A mental health charity is encouraging people to consider their wellbeing as part of National Stress Awareness Day on Wednesday, November 1.
North Staffs Mind, based in Hanley, wants people to get involved by sharing their thoughts about life’s stresses and how they handle them on social media using #NationalStressAwarenessDay17 or tweeting @NorthStaffsMind.
People can also visit nsmind.org.uk/news to find eight top stress-busting tips.
Mark Garlick, office manager for North Staffs Mind, said: “We all know what it’s like to feel stressed – being under pressure is a normal part of life. But prolonged stress can eventually lead to other problems if not addressed.
“Stress can arise from situations or events that put pressure on us, such as events we don’t have much control over, or as a reaction to being placed under pressure.
“If anyone would like some tips on how to deal with stress, visit nsmind.org.uk/news.”
Workplaces can also help by creating a “stress awareness space” where employees can write down what is worrying them, or people can request an information booklet from national Mind by clicking here
Stress can often include physical signs, like tiredness, headaches or an upset stomach. This could be because when we feel stressed emotionally, our bodies release hormones called cortisol and adrenaline. Other signs include panic attacks, blurred eyesight, problems getting to sleep and grinding your teeth.
Someone experiencing stress may feel over-burdened, anxious, depressed or unable to enjoy themselves. They may find themselves snapping at people, avoiding situations, biting their nails, eating too much or too little, drinking or smoking more than usual, crying or feeling restless.
8 top stress-busting tips from North Staffs Mind
- Organise your time – Are you a morning person or do you think clearer after lunch? Identify your best time of day, and do the important tasks that need the most energy and concentration at that time.
- Make checklists – Ah the checklist; so small, so simple, so effective. Write down the things you have to do, arrange them in order of importance, and try to focus on the most urgent first. If your tasks are work related, ask a manager or colleague to help you prioritise. You may be able to push back some tasks until you’re feeling less stressed.
- Vary your activities – Balance interesting tasks with more mundane ones, and stressful tasks with those you find easier or can do more calmly. You can also reward yourself for doing difficult tasks by doing something you enjoy once you’ve achieved them.
- Take a second to think about your stress-related thoughts – It’s not easy, but accepting that there are some things happening to you that you probably can’t do anything about will help you focus your time and energy more productively. Think about what is stressing you out and ask yourself if it’s really as earth-shatteringly important as you’ve built it up to be.
- Speak up – It’s OK to say no. Try to be assertive in communicating with others. If people are making unreasonable or unrealistic demands on you, be prepared to tell them how you feel and say no.
- Do something that relaxes you – Have a luxurious bath, listen to music, read a book, play with the dog or see a film.
- Forgive yourself –When you don’t achieve something you hoped for, just remember that everyone makes mistakes, and no one is perfect.
- Talk – If you’re worried about something, talk to your friends, work colleagues, family or partner. You will probably soon discover they are stressed about things in their lives and together you will no doubt come up with a solution.