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Stress Awareness Month: How Board Members Cope with Stress

April is Stress Awareness month. A little stress can be a good thing but too much stress can be harmful to both your body and mind. When you find yourself becoming too stressed, it is important to remember that it is okay to take a step back and pause to relax.

Everyone relieves stress in different ways. Here are some of the ways that members of the Board like to de-stress!

Courtney Stevens: “When I get stressed, my favorite thing to do is take my dog for a long walk. Spending time outside usually helps me clear my mind and seeing my little baby run around always makes my stress melt away.”

Amanda Roberge: “I’ve recently taken up running which I find very stress relieving, I also use a mediation app called relax melodies, and of course I’ll enjoy some chocolate!”

Andrea McKevitt: “When I feel overwhelmed, I take a deep breath and find music that speaks to me or I play Loca the pug video on YouTube.”

Jennifer Jackson: “When I get too stressed out, I go on my phone and play lots of candy crush LOL. It keeps my mind active and distracts me from what’s stressing me out. It sounds silly but it really decompresses me.”

Meredith O’Donnell: “When I get stressed, I like to take a moment, write down the things that are overwhelming me and figure out what I have control over and what I don’t - then I plan a way work everything out!”

Victoria Hogan: “Working full time and going to Law School Full time means that I get stressed out ALOT. I’ve taken up stress baking which has been a blessing and a curse. Nothing makes me happier than making a cute little dessert that I can share with my friends, family members, and coworkers. If for some reason that doesn’t do the trick, I watch a BUNCH of those “Heckin Goodboy” doggie videos on Facebook. Without fail this is the recipe for de-stressing.”

Robyn Sarette: “When I feel myself starting to tense up I take a few minutes for myself and meditate with help from the Insight Timer app. I pop in my earbuds and take a few minutes to listen to a free self-guided meditation. It really helps me turn myself around. Seriously, get the app haha!”

Amanda Cronin: “When I get stressed, I like to do some self-care regimens such as taking a bubble bath and putting a face mask on.”

Liz Jason: “The two things I enjoy doing the most when I am stressed out is either working out or reading.”

Kazia Bennett: “As tough as it is to get going, I love running for both it’s physical health aspect as well as how it can help clear my head. I always feel better after a run, no matter how slow I am!”

Lacy Cyr, a 9-1-1 operator: “When I take a bad call, I tend to take a deep breath and try to remember that I did everything in my power to help them, it is probably worst day of their life and I am the one that picked up the phone to help them. I usually will get up and pace around dispatch or find something crunchy to snack on or talk it out with my coworker. If that doesn't work, after work I will go home and relax on my couch watching tv.”

Whether you are stressed because of work, school, or are just generally feeling overwhelmed, it is okay to press pause and practice self-care. Although many of us feel inclined to put others’ needs before our own, we must remember to take care of ourselves first. In the words of flight attendants everywhere, “You must put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others”. Taking care of yourself is most important, if you don’t take care of yourself first how can you truly help others to the best of your ability?

By: Courtney Stevens, Associate Board Member

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