How can you reduce stress?

01 November 2023

stress awareness day 23

It’s National Stress Awareness Day and we can’t emphasise enough how important it is to reduce stress and look after your mental health and well-being.  Our members fulfil various roles within the police community, all with their own stress factors.


Whether you’re currently serving in the PSNI; retired; Police Staff; provide a service to the police community; or a family member; take some time today to do whatever works best for you to de-stress.


Read our latest BLOG in full below, highlighting signs of stress, causes of stress and TOP TIPS on how to reduce stress.



  • Irritable, angry or impatient.

  • Worried, anxious or scared.

  • Struggle to make decisions or feel overwhelmed.

  • Feeling dizzy, sick or faint.

  • Sleeping problems

  • Weight gain or weight loss

  • Habits around drinking and smoking etc.

  • How often we see people or do things we used to enjoy.


Stress can be caused by one big event or a buildup of lots of smaller things in different areas of our lives. These many include:

  • Personal situations such as health issues, bereavement, pregnancy, or even organizing a big event like a holiday.

  • Friends and family getting married, going through a breakup/divorce, being a carer, too busy to spend time with each other, or enduring difficult relationships.

  • Social factors such as having poor access to medical care, living through national/global events e.g., coronavirus, experiencing discrimination and loneliness.

  • Employment and study related like starting a new job, job instability, unemployment, revising for exams, and meeting deadlines.

  • Housing situations like poor living conditions, homelessness, and moving house.

  • Money worries living in poverty, managing debt, lack of savings, and high bills.



  1. GET MORE SLEEP - not easy if you work shifts; have a medical condition; or care for small children; but trying to find a balance is so important. According to the Sleep Foundation, most healthy adults need at least 7 hours of nightly sleep - how much are currently getting? If you’re having difficulty sleeping try this guide on how to sleep better.

  2. WALK AWAY FROM YOUR DESK (whatever that looks like to you!) - strive for better work-life balance and take necessary breaks from your work to avoid burnout.  Planning ahead by creating task lists and focusing on one thing at a time can also help reduce unnecessary stress.

  3. EXERCISE - being more active and using exercise for stress relief can burn off nervous energy.  Activities such as walking, and sports can reduce stress. 43% of Harp and Crown CU members said they love walking and 21% preferred sports.  Why not try to fit in a brisk 20 minute walk during a break or after your dinner, it may do you the world of good.

  4. SPEAK TO SOMEONE - share your worries with someone you trust, whether that’s a colleague, friend or family member.  Remember, “a problem shared is a problem halved.”  Taking time out to spend with FAMILY can help reduce stress - over 50% of Harp and Crown CU members surveyed said they are most interested in FAMILY TIME.  You can also contact a helpline such as NHS 111 phone service for advice.

  5. FINANCIAL HEALTH CHECK - money worries can be a huge stress factor.  Complete a review of your finances and you might find there are services you no longer need, helping reduce your monthly outgoings.  BUDGET so you can save money or get out of debt. Check out this free Budget planner.  You may also be able to reduce debt payments by consolidating any high interest credit cards/loans into a lower interest Harp and Crown Credit Union loan option.  Or you may have the option to restructure a loan repayment with us if it is currently unaffordable to you.  Take advantage of your HAC account and save as much as you can afford per month. 70% of our members surveyed said they use their account for savings/as an emergency fund.

Talk to us today, we are here for you.

Email or phone 028 9068 5198 between 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday.

The Harp and Crown Credit Union provides safe, secure, flexible finances for the wider police family in Northern Ireland.

Harp and Crown Credit Union Ltd are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number (FRN) 577113. For details visit
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