Stress. Most if not all of us experience it at some point in our lives. This past year we have shared the burden of stress from the coronavirus pandemic. It was not just something we saw on the TV news or read about online and in newspapers. The pandemic permeated our daily lives. Work, school, family, recreation.

Chances are we put everyone else first and ourselves last. Experts advise that self-care is a good way to reduce stress. If we can manage our own stress, then we are in a better position to care for those around us.

April is Stress Awareness Month. Though the recognition started in 1992, the topic could not be more relevant today in the midst of the pandemic. Stress Awareness Month reminds us to take the time to realize that we are under pressure, to recognize the reasons why we are worried and to figure out how to manage it all.

Experts like Dr. Francoise Adan of University Hospitals of Cleveland say self-care is a critical step in handling daily burdens. Some of the advice is pretty simple – exercise regularly, get enough sleep, eat fresh fruits and vegetables, walk outside to observe nature, take a break from computers and phones and, when possible, spend time with family and friends. Take time to listen to others who need our support.

This all could be overwhelming, experts say, so don’t hesitate to reach out for professional guidance.

We also could look inward for self-care with meditation or writing down our feelings in a journal. The worldwide impact of this virus is enormous, out of our reach, experts say. So, focus on what we can control or change.

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