Ups and downs in life are normal, but what do you do when you really feel you can't cope?
We've asked the experts for advice on how best to deal with common problems that can be distressing, demoralising or worrying.
DON'T COME TOO CLOSE - I'VE GOT COLD SORES
Q: I dread occasions like Valentine's Day because I'm plagued by unsightly and embarrassing cold sores. It's really affecting my efforts to date and I can't cope. What can I do?
A: Marian Nicholson from the Herpes Viruses Association says: "Don't be over-sensitive about your cold sores - they'll always seem bigger to you than anyone else. Instead try to identify the triggers that provoke a cold sore so you can try and prevent them. For some people it's lack of sleep, alcohol, a poor diet, or sunlight.
"Even during the winter sun can be bright and using a sunblock on lips may help some sufferers."
A recent survey by online skin care company Skin Shop revealed that 27% of sufferers felt the embarrassment of a cold sore had ruined at least one Valentine celebration.
Nicholson points out that the herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores is extremely common - around seven out of 10 people in England alone - carry it.
"Most are unaware they have it as it may lie dormant and they never notice any symptoms, and only a quarter of people get the intermittent outbreak of a cold sore on the soft skin around the lips, mouth or nose area."
The virus is contracted from kissing, but can only be passed on when a cold sore is present, and cannot be caught through sharing cups, cutlery, or towels.
Nicholson says some products, such as Rinstead Adult Gel, Lypsyl Cold Sore Gel and Anbesol Adult Gel, can numb the skin and may help prevent a cold sore developing.
For more information, visit www.herpes.org.uk/coldsores.html or call 0845 123 2305.
MY BAD BACK MAKES ME MISERABLE
Q: Every winter my back plays up and I get nagging, uncomfortable pain that makes me miserable and bad tempered. I can't cope with the thought of more months of discomfort. What can I do?
A: Leading osteopath and author of The Good Back Guide, Barrie Savory, whose celebrated clients include Sean Connery and the Duke of York, says you're not alone.
"Recurrent winter backs are incredibly common," he says.
"When the body's blood circulation slows because of the drop in temperatures, any incipient lower back problem will come to fore and result in aches and pains.
"So exercise is key to increase the blood supply, which feeds the muscles that support the back. Gentle movement will also improve venous drainage so you get rid of lactic acid and toxins which can silt up the veins and slow blood flow."
Savory suggests incorporating back-boosting exercise into your day. Walk up stairs instead of using the lift, or get off the bus one stop earlier than you need so you get a 10-minute or more brisk walk.
"Also, as you stand around, for instance, waiting for a kettle to boil or at a bus stop, then pull in the tummy muscles, hold the pelvic floor as if trying to stop passing water and tighten the buttock muscles. Hold for a minute, relax and repeat several times to help tone the core muscles that support the back.
"Keep the body warm by wearing lots of layers, and a heat therapy product may improve circulation and relieve joint stiffness and muscle spasms."
Keep cosy with a Thermacare one-size heat wrap, which can be worn under clothes and costs £5.86 for two wraps (0800 169 1700/www.thermacare.co.uk).
MY BROKEN HEART IS REALLY PAINFUL
Q: I've suffered from angina for eight years and it has become so severe I find it difficult to manage to walk further than 50 metres. I often experience tight pains in my chest and even making a cup of tea leaves me breathless. Is there anything that can be done that doesn't involve surgery to improve my quality of life? I don't think I can cope much longer.
A: There are estimated to be around two million sufferers of angina, a pain or discomfort in the chest usually caused by coronary heart disease. (February is National Heart Month).
Dr Richard Fuller, medical practitioner at The Dove Clinic for Integrated Medicine, says: "Angina is a crippling condition, which affects every aspect of your daily life and you're right when you refer to surgical procedures such as a heart bypass or angioplasty which can often be effective, but many people feel are their only hope.
"However, there is a non-invasive option which has benefited thousands of people around the world, called Enhanced External Counterpulsation Therapy (EECP).
"The treatment works by 'counter pulsating' blood back to the heart, helping to relieve it of its load on the next beat, and increasing blood supply to the heart muscle. Special cuffs are placed around your legs and upper thighs and a light, squeezing pressure is placed on your legs.
"It takes around one hour, and the treatment course lasts just over a month. Many people feel benefits from EECP as often as a week after their treatment and find themselves able to walk further, do more and reclaim back the quality of life that they once thought they had lost."
For more information, visit www.eecp.co.uk.
MONEY WORRIES ARE KEEPING ME AWAKE
Q: Nowadays I spend every night awake tossing and turning with head full of worries about the credit crunch. Then I'm so tired in the day I struggle to cope. What can I do?
A: Leading sleep expert Dr Chris Idzikowski, from the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, says it's essential to confront your problems.
"If you are having bad dreams, ask yourself what is causing them," he says.
"Write down your worries on a piece of paper and keep it next to the bed and this will help stop you mentally churning them endlessly around.
"Resolve to put them aside while you rest and deal with them in the morning."
He also advises establishing a healthy sleep routine. Have a bath an hour before your bedtime have a bath, listen to soothing music, avoid alcohol and the stimulation of television, and try to go to bed at the same time each night.
A survey of 4,000 Britons by nocturnal muscle cramp treatment Crampex revealed that people are currently waking up on average three times a night, and one in four blame money worries on bad dreams.
For sleep advice, visit www.goodsleepadvice.com.
MY EARS ARE RINGING AND IT'S DRIVING ME MAD!
Q: I've recently developed a buzzing, ringing sound in my ears that won't go away and it's driving me mad. I can't cope with it, what can I do?
A: Consultant audiological scientist David Baguley is professional advisor to the British Tinnitus Association, which is sponsoring National Tinnitus Week (February 9-15, 2009).
"You may have tinnitus, which is a sensation of a sound in the ear, usually a ringing noise, although it can be high-pitched whistling or buzzing or hissing," he says.
"It can be very distressing and affect sleep, concentration and mood."
Tinnitus is thought to be triggered by underlying problems, including diminished hearing due to ageing, earwax, high blood pressure and anxiety, but in many cases the cause is unknown.
There are around seven million sufferers, including children and young people.
"There's a widespread belief that nothing can be done, when in fact there are a number of tried and tested approaches to therapy which can be effective," Baguley says.
"In the last three years there's been a major resurgence in research, and several approaches involving drug treatment are being investigated. The possibility of treating tinnitus using magnetic stimulation of the brain has also been tested and seems to be promising.
"Get an interested and informed medical opinion," he advises.
"Also, many people benefit from the use of low-level environmental sound. There are many inexpensive devices that allow you to get off to sleep using soothing sounds, like the sound of rain."
For more information, visit www.tinnitus.org.uk or call 0800 018 0527.