Imagine we all have a glass, and everything that creates stress adds water to that glass. The more stress, the higher the water level. Some issues add a lot of water, some not so much. If you don’t take steps to reduce it, it will overflow.

So you’re a young person – there has been a lot going on at home, your friends aren’t being that supportive, you don’t have much money and you can’t ask your parents. Someone made a nasty comment on social media this morning. You’ve got loads of work to do and no idea when you’re going to get it done. Then you go to class. Your teacher gives you another assignment. You just want to cry. You go home, straight to your bedroom and shut yourself away.

The problem isn’t just the assignment – it’s everything else that is taking up room in the glass. Letting it overflow can lead to more serious problems.

What can you do about it? Find ways to take some water out:

Talk – talking through stressful issues can help them to feel more manageable.

Self-care – have a bath, make time to relax and do things you enjoy.

Take small steps – breaking things down into small steps can help them to feel more achievable.

Exercise – even just a regular short walk can help you to feel better.

Be creative – write, draw, make something.

Mindfulness – find ways to manage your thoughts and keep them in perspective. Breathing exercises, focusing on what you can see or hear are helpful.

If you do one thing for yourself on National Stress Awareness Day, spend some time looking at how high the level of water is in your glass. Plan what you can do to reduce it and make some changes before it overflows.