What are the signs people could look for in themselves and others to understand what stress looks like?
The major indicators to look out for are presented in body language and appearance:
- Are you or the individual tense often in day-to-day situations?
- Are you or they sleeping properly? Or do you frequently find yourself held up late?
- Has it had an impact on your diet? Does this result in overeating or barely eating full meals?
- Do you find that you or the individual routinely turns to unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking or use of prescribed or recreational drugs?
What are some initial steps that someone could take in order to reach out for help?
The first step to take is often just booking an appointment. This will allow the person to subconsciously understand that they have made a commitment to themselves to try and attend the appointment. Which gives that first big push past the stigma of reaching out for help. Alternatively they could be referred to Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT). This is an initiative by the National Health Service (NHS) to help promote access to psychotherapy to the general public. Moreover, different talking therapies allow for more tailored approaches and services to each individuals needs, depending on what is causing them stress. Also, if advised by a healthcare professional, then perhaps a short course of medication could help with the process or there could be local charities offering low cost counselling.
Several large factors for a persons mood include if they are eating well and getting enough rest. They also include socialisation, and engaging in fitness or leisure (exercise, yoga, stretching, walking, dancing etc).