I write this article under pressure: I returned from vacation recently and still feel like I’m playing catch-up. Poor me, I know. I have several deadlines looming and even this article was due yesterday. Nothing like last minute, right?

In recognition of Stress Awareness Month, I’m taking a minute to breathe and asking you to do the same. I mean really bbbbrreeeeeeaaattthhhheeee – not just a quick breath, but one of those deep, shoulder relaxing, cheeks puffed out, mind cleansing kind of breaths.

Unfortunately, for almost all of us, stress is a normal part of the human existence. It’s not a laughing matter and, if left unchecked, can lead to much bigger issues. According to an done in 2017, the most common sources of stress among Americans were:

  • The future of our nation – 63% respondents mentioned
  • Money – 62%
  • Work – 61%
  • Political climate – 57%
  • Violence/crime – 51%

Now, look at the past year and imagine how those numbers have changed. You’re stressing out about it yourself, aren’t you?

As a parent, it’s surprising to me how early stress sneaks its way into our life’s. While researching for this article, I was grateful to find that the advice I recently gave my 10-year-old is one of the most common suggestions for overcoming stress: recognize that you don’t have control and let it go. I know that’s easier said than done in a lot of situations, but consistently reminding yourself could go a long way to improving your stress levels.

I hope as you deal with the stressors in your life, you have a trusted friend, family member, or counselor you are comfortable speaking with. If you’re a PMG employee, know that you have access to our Employee Assistance Program – free access to counseling for anything that might be causing you stress (see your manager for details).

For more expert advice on coping with stress, check out the CDC’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/about/copingwith-stresstips.html 

Beth Bangtson, HR Manager