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Stress and Finding Ways Through

PUBLISHED: 15 Mar 2022

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GroceryAid has partnered with Care first, our Helpline provider, to help understand the signs of being stressed and how learning to cope with stress in a healthy way will make you, the people you care about and those around you become more resilient. This article will help you to understand why we might feel stressed and provide useful tips on how to manage stress more effectively.

When too much stress and worry is placed on an individual there is no room for “let up” which can cause feelings and emotions to build until we reach a breaking point. This means normal everyday pressures build into something more and lead to us not being able to cope. This is stress, and we need to think about and identify the sources.

There are many factors that affect us –

  • Physical Stress
  • Environmental Stress
  • Emotional Stress
  • Key life events
  • Chronic Stress

Existing mental health issues can also become a source of stress in themselves, for example, those living with an anxiety disorder and/or depression can be more prone to stress as they try to manage their day-to-day conditions.

What are the symptoms? 

You might experience emotional symptoms, such as feeling angry and impatient with people close to you, feeling close to tears over trivial things, or behaving differently from usual. You may also experience physical symptoms such as sleeplessness, loss of appetite or irregular eating, panic attacks and difficulty breathing or low energy and lack of concentration.

Managing Stress

Although the feelings provoked may seem difficult to manage, there are a number of simple and effective things you can do:

Talk to someone – Share your worries with a trusted friend, family member or colleague. Just opening up will help, but you might get some useful advice, reassurance or a different perspective too.

Focus on the things you can control – There will be issues that are out of our hands, but it can help to identify the areas where we do have some choice – and even to list the things we can control against those which we cannot.

Give yourself some space – If you start to feel that you’re getting stressed, take a step back. Take some time every day doing something you enjoy and not think about anything else. Finding as little as 15 minutes in a day that you can reserve for yourself can help. It might just be a walk around the block, a bit of gardening or a bath with the door locked and some earplugs in. The important thing is that you get the time to yourself.

So, given that, how can we help ourselves? 

The key is by taking time to examine the factors that cause us to feel “stressed” and consider that this “stress” may actually be pressure, but this can be excessive to the point where we struggle to manage. We need to be able to look for positive ways to change the way we view what is happening to us.

Helpful coping strategies 

  • Make time for yourself for positive experiences
  • Get enough rest
  • Talk to someone
  • Take exercise and get fresh air
  • Keep hydrated
  • Remember you are not alone
  • Think about how resourceful and adaptable you have had to be during the Pandemic
  • Be kind to yourself

All these things appear so simple, but when one feels overwhelmed, it is difficult to see a clear way forward. There is one, we just need to believe that.

What might stop you from moving forward? Is it fear or uncertainty? Can you give it a name?

The Pandemic has changed things for us all and those changes for many have been dramatic. It is okay to ask for help, and it is okay not to be okay!

Pressure is part of our usual everyday lives. We need to release that pressure to prevent it from turning to stress. Stress is real and should not be ignored. It can, however, be managed.

How can GroceryAid help? 

If you work in the grocery industry, you can call our free, confidential Helpline on 08088 021 122

anytime of the day or night and speak to a BACP accredited counsellor who will provide you with immediate help. Plus, you may be referred to Citizen Advice Bureau  trained information specialists who are available 8am – 8pm Monday-Friday to provide advice on any practical issues that may be causing you stress or worry.

You can also access free self-guided resources through our online Health & Wellbeing platform which covers a broad range of topics to support mental health, stress management, sleep and anxiety. Or try Woebot, an artificial intelligence mental health ally, counsellor 24/7 via an app for iPhone or Android. Woebot allows a user to access ‘in the moment’ emotional support 24/7, tracking their mood, identifying emotional patterns and giving insight into particular issues or concerns that the user may not have realised were causing emotional distress.

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