April is Stress Awareness Month


By Suzie Bravo | Client Services Manager | Atlas

How are you doing? Really, how are you doing? It’s ok if the answer is something other than “I’m good”. Maybe the truth is that you’re feeling nervous, restless, tense, maybe you feel tired, overwhelmed, lonely. It’s ok to not be ok, and stress can cause very real physical symptoms including headaches, insomnia, low energy, and ultimately, lowered immune system.

April is Stress Awareness Month, and SMPS OC is focusing on holistic wellness as occupational therapy! We think of professional societies as a way to build business, network, learn, and grow professionally, but none of us can function to our full capacity if we don’t take care of our bodies and minds and feed our souls. So let’s talk about it.

We encourage you to join us for upcoming events focused on elevating your client and pursuit positioning strategy, identifying win themes in your pursuits, and gain tips and advice on how to avoid “WFH burn-out” and maintain overall well-being. On April 22nd, we will hold a Wellness Edition of our Sip, Savor, and Share networking event. The program will be an open discussion on how we are all doing with the pressures of work, life, and the pandemic! Guest speaker Jessica Andrews, owner of Penny Promotions — a print, promotional items, and marketing services business; certified yoga instructor; singer-songwriter; vegan enthusiast; Orange County native; and proud dog mom will speak to the importance of prioritizing health and wellness to balance all that life inevitably throws at you!

In the meantime, below are some tips and tricks that, if practiced regularly, will get us back on track to enjoy balance and fewer stress-related symptoms. Although these practices will not eliminate the pressure of an impending deadline or demanding client, they may provide tools to help us react more constructively.

  • Aim to get dressed every day in real clothes -on bottom and on top!
  • Create a routine that includes breaks as part of your workday.
    • Create a list of things you want to accomplish during your workday and cross them off as you go
    • Carve out a designated workspace, keep your desk organized and clean to maximize productivity
  • Exercise is key! Even a short brisk walk helps.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day, because chances are, you’re not drinking enough!
  • Stretching or yoga is a great way to set a good intention to your day.
  • Meditate, pray, or otherwise find a quiet time for at least 10-20 minutes each day
    • Eating healthy
      • (it’s easy to binge or over snack but by eating healthy or making healthier choices you can curve the urge to snack on junk, or simply planning out your meals with healthy swaps)
      • Make time for family meals! If you don’t have kids or family, make time to enjoy your meal with minimal distractions
      • Take your daily dose of vitamins or supplements
    • Keep a consistent sleep schedule and try to stick to it

And remember, easy does it! None of us can experience perfect balance at all times. And that’s what’s so great about being part of the SMPS OC community, we are here to support and encourage each other, and lift each other up when we are down. To get us started on the right path, here are some links to free resources available online.  

Yoga and meditation:

Eating healthy:

Exercise tips:

Apps and podcasts:

Guided Meditation and Mindfulness - The Headspace App