Stress is how we react when we feel under pressure or threatened. It usually happens when we are in a situation that we don’t feel we can manage or control.
Many things can cause stress. You might feel stressed because of one big event or situation in your life. Or it might be a build-up of lots of smaller things.
This might make it harder for you to identify what’s making you feel stressed, or to explain it to other people.
You may experience stress if you:
- Feel under lots of pressure
- Face big changes in your life
- Are worried about something
- Don’t have much or any control over the outcome of a situation
- Have responsibilities that you find overwhelming
- Don’t have enough work, activities or change in your life
- Experience discrimination, hate or abuse
- Are going through a period of uncertainty
Below are some tips you could try to help you manage stress and build your resilience. Trying these ideas won’t make all the stress in your life disappear. But they could make it easier to get through stressful situations.
Look after your wellbeing
Taking care of your wellbeing can help you feel more able to manage stress. Different things will work for different people, but these are some ideas you could try:
- Be kind to yourself. Learning to be kinder to yourself can help with how you feel in different situations. Try to take breaks in your day for things you enjoy. And reward yourself for your achievements, even if they seem small.
- Try to find time to relax. This might feel hard if you can’t do anything to stop a situation that is making you stressed. But if you can allow yourself a short break, this can help with how you feel. See our pages on relaxation for some tips and exercises.
- Develop your interests and hobbies. Spending time on things you enjoy could help distract you from a stressful situation. If stress is making you feel lonely or isolated, shared hobbies can also be a good way to meet new people.
- Spend time in nature. This can help to reduce stress and improve wellbeing. You could try going for a walk in a green space, taking care of indoor plants, or spending time with animals. Our nature and mental health pages have more information.
- Look after your physical health. Getting enough sleep, staying physically active and eating a balanced diet can make stress easier to manage. Stress can sometimes make these things difficult to look after. But even small changes can make a big difference.
“My advice would be if you’re feeling stressed, be kind to yourself, everything starts with you.”