Could You Be Suffering from Stress?

There are lots of things that can add stress to our lives, so recognising the symptoms and knowing how to deal with it is really important for staying happy and healthy.


There are lots of things that can add stress to our lives, so recognising the symptoms and knowing how to deal with it is really important for staying happy and healthy.

Feeling stressed? You’re not alone. In a 2018 survey, the Mental Health Foundation found that almost three quarters of respondents experienced stress to the point where they felt they were struggling to cope. Life inevitably has its ups and downs, but it’s worth learning how to spot the symptoms of stress and to be aware of some useful coping strategies you can try to alleviate it before it gets out of control.

Am I stressed?

Everyone is different, so we all have our own tolerance levels, triggers and reactions when it comes to what we find stressful. There are some naturally challenging situations we all encounter in life – like poor health, relationship problems, work worries or bereavement. While most of us recognise these as pretty common triggers, other causes may be more subtle. For some, stress can be prompted by something that may seem trivial to others, or it might build up slowly over time, creeping up on us until we suddenly realise we’re overwhelmed or burnt out.

While everyone has their own unique experiences, there are some common indicators that you could be suffering from stress, including:

  • Emotional/behavioural changes – Marked changes from your usual emotional state are worth keeping an eye on. For example, feeling particularly low, anxious, worried, short-tempered, humourless, tearful, restless or apathetic could be a sign you’re feeling the pressure and need to take action. Significant changes in your eating habits or smoking and drinking to excess can also be red flags.
  • Physical changes – Stress isn’t just an emotional issue it can cause genuine physical symptoms that negatively affect your day to day life. Frequent pains like stomach ache or headaches, tension, grinding your teeth, biting your nails, pains in your chest, dizziness or fatigue are common complaints in people who are under stress.

While the way you exhibit stress may differ from the above or other people you know, it’s important to acknowledge when something isn’t right. You know what’s ‘normal’ for you – if things don’t feel right and you’re finding life hard to cope with, it’s time to take action.

What can I do to reduce my stress levels?

With our busy modern lives, it can sometimes feel hard to slow down and take a minute for ourselves, but it’s worth regularly stopping to think about how you’re feeling. Taking stock every so often can be really useful in helping you identify and address any areas of anxiety before it all gets to the point where everything seems overwhelming.

There are lots of things people do to lower stress levels. Some things you could try include:

  • Talking to someone – Ever heard the phrase ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’? It’s true! Sharing your feelings with someone you trust is a great first step in identifying what’s wrong and what you can do about it. If you don’t have someone close to you that you feel comfortable confiding in, you can turn to your GP, local mental health services or mental health charities (check out the NHS website for a useful list of helplines).
  • Taking time out for yourself – when you feel overwhelmed it can seem hard to find even a moment for yourself, but just few minutes every day could make a big difference. Time spent meditating, stretching, having a relaxing bath, listening to music or doing a favourite hobby or pastime can help shift your focus and relieve tension.
  • Staying active and spending time outdoors – stress can be exhausting so exercise is often the last thing on your mind, but it can really help to boost your mood and alleviate feelings of anxiety. If you can do it in the fresh air, like getting out for a walk, all the better.
  • Giving yourself a break – feel like you need to keep powering through and ‘do it all’? Be nice to yourself! Are there things you could ask someone else to help you with? Could you say no to few more things to relieve a bit of the pressure? Putting yourself first isn’t always a bad thing.
  • Getting organised – when life feels like it’s getting out of control, it often helps to try and stick to a routine. Planning your schedule, eating regular meals and keeping to a regular bedtime can add a comforting structure to your day and help you get tasks done more efficiently.

It’s all a question of finding something that works for you and reaching out for help if you can’t find a way forward.

Helping people across South London

As a homecare provider, we’re acutely aware of the impact stress can have on people’s lives. Our role in supporting people living with a huge variety of health conditions involves not only helping our Customers deal with the stresses in their lives but being exposed to stressful situations in our own day to day work. That’s why we understand the importance of looking after yourself and asking for help when life feels overwhelming.

If you need some extra support to live in the comfort of home, we can help. To ask us about our domiciliary care services, get in touch with the Bluebird Care Wandsworth team.