Feeling overwhelmed? Join the club—and take advantage of Stress Awareness Month as a time to create a better balance in your life.
Before you roll your eyes at the idea, think about the fact that while you can’t control how much stress winds up on your plate, you always can choose how you react to it. That feeling of being in charge can overcome some of the scary parts, even right now.
Time to Understand
Based in Maryland, The Health Resource Network is a nonprofit health education organization and the founding sponsor of Stress Awareness Month, which it launched in April 1992. The 30-day event is designed to dispel society’s mistaken perceptions about stress, raise awareness of its toxic effects, and highlight the beneficial impact of coping strategies.
The Health Resource Network dedicates the month of April to bringing professional resources to together to increase public awareness of stress’s causes and cures. The organization’s founder, internist Dr. Morton C. Orman, has spent decades teaching people how to eliminate stress rather than manage it.
Too Much Stress
Like pepper, a little bit of stress goes a long way. And although some forms of stress can stem from positive events like planning a wedding or preparing for a birth, too much stress for too long can lead to health problems.
Americans experience stress involving everything from money and work to relationships and self esteem. More than three-fourths of Americans report physical symptoms that result from stress, while a third rate their stress levels as extreme, and nearly half say that stress has damaged their personal and professional lives.
Finding Coping Strategies
We’re sure that everyone’s stress has climbed recently as all of us react to the uncertainty of how long COVID-19 will remain at the forefront of our lives. That makes this Stress Awareness Month a great opportunity to reflect on how you feel, examine how you’re coping with those feelings, and think about ways to make your current situation more manageable.
Helping Children Cope
If you’re a parent, remember that your attitudes and actions get through to your kids, even if they’re too young to understand what’s bothering you. Find ways to talk as a family about what you’re going through and remind youngsters that if they’re worried about something they hear or see, they can come to you with their concerns instead of bottling them up.
Take that advice for yourself, too, and remember to talk with family and friends. Trading notes about these worries can help ease the stress and lead you to shared solutions.