How does stress look and feel?

Social Prescriber, Karen Price, takes a look at what stress is for Stress Awareness Month. Have a read about the 'Stress Bucket':

Stress can manifest itself in many different ways – we all experience stress and deal with it differently. However, stress can present in different people with different symptoms, which can sometimes make it difficult for us as individuals to diagnose.

For some people, withdrawal from social interaction is an indicator, or they might seem emotionally sensitive, irritable or anxious. Symptoms can sometimes be associated with an overload of mental capacity, the inability to concentrate or perform tasks to their normal ability. You might even notice behavioural changes, when someone takes time off work.

The symptoms that most people recognise are the physical ones. Muscle tension in shoulders, leading to tension headaches. The fatigue that follows the bad night of sleep.

We can only manage our own stress by identifying its source. The triggers can be work, family, finance and health to name a few.

There are many ways to manage stress, but I love the stress bucket.

If you imagine a bucket only has a certain capacity; so does our stress level.

We need to realise when our stress bucket it getting close to capacity. This will be very individual, but related to the points raised above.

My bucket is close to capacity when I think I need to lay down in a dark room on my own.  Of course, this isn’t always possible!

The idea is we build strategies into our lives to relieve some of the stresses and empty the bucket along the way, before it reaches capacity.

My go to is, the bath with lavender or roses or any bubbles I can find (not prosecco.)

Or, I might listen to a tune on my Ipod (any other MP3 acceptable.)

Yours may be a quick card make, a batch of biscuits, a watercolour or a minute in the garden listening to birdsong.