Health and Wellbeing, What's On

National Stress Awareness Day – Support for Cardiff students

Annie, Student Intern for the Counselling Health and Wellbeing team tells us more about National Stress Awareness Day …

Wednesday 4th November is National Stress Awareness Day, the annual celebration of stress education, awareness and advocacy. Every year on the first Wednesday of November we come together to focus on the effects of stress and how we can understand and deal with it.

Our Counselling, Health and Wellbeing Service are located at 50 Park Place and are available to help you with any problem, regardless of how big or small you feel the problem might be.


Are you feeling stressed?  Understand what stress is …

Stress is a physical reaction to a perceived threatening situation. We are hard wired to react to perceived threats to our survival, these reactions usually involve a fight or flight response which was historically critical to our survival. So physically our heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate can increase. We perspire more and muscles tense up, ready to fight or flee.

In the short-term, stress can increase energy levels, but in the long-term we can become exhausted and lose weight. When we feel stress we don’t do anything physically like run away from a situation to use up the energy and hormones such as adrenalin which would release this response and allow us to relax again. This means we can stay in a hyper-alert state for long periods of time. This is tiring and can lead to a prolonged feeling of stress, difficulty relaxing and ultimately physical illnesses such as heart disease, strokes, kidney damage and disturbance of blood sugar levels.

Key facts relating to stress

  • 50,000 tweets about stress are posted on Twitter every day – that’s one every 2 seconds
  • School, college and university stress us out more than our wellbeing or body image – accounting for 10% of stress-related tweets
  • There are four times as many stressed-out tweets about academic work than there are about any health-related issue
  • Exam stress is the most frequently mentioned topic – tweeted about nearly 1,000 times a day.


Are you experiencing the symptoms of stress? Check the signs …

Psychological & emotional signs

  • Inability to concentrate or make simple decisions
  • Memory lapses
  • Undue worrying
  • Depression & Anxiety
  • Prone to accidents
  • Insomnia or waking tired
  • More mood swings
  • Becoming easily frustrated
  • Angry outbursts

Physical signs

  • Aches/pains
  • Weight loss/gain
  • Panic attacks
  • Frequent colds/infections
  • Physical tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Allergies/rashes/skin irritations

Behavioural signs

  • Not making time for relaxation
  • Increased reliance on alcohol, smoking, caffeine or recreational or illegal drugs
  • Poor time management
  • Social withdrawal
  • Recklessness
  • Nervousness
  • Relationship problems.


Have you made lifestyle choices to help prevent stress? Make the necessary changes …

  • Change the thought – Change the outcome: replace unhelpful negative thoughts or beliefs with positive new ones
  • Decide what’s important
  • Maintain social support
  • Relax
  • Try saying no/take control
  • Accept the things you can’t change
  • Reduce demands
  • Be active
  • Manage your time
  • Get enough sleep
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Mindfulness.


You can also explore stress on Twitter using an interactive tool that has been created for National Stress Awareness Day. It accesses real-time data to reveal the biggest causes of stress as they are expressed on Twitter.


Do you feel like you need help or have a friend who may need help? We are here for you, please make contact …

We have friendly and approachable staff who are able to listen to you non-judgmentally, in a safe and confidential space. Please access our drop-in from Monday-Friday 3-3:45pm for a 10-15 non-bookable appointment to have an initial chat with us or, alternatively, please refer into our service by completing our referral questionnaire.

If you are worried that you are experiencing physical symptoms that may be affecting your health, we strongly advise you to make a GP appointment to discuss this. If you are yet to register with a GP, please find a GP.


Get involved in events for National Stress Awareness Day …

Follow us on twitter and/or like us on Facebook for news of our NSAD activity taking place on Wednesday 4th November.


Win yourself a De Stress Massage

We’ve teamed up with Laguna Health & Spa for Stress Awareness Day!  We’d like to help Cardiff Uni students, so as well as the tips in this blog we’re offering you the chance to win a (FREE) 25 minute De Stress Massage at Laguna Health Park Plaza Cardiff.

Simply tweet your tip for ‘de-stressing’ and tag in @LagunaHealthSpa and @studentlifecu  for your chance to win; this competition will run for one day only so please tweet on Wednesday 4th November.

This initiative is for Cardiff University students only and the aim is to increase awareness about stress within the student community and to encourage our students to use the services provided by the Student Support and Wellbeing division as outlined above.

A winner will be selected by random and notified via twitter by Wednesday 11th November.


More about Laguna Health & Spa, who have kindly donated the De Stress Massage …


Situated in the heart of the city centre, The Laguna Health and Spa prides itself on the array of services it offers.

The stunning design and breadth of their superb facilities reflects the belief that an active lifestyle extends beyond the realm of fitness.

Staff are on hand to help you to re-discover your mind, body and soul by focussing on you and believe that this is essential to achieving inner peace and happiness, so that one can fulfill the basic human needs for satisfaction and invigoration.

A warm and friendly welcome awaits you – the lucky winner!


Best wishes

Annie, Student Intern
Counselling, Health & Wellbeing Team



Your Student Life, Supported.

The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice & Money, Careers & Employability, Counselling, Health & Wellbeing, Disability & Dyslexia and International Student Support.

The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus.

For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.


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