This year is the 16th National Stress Awareness Day (NSAD) and is one of the main events in the International Stress Management Associationᵁᴷ (ISMA) calendar. It is also the 30th anniversary of ISMA and it promises to be an exciting and fruitful one.

In the UK alone, stress is one of the most common conditions experienced by people today. It is a major contributor to poor health, poor performance and to financial loss both to the individual and to business.

National Stress Awareness Day is on Wednesday 5 November 2014 and is about raising awareness of stress including strategies to lessen the potential risk to individuals and organisations, and how to manage damaging stress once it occurs. The theme for NSAD this year is Stress: the balancing act. It is often difficult to keep good balance in terms of work, play and lifestyle.

Recent research suggests that as technology improves, the nation is increasingly contactable 24 hours a day. Many do not switch off work phones/emails whilst on holiday and often look at emails even before or after the normal working day. It becomes essential to manage this technological change in a positive way, achieving a balance which is essential for good health, positive performance and psychological wellbeing.

There are numerous solutions available to help to manage this balancing act.

1.       Find out what is causing you to feel under stress – do you have a good work/life balance? If not identify some areas you can improve it.

2.       Learn to say ‘no’ when you have too much to do and suggest leaving something to another day.

3.       Manage your time effectively – use a diary, planner, smart phone or outlook.

4.       Identify areas in your life you can control and the areas you cannot control, aim not to waste time on them.

5.       Eat healthily and monitor sugar, salt and fat intake. Have your 5 fruit and vegetables daily.

6.       Take time for yourself and be selfish even if it is for a short time each day or weekly

7.       Reduce the amount of alcohol and smoking or stop completely – they may be seen as a coping mechanism but they do have an impact on your health  

8.       Turn negative thought to positive even in a small way which impacts on your outlook on life and your colleagues and family.

9.        Take regular exercise such as using the stairs instead of the lift or getting off the bus one stop earlier.

10.      Rest and relax – have a good night’s sleep and reduce technology such as smart phones, TV in the bedroom. Aim to go to to to bed the same time each night and get up the same time each morning so that you can get into a pattern.  

More information and free downloads from

Healthy Working Lives and ISMAuk Scotland are running an event in Glasgow on 5 November on National Stress Awareness Day to discuss Balancing Wellbeing with Business Needs