Did you know that April is national Stress Awareness Month?
If you’re like me, when you read that you probably laughed and said something along the lines of, “Do I really need to be more aware of my stress?”
The answer is, yes. You do. Because knowing you’re stressed is half the battle.
5 Ways To Shed The Stress This April!
These days there’s always something to worry about. The state of our country. Making sure dinner isn’t burned. Ensuring you’re still able to make rent. Keeping children from chopping off limbs. Let’s face it, there’s an unending supply of stuff to be stressed out about.
Here’s the thing: stress happens.
We’ve all been there.
I’m not a health professional, but even I know that the prolonged state of being stressed out will lead to health issues. It might just be a really awful headache, or worse.
That’s why it’s important to take time to not only recognized that, hey, you’re stressed out, but do something about it. I know, some of you are yelling at me in your heads that you’re spinning a dozen plates, if any of them fail your life is over. I get it. I’ve been there. File this away for a later time when you’ve Wonder Womaned one of those plates to being served up with awesomesauce.
For the rest of you, do something about being stressed.
1. Admit you’re stressed.
Acknowledging you’ve got an issue is always the first step. Last year I was facing more stress than I’ve ever felt in my life. I was stepping out on my own, becoming my own boss, and you know what? I couldn’t do it all. I had to step back and admit that…things had to change.
2. Learn to identify what stresses you out.
Look, I’m not going to tell you to not be stressed out. Reading up on my own stressed seeing the, “Just stop worrying about stuff outside your control,” advise about put me through the roof. A better alternative? Learn how to identify what stresses you out. For me, I was Big Time Stressed about a lot of things…that all boiled down to I was scared I wouldn’t be able to pay the mortgage. I don’t know why that’s my number one fear, but it is. It’s never been an issue, but that’s what stresses me out.
3. Once you know what stresses you out, you can decide:
- Is this something I can control?
- Or is this outside my control?
If it’s something within your ability to control you can make contingency plans. You can make lists about potential solutions. You can seek advise. There are lots of different ways to take action if you know what it is that’s bothering you.
If it’s something outside of your control, that’s more difficult, but not impossible. If you’re a touchy-feely type, you could write the issue on a piece of paper and burn it. You could practice meditation or do yoga exercises with an emphasis on expelling that negative energy.
Which takes me to…
4. Find activities that help de-stress you.
Yoga and meditation are high on the often recommended list of relaxing exercises. I like them, but my mind drifts and I end up right back on my cycle of what to do about the thing?
Some people like those hot, sweaty, work-it-out solutions.
I like to knit.
Seriously. I find knitting, focusing on the repeated patterns, touching the yarn, very soothing.
5. If all else fails, talk to a doctor.
Seriously. There is no shame in talking to a doctor to get your stress under control. Some people are caught in the stress cycle. They can’t get free on their own. Getting help allows some relief for true progress to be made.
Stress is part of life. We’re all going to feel it at times, it’s how we handle it that matters.
What’s your go-to de-stressing activity?