Stress Awareness Month

April is Stress Awareness Month, something that has taken place since 1992. Stress is something we all suffer from. Too much stress can be a bad thing though. It can even affect your health. It can cause minor problems like headaches to more serious problems like stomach disorders, depression, and can even increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Stress is something I suffer from quite frequently. It has affected my health by giving me headaches, causing sleep problems, and even contributing to a stomach disorder called Gastritis that I was diagnosed with a few years ago and still suffer from. Stress has caused me to have anxiety and even stress-eat. Stress-eating is something that isn’t hard to do when I’m overwhelmed with work, school, and trying to keep up with my first apartment.

After not dealing with massive amounts of stress well the past few months, I have decided to find new ways to help me cope with it. I graduate from university in a few weeks, so that will automatically lessen my load and make my life much easier. I got myself a gym membership (finally) and have been trying to go a few days a week. It’s been going well, and I have been doing 1-3 miles on the exercise machines each time I’m there. When the weather is nice, I will take my dog for a walk to the park and through downtown. My international friends from work who were gone the past few months, are back and I’ve even made a few new friends, so I feel like I have much more of a social life. I even took off a week from work to go on a vacation to Cape Cod I planned for myself and my best friend who is coming to visit me for the first time in 6 years.

For those suffering from stress like me, I would recommend trying to implement things into your life that can alleviate your stress levels. This could be getting a gym membership like me or exercising some other way like walking, Zumba, yoga, or playing sports. Exercise works wonders on stress and will always make you feel better. It can lift your spirits and make you feel accomplished. Another way to alleviate stress is making time to do things you enjoy. This can mean reading, writing, sports, traveling, cooking, or any other activity that makes you happy. Traveling is a nice way to get away from stress (usually). I always feel relaxed when I travel and enjoy getting away. New York and Arizona are my two favorite getaways, places I feel at home at. Cape Cod will be something new, somewhere I haven’t been, and that is another nice aspect of traveling. It can be somewhere you have been many times or somewhere new, but each time it’s a new adventure. My last recommendation for those suffering from stress is to make time for your social life. If you are stressed out, like me, it’s usually because there’s a lot going on in your life and that usually mean a negative impact on your social life.

No matter what’s going on, it’s important to make time for friends and family because spending time with them should alleviate your stress. Whether it’s stopping by to visit your family or going out somewhere with your friends, it will make you feel better and decrease your chances of getting depressed from a lack of socializing.