January is widely recognised as the most stressful time of year as cold weather, economic gloom and an end to Christmas festivities conspire to place us under strain.
Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure. And coupled with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, it is the reason for one in five visits to GPs.
Stress can affect people from all walks of life as illustrated by the recent withdrawal of England test cricketer Jonathan Trott from the Ashes series in Australia.
Now, a Derbyshire health organisation has urged people feeling stressed this month to follow in Trott’s footsteps by taking control of their emotions.
NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) this week recommended 10 simple stress busters.
Here are its top 10 tips:
Be active – exercise helps you deal with your problems more calmly
Take control – it’s crucial to finding a solution that satisfies you and not someone else
Connect with people – a problem shared is a problem halved
Have some me time – set aside a couple of nights a week to leave work at a reasonable hour and do something you enjoy (the UK works the longest hours in Europe)
Challenge yourself – do something new such as learning a language or a new sport
Avoid unhealthy habits – don’t rely on alcohol, smoking and caffeine as ways of coping
Do volunteer work – helping people who are worse off than you will put your problems in perspective
Work smarter, not harder – concentrate on the tasks that will make a real difference to your work
Be positive – be glass half full instead of glass half empty
Accept the things you can’t change – and concentrate on everything you have control over.
Dr Sheila Newport, Chair of NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG, said:
“We all have mental health, like we all have physical health. Both change throughout our lives. And, like our bodies, our minds can become unwell.
“Mental health problems might actually be more common than you think. One in four of us will be affected by mental illness in any year. The effects are as real as a broken arm, even though there isn’t a sling or plaster cast to show for it.
“Spotting the early signs of stress will help you figure out ways of coping and stop you adopting unhealthy coping methods such as drinking or smoking. There are many things you can do to manage stress more effectively such as learning how to relax, taking regular exercise and adopting good time-management techniques.”
For lots of sound advice on stress, visit NHS UK and search for “stress management”.
The CCG plans and buys healthcare for 525,000 patients.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG represents 57 GP practices and is responsible for the healthcare of 525,000 people. It is one of four clinical commissioning groups in Derbyshire.
Charles Malkin, Communications Officer
Tel: 01246 514971/07825 274111