April is Stress Awareness Month and while, by now, most of us are very aware of the health issues that stress can cause, this month exists as a great reminder for everyone just how detrimental stress can be.
In the American Psychological Associations’s annual survey about stress in America, the most common stressors were the future of our nation (63%), money (62%), work (61%), politics (57%) and violence and crime (51%). A majority (59%) of Americans across generations even consider this to be the lowest point in our nation’s history that they can remember.
It seems that Stress Awareness Month couldn’t come soon enough this year, but instead of re-hashing all of the reasons why stress is bad for you, we’re here to give you some tips that might help you reduce these feelings.
- Get outside and exercise. With the warmer weather, getting outside and doing any sort of exercise gets your endorphins going and helps release those feel-good neurotransmitters.
- Write it down. Keep a daily gratitude journal, write down a list of things you saw that make you happy, write down your frustrations and then shred or cut them up, pen a letter to a friend to see how they’re doing. Don’t keep it all bottled up!
- Jam out to your favorite music. Zone out, sing along, mouth the words, perform a concert for your mirror, and just give yourself time to be in the moment.
- Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. If you’re not sleeping well then you’re not giving your body enough time to reset and heal which makes you more prone to stress. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try our Worry Free Sleep meditation, or one of our many other sleep meditations!
- Talk to someone. It helps to vent your frustrations, be it to a therapist or a loved one. Make sure to listen to what their frustrations are too if you’re talking with a loved one! It might help you feel less alone and you might come up with strategies to help each other out.
- Be more mindful. It’s not an easy task, but being more mindful can give you perspective and help you realize the strength and ability you have to get through tough situations.
- Meditate. Meditation can help you shift perspectives, encourages mindfulness, and also is a great way to reset your day.
The common thread? Make sure you’re taking time for yourself. Self-care is important to lessening stress and can take any form you’d like – exercising, sleeping, watching your favorite TV show, meditating, listening to music, chatting with your friends, journaling, or something as simple as taking 5 minutes to take a break while at work. Focusing on yourself isn’t selfish – it’s necessary to maintaining a healthy life balance. Take this April, be aware of the stress you’re feeling and work to combat it to set you up for the rest of the year. We’re also always here to help, should you need it!
Have any tips for us? Let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org