Since 1992, the month of April has been dubbed National Stress Awareness Month, thanks to two dreaded words: “Tax Season.”
However, I’d like to remind you that we always kick-start this stressful month with a little silliness known as April Fool’s Day. So laugh it up! In fact, laughing relaxes the muscles for up to 45 minutes. Read all about it: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/03/30/april-fools-day-good-heart/. Laughing reduces stress hormones such as cortisol, and increases hormones like endorphins, which have been categorized as health-enhancing.
Now, regarding Tax Season, instead of blowing your entire tax refund on a shopping spree, invest it in your health. Put it towards a gym membership, dance classes, a family vacation, a romantic date night, or even a spa treatment! Spa Week, which officially takes places from April 16 to April 22, is an “event that allows you to enjoy luxurious full service spa treatments at the finest spas across North America for just $50!” Visit their site http://www.spaweek.com/learn-more/ to start booking appointments.
But what are some other ways we can kick that stress to the curb? Where do you start? Many of us have so much stress bottled up that its stressful just thinking about how stressed we are, right? Well, we all have to cope with it and we all have to start somewhere, so here are some tips http://www.hercampus.com/school/millersville/national-stress-awareness-month-tips-kicking-stress-curb from Amanda Reedy, a writer from ITT Tech:
- Learn to accept what you cannot change. Sometimes things are beyond your control.
- Change your perspective. Brainstorm solutions rather focusing on a continuous downward spiral of problems.
- Talk out your worries with someone you trust, or write it in a journal.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Balance work and recreation.
- Exercise; take time off.
- Take frequent breaks at work or throughout studying.
- Eat healthy.
- Organize your time. Even schedule time for you to relax.
- Change up the scenery. Work or study someplace new.
- Reward yourself after accomplishing a huge task. It can be as simple as buying a new nail polish or new socks.
- Use every resource for support. You’re never alone.
- Trust your abilities. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and build on them.
- Simplify your finances.
- Develop one healthy habit every month.
For those with more serious cases of stress, it’s always good to consider what the cause is. Perhaps you can make your tasks or situations more enjoyable by incorporating creative ways to relieve the aspects that cause you stress. Here’s a simple example: make a game out of reading the next chapter in that new book you bought before the load of laundry finishes!
Finally, it’s also important to realize that there will always be pressures in life. Although we can’t get rid of all the stressful moments in our lives, we can change the way we cope and react to them. And when we tweak aspects of our lives that contribute to stress, we are starting to take the necessary steps that enable us to embark down a path where weights are lifted off our shoulders and dark clouds above our heads start to vanish in the distance.
Oh… and ironically it is also National Humor Month. So celebrate every day by having a good laugh!