Breath and relax as stress classes come to Borders

HEALTH professionals are running classes for stressed Borderers.

Following last year’s successful pilot, NHS Borders Psychological Services’ Helen Lynch and Rebecca Pryde are holding 
the one-hour sessions in libraries across the region.

An NHS spokesperson said: “People can come along to one or all of the classes to learn about the common effects of stress, and get some practical advice. These are classes, not group therapy. People will not be asked to talk about themselves or their problems. If people feel that they need one-to-one support then they will be encouraged to contact their GP for more appropriate support to be arranged. Support group contacts, self-help leaflets and DVDs will also be available at the classes.”

The following libraries will be hosting the stress management classes: Peebles – today (February 28), March 7, 14 and 21, 5.30pm- 6.45pm; Hawick – Tuesdays March 5, 12, 19 and 26, 5.30pm-6.45pm; and Duns Library and Contact Centre – Tuesdays April 2, 9, 16 and 23, 3.30pm – 5pm.

The classes will cover understanding stress, improving sleep and relaxation, managing thoughts that bother you and feeling better about yourself.

Ms Pryde, clinical associate in applied psychology and one of the organisers of the programme, said: “Stress is a commonly experienced problem. Feeling under pressure managing life’s everyday challenges can lead to problems such as: disturbed sleep; an inability to relax; feeling tense, anxious or irritable; persistent worrying; or loss of self-confidence.

“Through our stress management classes we hope to educate people about the common signs and effects of stress, equip them with some practical skills and techniques to relieve the symptoms, and give advice to help manage stress more effectively in the future.

“Our evening classes are open to everyone. You may want to come along for your own benefit, or to gain knowledge and skills to help you support a family member or friend overcome stress. In either case, you are sure to gain some value by coming along.”

Ring libraries to book places but those attending Duns sessions can turn up on the day.