Coping with stress

Identify and deal with mental and emotional pressure

Easy activities to reduce stress symptoms and feel less lonely

What is stress?

The NHS describes stress as 'the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure.' It produces physical and mental symptoms, but affects people differently.

Everybody can experience stress. If you are seriously concerned about your stress level, visit your doctor or call 111.

Work through these questions below to help you understand how you feel about stress:

  1. What does stress mean to you? Write down, draw or think about five things that make you think of stress.
  2. What feelings or thoughts do these five things suggest?
  3. How has thinking about stress made you feel?
  4. What could you do to help you manage stress well?

Reducing stress

Think about ways of reducing stress. Which of the following work best for you and why?

  • healthy eating
  • good sleeping patterns
  • physical exercise or activities
  • breathing and relaxation exercises
  • managing your time well
  • talking to people
  • helping people.

Visit the NHS or Mind websites for more information on stress and advice on coping.

30 second relaxation

Close your eyes. Imagine yourself somewhere calm like the beach, the woods or at home. Breathe slowly and deeply as you picture the scene. Do this for 30 seconds.

How did you feel when you were picturing a calm scene? How could you remember that feeling when you are stressed? When might you use this activity?

Wellbeing first aid toolkit for adults

Wellbeing Pack

Explore more information and activities to help you manage stress, cope with change and boost your wellbeing with our toolkit. It’s full of helpful tips and skills to build your resilience.

You can order printed copies or download the pack to read online.

Helping others

Helping others can make you feel less stressed.

One way is by listening actively.

Can you think of more ways to help others? Who would you help?

A man and female British Red Cross volunteer talk and listen to each other over a cup of tea.