April is Stress Awareness Month
FROM CARRIE KUBACKI, HEALTH & WELL-BEING EDUCATOR, UW-MADISON DIVISION OF EXTENSION, LANGLADE COUNTY
Every year in April, Americans take time to recognize the impact stress has on our lives and to practice skills that can help us manage our stress and build our resiliency. The last year has been filled with much uncertainty, change and situations outside of our control. However, this does not mean our ability to cope with life has disappeared. This month offers the opportunity to consider what we do have control over and what we can all do on a regular basis to decrease our stress levels and increase our health and well-being.
Some basic steps to help manage our stress are as follows:
- Maintain a nutritious diet by following the MyPlate recommendations and drinking plenty of water (https://www.myplate.gov/).
- Get enough sleep and keep a regular bedtime. Be sure to follow a nightly routine that promotes relaxation.
- Engage in physical activity that supports your lifestyle and well-being. Any amount of physical movement can benefit our physical, mental and emotional health.
- Turn off technology. Take time away from cell phones, social media, and television news, especially if you notice it is causing emotional distress.
- Build social connection with others even if it means regularly scheduling phone calls, virtual meetings or physically distanced time together.
- Engage in hobbies and other activities that bring relaxation and joy.
The Langlade County Extension office is also offering some free, virtual programs to bring a focus to Stress Awareness Month. Please call (715) 627-6236 or visit https://langlade.extension.wisc.edu/for more information about these programs or to register.
- WeCOPE—a seven-week program for adults to build healthy coping strategies and resilience. Program begins on Thursday April 8 at 11:00 am or 6:00 pm.
- Understanding Stress—a 1-hour program for adults to gain an understanding of the biology of the stress response and practice basic coping strategies. Tuesday April 13 at 11:00 am or 6:00 pm.
- Strengthen Your Calm—a 1 ½- hour program for youth to build resiliency and mindfulness skills to help in managing stress. Wednesday April 28 at 6:30 pm.