The entire month of April is stress awareness month. Stress plays a large role in one's mental health. As things get back to "normal" you may not feel normal, and that's okay. Recent polls have shown that many areas are seeing higher stress.

Iowa has ranked in the top 5 on multiple polls as one of the least stressed states in America. While Illinois has seen rankings in the 30s. No matter where you are, it is important to remember what you are feeling is okay, and you shouldn't feel guilty.

This month is all about facing stress.

Stress can be debilitating, and it can cause and/or aggravate health problems. And since stress is a normal part of human existence — nobody is immune to it — it’s important to arm ourselves with knowledge so that we recognize when stress rears its ugly head.

There are a few tricks to observe stress awareness month,

1. Practice meditation - According to NT One of the most effective ways to deal with stress is to learn how to silence the mind. Meditation is one of the most popular methods of achieving this quiet.

2. Exercise - Getting some fresh air and exercise into your daily routine is very helpful for some.

3. Visit your doctor - This one is a bit overlooked, but making an appointment this month could be very beneficial.

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This month is a great time to make the steps to helping your mental health.

"Stress Awareness Month is a national, cooperative effort to inform people about the dangers of stress, successful coping strategies, and harmful misconceptions about stress that are prevalent in our society."

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