Renfrewshire Council

Information on stress awareness and advice

Stress affects people differently - what stresses one person may not affect another. Understanding the different causes and signs is key to coping with stress.

Sometimes there's no single cause of stress. It might happen if small things build up over time, or due to a mix of things in both your work and personal life. How resilient you are at coping with these situations can affect how stressed you feel. How much support you have can also make a difference.

Spot the signs

Look out for the signs of stress in yourself and those around you. These can include:

  • A change in the way they think or feel e.g., mood swings; being withdrawn; loss of motivation, commitment, confidence; increased emotional reactions
  • A change in the way they act e.g., taking more time off, arriving for work later, being more nervous, making uncharacteristic mistakes, arguing with people, missing lunch and breaks
  • Physical changes e.g., lack of energy, headaches, aches and pains, eating more or less, tightness or pains in the chest
  • At work, arguments within teams, higher staff turnover, more complaints or grievances, more sickness absences and decreased performance can all indicate your colleagues are stressed.

Coping with stress

Tips for managing stress and knowing where to get further support can help you cope.

Self-help at work

Try some of these tips to help yourself cope when you are feeling stressed at work:

  • Talk to someone. Who would you consider is part of your support network, a colleague, your line manager, a union rep?
  • Can you manage your time differently? Prioritise your workload, set boundaries and be clear about what is and is not achievable. Factor in time for planning and concentrating on work that requires a lot of focus.
  • Set regular working hours, create your boundaries and stick to them. Take regular breaks, try to get outside, exercise and stop when it's time to finish. Keeping a healthy work and life balance is critical.

Self-help at home

Taking care of yourself when you aren't working can make a big difference. Try to:

  • Live a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and exercise. See our section on keeping physically active and healthy.
  • Get enough rest and sleep, relaxation techniques can really help.
  • Prioritise doing what you enjoy like spending time with people and in places that make you happy.
  • If you drink alcohol, keep it to a moderate level within safe limits.

Help and support

Check out the different sections throughout Our Wellbeing hub for advice and resources on taking care of your wellbeing. The section on looking after your mental health covers the different ways you can access support at work and highlights some of  the different organisations out there that can help you