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National Stress Awareness Month

April is National Stress Awareness Month, which provides a great opportunity to talk about the importance of finding ways to combat stress.

As parents of transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse little people we are running hot these days. The news, legislation, navigating healthcare, schools and just parenting are all a little extra challenging in the world today. It is important that we find ways to put the oxygen mask on, so we can be the best parents we can be. Whether it's finding ways to decompress to saving time and energy during the week by planning meals. It's important to recognize stress creeps up in all facets of our life and it's ok to admit it, talk about it, and ask for help if needed.

We all deal with stress, but it can impact our bodies in different ways, which can also make it difficult to define. The Mayo Clinic, amongst many others, claims that stress can cause physical symptoms such as headaches and digestive issues.

Stress is most often the reaction to a physical situation, which can be positive or negative. It can also impact members of marginalized communities, like LGBTQ, due to harassment, generational discrimination, and bias. But learning how to recognize and identify stress, can help us to manage (and maybe prevent it) in our life.

Ways to Combat Stress

  1. Move your body. Notice I didn't say exercise. Sometimes exercise can feel stressful in and of itself. So let's just call it "movement." Movement can help your body produce happy hormones which can in turn lower your stress.

  2. Spend time with someone you love. To be clear, pets count here. Spending time with someone you love can be an impactful way to reduce stress. Just make sure that your time together is not filled with stressful conversations.

  3. Plan some time off. Research shows that simply planning a vacation can lower stress. You don't even have to actually take the trip! But, we recommend that you actually make it happen if you can. Getting away can do wonders for the soul.

  4. Turn off social media. You've heard us say this before. Sometimes social media can be so defeating. Especially the comment sections of posts. Do yourself a favor and detox. Even a night off can help lower your stress levels.

  5. Get restorative sleep. Sleep deprivation is real. If you have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, consider talking to your doctor about some ways they can help you.

Simple? Not really. But remembering a few of these steps can help us identify and manage stress, which could also help improve our mood, health, and physical well being. What are you doing to combat your stress today?

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