Stress is a feeling many of us know well. It’s a common reaction to feeling overwhelmed by pressure, situations or events.

From household chores, to difficulties at work, we can all feel pressure from the demands of everyday life. Sometimes it can be motivating, driving us to tick things off that to-do list, but it can also be a problem.

If you feel like stress is becoming overwhelming and affecting your day-to-day life, there is support to help you manage it.

Stress can sometimes make it difficult to recognise your feelings.

Take a minute to read some of the symptoms associated with stress:

  • You feel irritable and impatient
  • You feel anxious or nervous
  • You feel like you can’t switch off
  • You suffer from headaches
  • You might be eating too much or too little

You can find a longer list of symptoms on the NHS website.

To start with, you may want to consider self-help. Take time to listen to your own needs and feelings. Some self-help options are:

  • Relaxation and breathing exercises
  • Talking about your feelings to a friend or family member
  • Getting regular, light exercise
  • Set small targets you can easily achieve
  • Reducing caffeine, sugar and alcohol

You can read a guide for dealing with pressure on the Mind website.

You can access free online courses designed help you to understand how you’re feeling and to consider different methods of reducing stress.

Talking therapies, like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), could help you manage your stress. CBT tries to change the way you react to situations by adjusting the way you think and behave with ‘coping skills’.

Sometimes it may be recommended that you use medication to reduce your symptoms of stress. You can see a list of medicines we might offer you on our Choice and Medication portal.

If you’re in a mental health crisis and need urgent help, call the Single Point of Access on (01472) 256256 and select option 3. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Alternatively, you can call NHS 111 free from a landline or mobile phone.

Open Minds offers a range of therapies aimed at helping you to deal with stress. You can self-refer to Open Minds online.

Safespace provides instant support if you’re vulnerable and need assistance with your mental health out-of-hours. You can speak to the team using Zoom or by calling in via telephone, between 6pm and 10pm, Monday to Friday.

Orcha Apps Library: This library lists thousands of NHS-approved health apps by condition, making it quick and easy for you to find support.

Developing resilience (Mind): The national charity gives lots of advice and information on stress including a guide to developing resilience.

NHS Stress Busters: The NHS have brought together ten tips to reduce stress levels and link to useful resources centred around exercise, time management and accepting change.