One in four people will experience mental health problems at some time in their life.
Stress and worry can affect us in several ways. It affects how we feel, how we think and how we relate to the world around us. Physical symptoms may include exhaustion, lack of motivation loss of or increased appetite, headaches, crying, sleeplessness, and oversleeping.
You should always ask for your advice from your GP if you are worried and feel you cannot cope alone.
There are a number of services available which can be accessed directly or through your GP or other health professional.
Contact your GP or Mind in Bexley for more support.
You can watch this short video on the common symptoms of stress
Top tips for dealing with stress are:
- Accept that stress is a natural part of life. A small amount of stress can help you cope with the challenges of daily life but you need to recognise what is an acceptable level of stress and what is harmful
- Recognise the signs. Common signs of stress include: feeling easily irritated or angry, feeling very sensitive to criticism, drinking alcohol or smoking more and difficulty sleeping
- Identify the things in your life that are causing you stress. If you recognise these things you can begin to find ways of coping with them or even avoiding them
- Avoid eating high fat, sugary foods or drinking too much caffeine. When you are stressed or anxious these will give you an initial burst of energy and then your blood sugar levels will drop quickly leaving you tired and irritable - which also makes it hard to concentrate. You should avoid skipping meals as this can lower your blood sugar levels and leave you feeling irritable and short-tempered
- Increase your physical activity. Even a short 10 minute walk can help to improve how you feel and make you feel less tired. Exercise helps boost your serotonin levels, which are feel-good hormones
- Don't be afraid to ask for help or to take up an offer of help. Sharing your feelings can help and there is plenty of support out there. NHS Choice's online mental health checker can signpost you to the most appropriate source.
Online mental health checker
NHS Choices has an online mental health checker offering help and advice for people concerned about their mental health and wellbeing.
The service can help people with low-impact long-term issues or people suffering from first time symptoms of stress, anxiety or depression, perhaps in response to the current economic climate, or stressful periods in their life.