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Stress and anxiety

Many people have experienced increased stress and anxiety in their roles during the COVID-19 pandemic. You may have faced new or different challenges in the work place, you may feel more isolated or you may just find yourself feeling worn down and exhausted. On top of the pressures we face at work, public health guidelines, such as social distancing can make us feel isolated and lonely. Everyone will have had different experiences and will have had different reactions at different times.

Here are some of the common signs of stress:

Typical feelings

  • irritable, aggressive, impatient or wound up
  • over-burdened
  • anxious, nervous or afraid
  • like your thoughts are racing and you can’t switch off
  • unable to enjoy yourself
  • uninterested in life
  • like you’ve lost your sense of humour
  • a sense of dread
  • worried about your health
  • neglected or lonely.

Typical behaviours

  • finding it hard to make decisions
  • constantly worrying
  • avoiding situations that are troubling you
  • snapping at people
  • biting your nails
  • picking at your skin
  • unable to concentrate
  • eating too much or too little
  • smoking or drinking alcohol more than usual
  • restless, like you can’t sit still
  • being tearful or crying.

Typical physical symptoms

  • shallow breathing or hyperventilating
  • you might have a panic attack
  • muscle tension
  • blurred eyesight or sore eyes
  • problems getting to sleep, staying asleep or having nightmares
  • sexual problems, such as losing interest in sex or being unable to enjoy sex
  • tired all the time
  • grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw
  • headaches
  • chest pains
  • high blood pressure
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • constipation or diarrhoea
  • feeling sick, dizzy or fainting.

Source: Mind UK

Useful resources

Headspace for mindfulness and relaxation techniques – currently free: Headspace for NHS

This is useful because: it’s a science-backed app in mindfulness and meditation, providing unique tools and resources to help reduce stress, build resilience, and aid better sleep.

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