Managing stress as Covid restrictions ease

As we move out of lockdown, how are you feeling? April is Stress Awareness Month, and a good opportunity to check in with your thoughts and emotions following a turbulent year.

The Stress Management Society has held the event every April since 1992 and, nearly 30 years on, it’s more vital than ever. We all need a manageable element of stress in our lives to accomplish tasks and recognise danger, but when this tips into feelings of overwhelm or being unable to cope, we can become exhausted, burnt out or depressed.

The Mental Health Foundation has found that 74% of UK adults have felt overwhelmed or unable to cope during the last year, while the Stress Management Society’s own research reveals that 65% have felt more stressed since Covid-19 restrictions began in March 2020. So how can we manage stress as we begin to return to a new normal?

Coming out of shielding 

Shielding ended in Wales on March 31, but thousands of people remain anxious about stepping outside the safety of home. It’s important to go at a pace that suits you and not allow yourself to be rushed or pressured into joining social gatherings or seeing friends. Try going to the supermarket early in the morning or later in the evening and focus on the things you can control, not those you can’t.

Having the Covid-19 vaccination 

Many people have concerns about getting the vaccine, not helped by a number of myths and false news stories online. The coronavirus vaccines used in the UK have met strict safety standards set out by an independent body called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). 

Government figures show that more than 32m people in the UK have received at least one dose of the vaccine, with serious side effects proving very rare. In comparison, more than four million people have had the virus and more than 127,000 people have died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test in the UK. Find out more about the Covid-19 vaccine and its safety here.

Financial worries 

Latest ONS figures show that unemployment in the UK is at a five-year high, at five percent, with millions more still on furlough or just returning to work. The cost to the economy will take years to repair, with women and young people particularly badly affected. 

If you’re worried about money or are in debt, free, impartial support is available. The Money Advice Service has a range of tools, apps and calculators to help you budget and draw up a debt management plan, and there’s also a helpline and chat facility if you’d like to speak to someone in confidence.  


With the second wave abating and hopeful signs of recovery, health services are widely starting to resume. While there’s no doubt that waiting lists will be impacted in just about every area of healthcare, routine services are resetting, both in hospitals and in the community. 

Our health cash plans offer a range of benefits, including money back when you have everyday health treatment such as dental care, an eye appointment or physio. You can also claim when you see a specialist consultant, giving you an affordable way of bypassing long waiting lists. Give our team a call today on 01633 266152 or drop us a line at to find out more.   

We’ve been helping our members with their wellbeing throughout the pandemic with a range of guides, such as looking after your mental health following lockdown and staying healthy through coronavirus. You can also read our simple self-care tips to reduce stress and anxiety. 

If you’re really struggling or are worried about a loved one, please reach out to a specialist organisation such as Mind Cymru, Samaritans Cymru or Hafal, who will be able to offer the right support. 

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