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Stress-Busting: Squeeze Out Stress Like a Sponge

Updated: Apr 1

Feeling like a soaked sponge, absorbing stress with every passing day? You're not alone! Daily pressures, whether at work or school, can be overwhelming. But there's good news! I'm sharing my top 3 Ways to Squeeze Out the Stress this April (and Beyond) to help you feel lighter and reclaim your calm, stress-free self!

In ceramics class, I was cleaning my pottery wheel, squeezing the water from a damp sponge. My mind churned with a thousand thoughts. Suddenly, one struck me with a jolt: humans are like sponges. Just like students, every one of those seven classes we endure adds another layer of stress. By the end of the day, we're mentally and physically heavy, like a waterlogged sponge. We desperately wring ourselves out, searching for ways to squeeze out that stress, but relief seems elusive.

And then it hit me! It's April, National Stress Awareness Month! The perfect time to write an article – 3 Ways to Squeeze Out the Stress This April (and Beyond)!

Just remember, if you're ever feeling stressed? You're not alone. In fact, studies show that stress is a daily battle for over half of Americans (55%).  The workplace is a particular pressure cooker, with a whopping 94% of workers reporting stress.  But it's not just adults – students are feeling the strain too. A staggering 50% of middle schoolers and a shocking 75% of high schoolers report constant academic stress. In the long-term, 77% of people feel stress that has some impact on their physical health, and 73% of people have their mental health impacted, showing we need to take collective action.

Just like a sponge, we can absorb stress from our daily lives – work deadlines, financial worries, family obligations.  While some stress can be motivating, chronic stress can take a toll on our physical and mental health.

Busted Myths & Misconceptions:

  • Myth #1: We're just passengers on the stress train. Fact: We might not be able to control everything that happens, but we can control how we react to it. The tips below are our stress-busting superpowers!

  • Myth #2: Talking about stress is a sign of weakness. Fact: Sharing your feelings with someone you trust is a sign of strength and a great way to manage stress. So don't bottle it up!

The good news? You have the power to manage stress and find peace. Here are 3 simple tips to help you de-stress and start feeling your best:

3 Practical Tips to Squeeze Out the Stress

  1. Sticky Note Self-Love: Start your day with a pep talk! Write positive affirmations on sticky notes and place them around your room or house. Throughout the day, catching a glimpse of "You've got this!" or "You're amazing!" can interrupt all those negative thoughts and boost your mood.

  2. Express Yourself, De-Stress Yourself: Find a way to release those bottled-up feelings of stress. Talk to a friend or family member, vent in a journal, or express yourself creatively. Whether it's drawing a fierce stress monster or writing an angry letter you'll never send, getting it out can make you feel heard, validated, and lighter.

  3. Unlock Your Inner Zen, The Power of 4-7-8 Breathing: Deep breathing is a powerful stress-reduction tool, but let's explore a specific technique called 4-7-8 breathing. Inhale for 4, hold for 7, exhale for 8. Repeat. This simple technique slows your heart rate and triggers a calming response in your body.

National Stress Awareness Month is a reminder to prioritize your well-being.  By incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you can effectively "squeeze out" stress and create a calmer, happier you!

Important Messages to Remember:

  • Stress is normal. We all experience it. It's part of life.

  • Your well-being matters. Taking care of yourself isn't selfish, it's essential for managing stress and thriving.

  • Small changes can make a big difference. Don't feel pressured to overhaul your entire life. Start with these simple tips and build from there.

But here's the good news: You're not alone, and you don't have to carry that heavy backpack forever.  National Stress Awareness Month this April is the perfect time to learn some tricks to lighten your load and find your inner peace.

Remember, taking care of yourself isn't selfish, it's essential for managing stress and thriving. Small changes can make a big difference. Start with these tips, and before you know it, you'll be squeezing out the stress and feeling lighter!  Here's to a calmer, happier you!

Looking for the perfect present to share with friends and family, or even yourself for the new year? Consider my Emotion Cards and Uplift Teens Today book! These gifts can help in the journey towards better mental health. Great thoughtful and kind gifts.

  • Uplift Teens Today: Coping Strategies for Mental Health (avail. on Amazon & Website).

  • Emotion Cards: Unveiling the Power of Emotions, One Card at a Time Card Deck (avail. on Website).


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