Shirley’s Mental Health Blog – November 2021

Learn about the impacts of stress…

Hi everybody,

So with Halloween behind us, the winter is definitely setting in. The clocks have gone back and the nights are becoming darker and longer. For those of you that know me well or that read my blog regularly, you will know that this is the time of year is the time I generally dread. Last year it was acceptable for everyone to get the Xmas decorations out of the loft early and light up their home with pretty coloured lights and decorations, and I am hoping this will happen again this year, as it definitely helped me through.

The beginning of November was International Stress Awareness Week, which was created in 2018 to raise awareness about stress prevention. Now this has developed into a major annual event focusing on stress management and campaigning against the stigma associated with stress and mental health issues. Their website is here.

National Stress Awareness Day fell on 3rd November this year, and was 24 hours of reinforcing the fact that you’re not doing yourself a favours by stressing about situations you can’t control. In fact, according to the science, chronic stress, or the failure to deal with it for a long time, can lead to life-threatening problems, from hypertension, heart diseases, decreased immunity, loss of sociability, and decreased mental ability. Stress is not to be taken lightly!

So what causes stress?

It is our body’s automatic response to pressure, commonly known as the “fight or flight” response. The main causes of stress are; “chronic illness or injury, emotional problems including depression, anxiety, anger, grief, guilt, low self-esteem; taking care of an elderly or sick family member, a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, theft, rape, or violence against you or a loved one.

Some of the psychological and emotional signs that you’re stressed out include:

  • Depression or anxiety
  • Anger, irritability, or restlessness
  • Feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, or unfocused
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Racing thoughts or constant worry
  • Problems with your memory or concentration
  • Making bad decision



Are you in stress or eustress?

Scientists like to refer to “good stress” as eustress.

It affects everyone differently

Unlike other conditions, stress has different symptoms for different people so you can’t really tell when you’re experiencing stress.

It’s the “silent killer”

Stress is also classified as the silent killer because it’s usually the root cause of most heart diseases.

It causes hair loss

If you’re going bald, you’re likely going through stress unless, of course, you’ve turned 50.

Laughing is the remedy

It is scientifically proven that laughing lowers stress hormones and triggers the onset of “good,” health-enhancing hormones.

The good news is there are lots of things we can do to help or relieve stress, including; mindfulness, exercise and laughing. If you would like to find out more ways to combat stress you can find it here at the Stress Management Society.

If you want to share your stories of your own particular experience of mental health and what has helped you, or if you would like to contribute to the blog you can reply directly or e-mail me on

It would be great to hear from you.

In the meantime don’t stress, and stay safe.


About Shirley:

I have been a mental health nurse for 28 years. I work in the Health and Wellbeing Team, and my main role is to facilitate mental health and related subjects. I also facilitate epilepsy and emergency rescue medication training. I provide support and consultations to managers and teams supporting individuals with complex needs and mental health difficulties. This blog is written to encourage people to start talking about mental health, in order to raise awareness and reduce stigma.