Stress and mental Health
Mental health is the way we look at ourselves and feel about things. Just like maintaining a positive level of physical fitness, looking after your mental health is very important.
It’s easy to get stressed out- most of us have lots of things going on in our lives like friends, school and family issues. Stress symptoms differ person to person but some common ones are: trouble sleeping, headaches, trouble concentrating and feeling angry, nervous or tense. As you start to become independent you have even more things to think about like work, studying, renting, bills and money issues. It’s completely normal to feel a bit stressed and overwhelmed at times. Sometimes it even takes feeling stressed to get us motivated! But as we’ve said before it’s not ok if feelings of stress and anxiety are dominating your life.
Ways of Preventing Stress
A good way of helping to prevent stress is to plan ahead. Knowing what triggers your stress can help you with dealing with it, or maybe even preventing it altogether. Often we will get stressed when we have too many things we have to deal with at once. So if you know you have lots of things coming up on the same day and you can get some of them done earlier that might help. Money can be a big stress so read the money section of the website to see how you can get organised to save yourself extra worry. Relationships can also be stressful. It can be really helpful to have someone to talk to when you’re having problems with friends, family, workmates and partners. You’ll find that some people are great listeners while others a probably just better for going out with and having fun. As you go you’ll learn what relationships make you stressed and what ones can help you when you’re stressed. Building strong relationships is so important for your mental health.
Ways of Dealing with Stress
As hard as you try it’s nearly impossible to completely avoid stress, so learning how to cope with it is very helpful. The first step in dealing with stress is actually identifying that you are stressed. If you are feeling stressed some things that might help are relaxation, talking to friends or trying to calm yourself down by thinking through the problem. Often when we calmly think about a problem we can see solutions that we can’t when we’re tense.
Depression is a common mental illness. It can be different for different people but some of the common symptoms are feeling sad, flat, worthless and tired, for a long period of time. If you’re constantly feeling flat or unhappy, and don’t know why, it is worth contacting Beyond Blue and Youth Focus . They are organisations that focus on helping people who are dealing with depression. They think that it is really important to try to prevent depression by being aware of early warning signs. Their websites will give you information on how to notice these signs and if necessary link you to support services. Or if you just need to talk to someone, or get some help with a difficult situation then the Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800 – 24hrs) is also really helpful.
Talk about it
Sometimes no matter how hard we try we just can’t make ourselves feel better. It is extremely important to seek help if you feel like you can’t deal with an issue by yourself, don’t keep it bottled up inside. People you could talk to are friends, family, teachers, coaches, neighbours or anyone you feel comfortable with. However, sometimes it may be easier to talk to someone outside your usual circles such as trained professional who deals with various issues all the time.
For more information and the names and phone numbers of mental health services near you go to the links section of the website for the WA Association for Mental Health. The headspace website has lots of information about mental illnesses including anxiety disorders and eating disorders.
Just remember, there’s nothing wrong with getting help. It shows that you know how to look after yourself, which is something all grown-ups should do!