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Did You Know April is National Stress Awareness Month?

Stress is a term everyone is all too familiar with. After all, it is the body’s natural and healthy response to external stimuli. However, when kept at alarming levels for extended periods of time, stress can have a negative impact on the whole body.

While stress is something everyone experiences, there is no single definition of stress. This only highlights how complicated stress can be; Not only are the ways in which people experience stress difficult, but talking about it can be even more challenging.

This is why it is essential that people recognize what stress looks like in themselves so that they can build resilience and familiarize themselves with healthy coping skills. Doing so can also push the conversation towards destigmatizing stress and actions towards seeking help when needed.

While it might seem counterintuitive to think about stress, this April, try reframing this experience as getting to know yourself better--through the good and the bad.

Life can get overwhelming and bring about strong emotions. So in the wake of traumatic events related to natural disasters, pandemics, racism and discrimination, and gun violence, it is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief and worry.

Here are some healthy coping skills to help guide you on your journey of getting to know yourself this April:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories and what you see on social media.

  • Nourish your mind, body, and soul

    • Engage in a hobby

    • Go for a walk

    • Listen to your favorite album

    • Encourage expression

  • Talk to friends, family, a counselor, or your religious leader about what’s on your mind.

Consider the following reflection prompt: How do I feel in my body right now? If I was talking to a five-year-old, how would I describe how I was feeling?

And if you haven't already, consider opting-in to a pathway this April. It's never too late to get started on your wellness journey!

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