April 19 – National Stress Awareness Day

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

It’s no coincidence that National Stress Awareness Day falls the day after tax day. I’ve also seen that April 19th is National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day, and that’s just another way to relieve the stress.

Stress is the body’s way of protecting itself from potential harm or a threat. So our bodies kick into high gear and stress is the result. The sensation isn’t necessarily a bad response. But over time our physical and mental health suffers, and it’s time to re-evaluate our lifestyle. A constant state of anxiety and feeling overwhelmed isn’t conducive to enjoying life.

I’m digging into what causes stress and what each one of us can do to lessen or eliminate it. According to the widely validated Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, the following are the top ten stresses that can make us sick!

  1. Death of a spouse
  2. Divorce
  3. Marriage separation
  4. Imprisonment
  5. Death of a close family member
  6. Injury or illness
  7. Marriage
  8. Job loss
  9. Marriage reconciliation
  10. Retirement

I’m adding financial problems, work, personal relationships, and raising kids.

We all have different personalities, and what may work for you to relieve stressors may not work for me, but here is my compilation of what I believe works to relieve the pressure stopping us from enjoying life.

  1. Prayer. Our relationship with God is all about communication. He already knows your stress, so unload the junk to the One who will help you through life’s challenges.
  2. Proper nutrition. Our bodies, including our brains, respond positively when we practice a healthy diet.
  3. Exercise. Exercise keeps us in shape mentally and physically. I exercise every morning ‘cause I know it’s a strong defense against the day’s challenges.
  4. Wise counsel. Talking to someone we trust about our problems is a great way to admit what’s bothering us and possibly gain insight on how to handle life. Don’t hesitate to seek professional counseling. It may save your life.
  5. Life approach. Sometimes we’re our worst enemy. If we demand from ourselves: perfection, a critical attitude, physical and mental neglect, or a refusal to rest . . . what can we expect?
  6. Learn how to relax. For the type-A personality (like me), taking time to relax requires planning, practice, and determination.
  7. Triggers. Make a conscious effort to be aware of the triggers that send stress into overdrive. When those triggers hit, choose a healthy response.
  8. Music. Music is a soul-soother. Close your eyes and bathe in the healing properties of listening to music.

Take a deep breath. The taxes are paid, and I plan to wear my pajamas all day!

How do you avoid stress? Let’s share!