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National Stress Awareness Week: Signs your stressed

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We’ve all been put in stressful situations and consequently all understand what it feels like to be under pressure, it’s a normal part of life. Carrying stress around can lead to serious mental health problems or make existing life problems worse. 2020 has undoubtedly added a lot of stress to all of our lives and therefore we need to be aware of all the signs that tell us our stress levels are too high.  

 A lot of us handle stress the same way. ‘I’m fine’ we say as we’re running off 3 hours sleep and waking up to a long list of ‘To-do’s’ to complete by the end of the day. As a nation, we’re generally not very good at noticing when our stress levels have passed the point of coping. We think as long as we’re able to get up, get dressed, go to work and carry out the most basic of tasks that we must be alright and coping well.  

As we’re not so great at identifying ourselves when we’re overstressed, we thought we would share some information on the many different types of symptoms that stress can cause. 

There are psychological signs of stress that not everyone can identify that you need to be aware of; 

  • Negative Thinking 

  • Difficulty remembering things 

  • Inability to concentrate  

  • Insomnia  

  • Worrying 

  • Anxiety 

  • Feeling tired even after a full night’s sleep 

  • Being easily distracted 

  • Feeling less creative and productive 

There are also emotional signs that can take their toll; 

  • Mood swings 

  • Feeling irritable 

  • Lack of motivation 

  • Lack of confidence 

  • Anger and frustration  

  • Being extra sensitive to criticism  

Behavioural signs can also identify stress; 

  • Working long hours 

  • Poor time management 

  • Social withdrawal 

  • Poor standard of work 

  • Nervousness 

  • Reliance on drinking, smoking, drinking caffeine etc. 

  • Changes in appearance 

  • Not making time for any relaxation or fun  

And let’s not forget the physical signs of stress that can occur; 

  • Ulcers 

  • Panic Attacks 

  • Dizziness 

  • Grinding your teeth during your sleep 

  • Aches and pains 

  • Muscle tension 

  • Tiredness 

  • Changes to your period  

If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s more than likely that your stress has gone past being healthy and you may be on the brink of collapsing. If you’re struggling at work, talk to your manager, if you’re struggling with university work, talk to your tutor or someone in the Student Services department. Or, if you’re struggling in general and don’t want to seek help, speak to a friend or family member. You can contact the Student Services team on or pop into their office! 

National Stress Awareness Day is a great opportunity to take a step back from your life now and think about your wellbeing. Make sure to prioritise your wellbeing and learn to lower your stress in your own time. That means, eating well, getting enough sleep, managing your time and spending time relaxing. Try mental exercises as well as physical exercise to help release tension. Here are a few of our tips to help you manage your stress levels. 


Make sure you take some time out of your day to exercise, whether this is a hard-core workout or a leisurely walk. Exercise realises endorphins which are your ‘feel good’ hormones and helps to strip the toxic thoughts and stress out of your body. Daily exercise, even when you don’t feel like it, is essential to keep on top of your stress levels. 

Meditation and Mindfulness 

It might not sound like much, but a little meditation a day can help calm your body and get you focused for the day. Meditation can create a deep state of relaxation. During the meditation process, you learn to focus your attention on positivity and eliminate all the scattered and jumbled thoughts that are causing you stress, resulting in an enhanced physical and mental well-being.  

Get enough sleep 

Sleep is a powerful stress reducer. Following a regular sleeping pattern helps calm and restore the body, improves concentration, sharpens your judgment, regulates your mood and helps with decision-making. When you’re well-rested you cope better with stress.  

Treat your body right 

You need to make sure you are taking care of your body and fuelling it with healthy and nutritious food. Getting the right amount of protein, fats, fibres etc will help your body stay strong! Now, we’re not saying you can’t treat yourself to a takeaway every now and then, but just make sure this isn’t becoming a daily routine and be sure to get enough fruit and vegetables into your diet.

Relax and have fun 

It’s so important to make sure you take time out of your day to enjoy yourself and relax. Speak to your family and friends, watch a film, go out for drink with your friends (following covid guidelines of course), take a long hot bath or even lie down and listen to some music. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it’s relaxing and fun to YOU. It’s important to give yourself time away from anything that is causing you stress.  






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