• Jace Shoemaker-Galloway

National Stress Awareness Day: Relax

Let’s face it. Many Americans are overworked, underpaid and just plain stressed out. Between work – if you happen to have a job – the kids, a slew of activities, never-ending errands, church and housework, there is little time in the day to kick back and enjoy!

April 16 is National Stress Awareness Day (NSAD), an annual “holiday” launched by the Health Resource Network in 1992. Coincidentally, National Stress Awareness Day usually occurs one day after Income Tax Day. And speaking of stress, the entire month of April is devoted to the issue - it's National Stress Awareness Month. Health care professionals and organizations around the country help raise awareness about the various causes and cures of stress.

Stressed Out

According to a recent survey by the American Psychological Association, the three main causes of stress for Americans is money, work and the economy. Being stressed out not only adds to your stress, it can be unhealthy too. In fact, stress can significantly affect your health. While some stress is a normal response, other stress has negative and harmful effects. Stress can contribute to headaches and stomach upset, can cause hair loss and impact sleeping habits, weaken your immune system and wreak havoc in your relationships. Stress is also linked to depression and heart disease as well.

While some situations, challenges and events are completely out of our control, learning how to manage whatever life throws at us is paramount to our health and mental well-being. It’s also important to remember that what works for one person may not work for another because we all react to stress differently.

In honor of National Stress Awareness Day, take some much deserved time for yourself today regardless of your jam-packed schedule. So sit back, kick your feet up, turn off all those electronic gadgets and relax.