking about what makes us happy in life can help us feel better

The NHS also has lots of resources online that can help you find ways to deal with stress, which can be applied to home life and at work.

Supporting others

About 1 in 4 people experience mental health problems each year, so most of us will know someone who has struggled with their mental health.

We all have different ways to deal with stress, but it’s great to share coping mechanisms that work for you as they could help others.

With this in mind, we can learn the signs that mean our friends and family are feeling stressed. That way, we can know when they might need our support.

Here are some ideas on how to support someone experiencing stress:

  • Be a good listener: ask your friend or loved one about how they’re feeling
  • Offer practical help: such as doing some chores for them if they can’t manage to do everything
  • Be patient: it might be hard for them to ask for help, but by being there for them you can show that you care about them

We can all feel stressed at times, but it’s important that we look after ourselves and others who are struggling to cope.

At the Charlie Watkins Foundation your donations help us to support young people who are finding it hard to cope with stress and other mental health challenges. If you would like to make a donation we would be so grateful.


Aston Lark fundraising round-up

We are very grateful to insurance brokers Aston Lark, who dedicated the month of March to fundraising for the Charlie Watkins Foundation (CWF). Here’s a round-up of all of the fun activities they got involved in!

All employees from Aston Lark, an industry-leading independent broker with more than 55 offices across the UK and Ireland, took part in a wide variety of activities.

Take a look at what they got up to below:

  1. Tuck shops

    A few Aston Lark offices set up tuck shops – the Colchester office included breakfast crumpets in their offering while the Stourbridge office opted for a healthy buffet.

  2. An After Eight Challenge

    The Colchester office also hosted an After Eight Challenge with employees. If you’re not familiar with the challenge, you simply pop an After Eight mint on your forehead and try and slide it down your face. The first one to get it in their mouth wins!

  3. Bake sales

    Many of the Aston Lark offices held bake sales with lots of yummy treats on offer.

  4. Games events

    The Caterham office hosted a games week in their office with cakes while the Stourbridge office enjoyed a games afternoon. The Maidstone office and Renovation Plan in Burnham-on-Crouch also set up a Nintendo Switch to play with colleagues. The Surrey office similarly hosted a three-day Retro Mario Kart Play off!

  5. Dress-down days

    A few offices who held dress-down days have donated the proceeds to the cause.


Plus many, many more!

We’d like to say a big thank you to Aston Lark who raised a fantastic £1,600 for CWF throughout March.

We’ve so enjoyed seeing and sharing all the pictures from the Aston Lark fundraising activities and have loved the creativity and dedication of all the staff.

While every Aston Lark office supported CWF in March, their Colchester office is continuing to fundraise for CWF throughout 2022 – we are so thankful for this.

For more information on Aston Lark’s other charitable activities, click here.

If your business would like to support the Charlie Watkins Foundation, we can offer you a corporate partnership profile on our website, work with your PR team to provide tailored communications, help with fundraising events and support the objectives of your mental health committee.

If you’d like to find out more about how you can support us as a corporate partnership, please get in contact. We’d love to hear from you.

Dr Zoe Burgess

Charity Today: Early intervention in mental health

Early intervention works to prevent problems from getting worse or even occurring at all.

We all have mental health, just like we have physical health, therefore it’s great that this is becoming a more discussed topic. But there is still plenty of room to improve, especially when it comes to the mental health of children and young people.

In our column on Charity Today, Advisory Board Member, Dr Zoe Burgess explains why early intervention is so important, especially for young people.