Mental Health Awareness Month Interview Series – Managing Stress

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Mental Health Awareness Month Interview Series – Managing Stress

Sham Hassan interviewed by Jess Kniaz

Lotus People are so proud to announce that we are donating $500 from every placement made in October to mental health awareness charity, batyr. Mental Health impacts one in four of us and this month, as well as raising funds for the charity, we will also be sharing our own personal stories and any useful resources and tips that we have found useful.


Once in a blue moon you’ll meet a unique individual who claims they don’t ‘get stressed’ – lucky them! For the majority of the population stress is a part of everyday life, taking its form in a myriad of ways from brain fog to sleepless nights to more debilitating physical symptoms. In the below interview, Sham openly and honestly talks about her experience with stress and anxiety;


Stress is a fact of life; sometimes stress can motivate us and other times it can be overwhelming. What has been your experience with stress? 

Mental health is a subject very personal to me, as somebody who suffers from anxiety. With that in mind, I can feel the impacts quite quickly, however in the last few years, I have been lucky enough to discover various techniques which really help manage things. I guess the biggest thing for me in the past few years is being half the world away from home. Being away from your family can be hugely stressful but I’ve been lucky enough to build a loving and supportive network that has helped with that in the past few years.


What physical symptoms arise when you are feeling stressed or anxious? 

For me, sleepless nights is the number one symptom! I can often wake up in the middle of the night with a million things racing around my mind, and often they are completely random thoughts! As a result, I often feel very low energy. However, I have recently discovered that exercise has been incredible for counteracting this! I now make this a daily part of my routine. For example, if I wake up super early in the morning, I use that time to walk to work which takes just over an hour. By the time I arrive at my desk, you wouldn’t even know I’ve had a poor sleep – it’s really that powerful!


What tactics do you use to handle stress? 

Luckily my mother took a very holistic approach to mental health and taught me this from a very young age. I swear by meditation. Here at Lotus People, we have a yoga teacher come in to do meditation classes with us once a week. Our Director, Sinead, ensures we take the time to go to this and it is guaranteed to transform my day! I also use various meditation apps every night to aid my sleeping and this alone has had an incredible impact.


What advise would you give someone suffering from stress or anxiety? 

Talk to somebody – always. Sometimes it just helps to vent to a good friend or family member. If that isn’t something you’re comfortable with, writing things down is also a surprisingly effective outlet. I would also advise daily meditation- 10 minutes is all you need. Just 10 minutes aids in improving concentration and improving cognitive ability, as well as decreasing anxiety. Taking a walk and getting fresh air is also incredibly effective.