Take a Stress Break

We’re stressed. A 2012 report from the American Psychological Association proves it. Even though reported stress levels have been dropping since 2007, stress levels are still high. Americans report extreme stress at 22 percent in 2011. As the survey notes, “these findings are indicative of a serious trend that could have long-term consequences on people’s health.”

Some other interesting findings:
– When stress occurs, only 29 percent say they are doing an excellent or very good job at managing or reducing it.
– Significant sources of stress include money (75 percent), work (70 percent), the economy (67 percent), relationships (58 percent), family responsibilities (57 percent).
– When it comes to managing stress, about 47 percent report walking or exercising as their stress relief.

Do we even realize how stressed we are? If not, take a moment on April 16 and assess your stress because it’s National Stress Awareness Day.

If you’re feeling tension in your neck and knots in your stomach, let us offer some stress busters:
– Walk or jog through one of our many city parks. Simply getting outside, soaking up some sunshine and breathing some fresh air can make a difference. Enjoy the peace and quiet or fire up your iPod with some favorite music and try to think about, well, nothing.
– Act like a kid. Run, jump, swing, slide and just let loose of some steam. Bring your kids with you as a “cover” or come alone (we’ll pretend we don’t notice).
– Garden in the parks or in your own garden. We have plenty of opportunities for you to volunteer with us in the flower beds and gardens in the parks. There’s something about the feeling of dirt between your fingers that helps you connect with nature and forget the world around you. Especially if you work indoors all day, this is a great way to get a change of scenery and some fresh air. We love volunteer groups – so grab some co-worker sand come on out!

What are some ways you beat stress? Do you spend time outdoors?

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