April is Stress Awareness Month.
Not that we need a reason to know we have stress, amirite?
However, according to the Stress Awareness Month website, the purpose of this observance “is to inform people about the dangers of stress, successful coping strategies, and harmful misconceptions about stress that are prevalent in our society.”
So let’s take the opportunity to make April the time to focus on our health.
Remember, when dealing with stress and anxiety, you don’t have to do it alone. Seek out a therapist or doctor if you feel like your stress has become unmanageable, harmful, or unhealthy.
We all know that stress is a part of life. This pressure helps get the adrenaline rushing when meeting a work deadline or finishing a marathon. There is also temporary, situational stress, like when the kids drive you crazy, or a loved one is in the hospital.
There are many causes of stress, some more severe or are more long-term than others. It’s necessary to learn how to manage stress because that constant pressure puts a lot of wear and tear on your body, making it prone to illness. In fact, long-term chronic stress can lead to or aggravate more serious health problems.
5 ways to focus on your health and use self-care this month:
See your doctor.
If you have been putting it off, now is the time to schedule a physical, especially if you are experiencing physical symptoms, you haven’t had before. During your visit, discuss your stress with the doctor. He can provide help for managing stress, how to deal with physical symptoms and what to do if it gets progressively worse. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
I’m preaching to the choir here. This is the area where I fail most often. When I’m stressed, I’d rather just hide somewhere in the house with the door closed and read a book. However, physical exercise may be the better medicine. Physical activity may bump up the production of endorphins, those feel-good neurotransmitters. “Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being, which puts more pep in your step every day.” (The Mayo Clinic)
I am a little averse to the overused phrase: “self-care.” So, let’s say: Be good to yourself.
Self-care and keeping the mind active are essential.
This past year has been demanding and anxious for many of us because of COVID. Our family was no different. At our home, we have more people than before, all coming with different schedules, requests, and demands. Needless to say, I am tapped out. Thanks to my husband, an excellent sounding board, he encouraged me to develop new coping habits. Now I am better at scheduling alone time away from home and planning creative time in my craft room. It all helps me decompress and maintain some peacefulness and clarity.
Pray or meditate.
Meditation can mean different things to different people. Many meditate while walking or enjoying a morning cup of coffee. Some use a journal to record thoughts from the day, and others use yoga.
If you are a Christian, it is essential to have daily prayer. Ask God to guide you through the day, give you wisdom with decision-making, and provide peace. Reciting Bible verses aloud also helps.
Count your blessings.
I know. Cliché. But counting your blessings can lead to a more positive, healthier life. An attitude of gratitude fosters more positivity and calms the mind, helping you make better decisions.
What has worked for you to relieve stress?
Share it with us in the comments!
This article was originally published on my blog, Muses of a Mom, and reposted here with updates and additional information for the reader.
2 responses to “5 Tips for Managing Stress and Practicing Self-Care”
Great tips for managing stress, I especially like the list of Inspirational quotes. My favorite is the one by Dolly Pardon, If you don't like the road you're walking, start paving another one. I told that to my grandson a few years back when he was going down the wrong road. He now owns his own auto detailing business and is doing great!
I meditate daily and walk my dog, that helps a lot with stress.