April is Stress Awareness Month. According to the American Institute of Stress, opens a new window, "stress can be debilitating and it can cause/aggravate health problems."
The Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a list, opens a new window on healthy ways to deal with stress:
- Take care of yourself - this includes healthy eating, regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and giving yourself a break from stressful situations.
- Talk to others - communicate with family, friends, a professional counselor, your physician, or religious leader.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol - drugs and alcohol do not alleviate stress, instead they create additional problems and can increase stress.
- Take a break - take a break from watching the news if it is creating stress.
- Recognize when you need more help - if problems continue or suicidal thoughts are occurring, the CDC recommends talking to a psychologist, social worker, or professional counselor.
How can you take a proactive role in stress awareness with yourself and others? The Stress Management Society gives tips, opens a new window:
- Talk about stress and its effects - discuss the topic of stress openly with family, friends, and colleagues.
- Share your coping mechanisms - share your stress reducing methods with others.
- Be nice to those who are stressed and anxious - treat others with compassion and empathy.
- Look after yourself - self-care is important, and you should exercise, relax, meditate, and do something that you enjoy.
Disclaimer: This blog and any resources listed are not meant to replace professional advice or assistance from a physician, psychologist, or mental health counselor. Listed are a sample of selections to assist with stress management available through the St. Tammany Parish Library.