Stress Awareness Month

Is spring throwing curveballs at you? And not the good kind? That’s why April is Stress Awareness Month, where health care pros and patients can take an honest look at stress and how it affects us.

This is the perfect time to take a step back from the stressors of the day. A little stress can be good, but it’s also important to be aware of the unhealthy, long-term effects of too much stress on the body. Our daily routines increase stress and the likelihood of heart disease, obesity, acne, depression, anxiety and can even worsen ulcers. Though there’s no way to eliminate stress entirely, at American Family Care, we want you to understand ways to take control of your life by managing your stress!

Take a break. It may seem obvious, but not enough people take the time to wind down from the challenges of the day. The University of Sussex found that taking 5 to 10 minutes to do a little light reading or watch a YouTube video can lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Take this time to stretch your body out in order to make your muscles feel less tense.

Laugh a little. Having a good sense of humor can help lighten your load! The Mayo Clinicreported that laughter releases endorphins in the brain and is helpful for muscle relaxation. This is key to relieving stress. Allowing yourself to let out some laughs releases neuropeptides that help build a strong immune system.

Get more sleep. Getting the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night can be hard, but will help you keep life’s major stressors in check, according to Harvard University. You should aim to get an adequate amount of sleep every night in order to help your brain function during the day. The better your brain functions, the more equipped you’ll be to handle tasks.

Eliminate the clutter. There’s a reason why it’s called spring cleaning! Get started on eliminating the clutter in your house. Clearing a room can clear your mind. Tackle procrastination by thinking ahead and getting into the habit of writing a weekly schedule. Planning meals can improve your diet and help you avoid the 6 o’clock rush to make dinner.

At American Family Care, we aim to avoid any unnecessary stress for our patients by providing low costs and convenient on-site, state-of-the-art lab equipment. Now’s the time to relieve some stress by scheduling the checkups you may have been putting off and getting a clear picture of your health.