Although spring is arriving and it is refreshing to feel some warm air and see bright flowers, April is actually a very stressful month.

Hence, April is also “Stress Awareness Month” – and for very good reason!

In addition to “Tax Day,” businesses tend to gear up for a big spring push before the summer lull, schools are in full-swing with projects and tests, kids sports start competing in earnest and allergy season usually smacks us upside the head with almost no warning.

Here are some ideas for making it easy on you and your clients to get through the busy Spring in one piece so you can relax and enjoy the summer fun!

Exercise

When schedules get busy, one of the first things off the list is exercise. But exercise should actually be at the top because it is one of the main ways our bodies relieve the physical symptoms of stress like fatigue, pain, and moodiness. If you can’t make time for daily workout, try to fit a 5-10 minute walk outside into some part of your day. Or try some of the great new apps for adding a 5- or 7-minute workout at the office, in your yard or in a parking lot!

Meditate

Meditation does not have to be about pretzeled legs, chanting, and reaching enlightenment. It can simply be about a moment of stillness in your mind. Just 60 seconds of meditation can dramatically improve your mood, your productivity and the quality of your day.

Giggle and hum

Both laughter and music can lower the blood pressure. In fact, this study in 2011 showed that three months of laughter or music therapy resulted in the same drop in blood pressure that could be achieved with a low-salt diet, losing 10 pounds, or taking a blood-pressure-lowering medication.

So pop in your favorite 80s dance tunes and show your kids how it used to be done! (we recommend the GoGos, Cyndi Lauper or any of these one-hit wonders) and dance around with your kids – or heck, your co-workers, clients,  – while working in some giggling and humming into your day.

Massage

Regular massage can improve sleep, relieve headaches, reduce muscle pain, and improve moods.

Plus, massage feels good. When you feel good, you play more, work more efficiently, and take better care of the people you love.

Schedule a massage now to prepare for a busy (and fun) spring. Commit to taking care of yourself this spring and you may be surprised with the results.

 by Laurie Volkmann