We discuss how to look out for signs of stress in this piece for International Stress Awareness Week.
We all get a little stressed from time to time. A little bit can be useful, especially if you’re taking on a new challenge, as it can help you feel motivated and encourage you to carry out tasks.
But too much stress can cause physical and mental symptoms that can have a negative effect on your life.
It’s important to remember that we all react differently to stressful situations and that there is no wrong or right way to feel about something that is going on. What may not bother your friend at all might make you feel overwhelmed.
The first step to coping with stress is often spotting if it’s happening, so we’ve put together some physical and emotional tell-tale signs that can be helpful to look out for.
Physical changes you may experience:
- having headaches
- feeling dizzy
- having a lack of appetite or eating more than usual
- feeling constantly tired
- problems sleeping
- aches and pains/muscle tension
- diarrhoea or constipation
Emotional changes you may experience:
- difficulty concentrating
- changes in mood
- feeling withdrawn from friends
- losing motivation and interest in things you usually enjoy
- feeling tearful or more sensitive than usual
- dreading the future
- feeling overwhelmed or alone
Helpful ways to manage stress.
Below are some tips you could try to help you manage your stress. Trying these ideas won’t necessarily make all the stress in your life disappear, but they could make it easier to get through stressful situations.
There are a few things you could try to manage stress. This could look like
- taking a break from what is stressing you out
- doing something relaxing like listening to your favourite music, playing with your pet, hanging out with friends, or watching your favourite film or TV show
- trying out a new hobby such as making art or music, dancing, singing or gaming
- dressing up or wearing make-up
- writing a blog or journaling your thoughts
- exercising can help reduce stress as it releases endorphins, the body’s natural “feel-good” chemicals.
- be mindful – pay attention to what is happening in the present moment.
- saying ‘no’ when needed
- schedule regular breaks where you can do something fun
Talking to someone can be an effective way of helping you manage stress. Problems that may feel too big to handle on your own can often feel more manageable if you share them with someone you trust. You might be able to even work out a way to tackle the stressful situation together.
If you feel that you are unable to talk to family or friends about what’s bothering you, TIC+ can help. As well as our counselling services, we offer tic+chat, a free 1-2-1 messaging service that is open to all young people aged 9–25 in Gloucestershire. Find out more here.
If you live in Gloucestershire and are aged 9-21, you can get support from our TIC+ counsellors. TIC+ works hard at raising funds so they can arrange for a counsellor to see you for free, all you need to do is call us on 01594 372777 or text us on 07520 634063 to arrange an appointment. We know it can be hard to take that first step but, like the other young people we’ve helped, you’ll be so glad you did.
If you need to speak to someone urgently, call NHS 111 (on 111) or the Samaritans on 116 123. There’s always someone there to help, and any conversations you have with them are confidential.
TIC+ also offers a Parent Support & Advice Line. If your child lives in Gloucestershire and is between the ages of 0 and 25 and you, as a parent or carer, would like support, please get in touch. To make it easier to reach out for help we offer a choice of ways to contact us on Freephone 0800 6525675 or web-chat. Whichever option you choose, there is no need to make an appointment, drop-in anytime during our open hours.
Alternatively, if you are a parent and would like to arrange counselling for a young person who lives in Gloucestershire and is aged 9-21, they can get support from our TIC+ counsellors. All they, or someone they trust, needs to do is call us on 01594 372777 or text us on 07520 634063 to give us some details so we can arrange an appointment.
For more advice check out our SUPPORT RESOURCES page!