April is National Stress Awareness Month! Stress happens. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, at time it’s unbearable. That’s why taking time for yourself is invaluable. A natural disaster, traumatic event or sudden loss can turn your life upside down in an instant. It’s normal to experience stress, anxiety and grief in these situations. However, it’s not healthy to keep those feelings bottled up in the weeks and months that follow.

It’s healthy to relax, renew and rejuvenate. Be sure to carve out some time to relax and take care of yourself each day—even just 10 to 15 minutes per day can improve your ability to handle life's stressors. Also, remember that exercise is an excellent stress reliever.

Everyone has different ways they like to relax and unwind.

Here are 9 tips for managing stress:

  • Read a book
  • Have a cup of tea
  • Express gratitude
  • Play some music
  • Detach from media
  • Give back
  • Meditate
  • Do yoga

While you can't avoid stress, you can minimize it by changing how you choose to respond to it. The ultimate reward for your efforts is a healthy, balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun. Let’s all take a collective deep breath. We will get through these challenging times.