Orange County Insight April 2021

April is Stress Awareness Month

By Michelle Williams, Deputy Clerk / Senior Administrative Assistant

How Stress Affects Your Body

Stress Awareness Month was first created in 1992 for health care professionals to promote awareness about causes and cures for the stress epidemic that plagues our country. There are two types of stress: eustress - stress in daily life that has positive connotations such as marriage, promotion, baby, or winning money, and distress - stress in daily life that has negative connotations such as divorce, negative feelings, injury, or work difficulties. Both stresses can be experienced acutely or chronically. The American Institute of Stress (AIS) describes acute stress as fight or flight. “ The body prepares to defend itself. It takes about 90 minutes for the metabolism to return to normal when the response is over. ” Chronic stress is described as “ the cost of daily living: bills, kids, jobs. This is the stress we tend to ignore or push down. Left uncontrolled, this stress affects your health – your body and your immune system. ” The American Institute of Stress (AIS),, offers information, resources, and training for stress and stress management. In addition, AIS provides resources for active duty and retired military coping with Combat/ Operational Stress (COS) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In an article from AIS ’ s Daily Life Blog, Effective Ways to Manage and Relieve Your Stress , recommends relieving stress by: • Prioritizing movement and exercise for stress relief. • Creating boundaries and learning when to switch off work. • Staying hydrated. • Getting quality sleep. • Reassessing your to - do list and set goals. • Reaching out for social support.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) also offers helpful articles and fact sheets such as 5 Things You

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Should Know About Stress , which reminds you:

Stress affects everyone. Not all stress is bad.

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Long - term stress can harm your health. There are ways to manage stress. If you ’ re overwhelmed by stress, ask for help from a health professional.

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Other great articles from NIMH: •

Feeling Stressed? Ways to Improve Your Well - Being. Manage Stress and Build Resilience I ’ m So Stressed Out! Fact Sheet Feeling Stressed? Stress Relief Might Help Your Health

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Stress Catcher (great for kids!)

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