April is a time of year when the world is just starting to wake up again after the long winter. However, between tax season, spring cleaning, and the many other demands that the month brings, it can also be a very stressful time of year. It makes sense that April is both the National Month of Hope and National Stress Awareness Month! Finding ways to foster hope and optimism and finding ways to relax and beat stress go together very well, and the month of April is the perfect time to focus on these things. Here are some strategies you can use during the National Month of Hope and National Stress Awareness Month this year!
Clean Up a Local Space
Getting outside and moving your body is a great way to help reduce stress. It increases your endorphins, which helps you to feel good, and lowers hormones like cortisol that can make you feel worse mentally and physically. At the same time, finding ways to beautify your environment, like cleaning up trash or planting flowers, is a great way to spread some smiles around, especially in the springtime! Whether it’s your own yard or a local park or beach, get outside, breathe some fresh air, and spend a little time tidying up. Your body and your community will thank you!
Give to Those in Need
Spreading a little compassion around is not only good for people in your area who are in need and could use the extra support– it’s also good for you, increasing your satisfaction and sense of well-being. Volunteering or donating is always a worthwhile activity, so whether you’re reading at a local school, bringing supplies to a nearby soup kitchen or homeless shelter, or just giving some money to a charity that means a lot to you, giving back is a good way to celebrate the National Month of Hope while also giving yourself a bit of a boost.
Find Ways to Relax
When deadlines, chores, and the many other sources of stress in your life are all bearing down on you, it can be difficult to make the time required to take care of yourself. However, the results will be more than worth it if you do. This month, set aside a little time to relax and be in the moment. This can include meditating, using aromatherapy tools like oil diffusers or candles, reading, journaling, or any other activity that you find helps you to unwind and feel more ready to take on the day. Taking a moment or two to reduce stress will positively impact your mental and physical health in so many ways!
Spend Time with Family and Friends
There’s no better way to reduce stress and spread hope and happiness in one shot than to spend some quality time with the people you love. It will help you all to have a sunnier and more positive outlook on life, getting your mind off the sources of stress that you have to deal with, and engaging in meaningful and healthy communication with your loved ones is one of the best possible ways to spread goodness around! Make time for each other this April, and watch the positive effects come rolling in!
This year, finding ways to celebrate the National Month of Hope and National Stress Awareness Month can lead to you becoming a happier, healthier person overall, improving your mental health as well as your physical wellbeing. If you’re interested in other ways to improve your mental health this year, make sure you check out our treatment options at the TMS Center of the Lehigh Valley!