April is Stress Awareness Month

Published by Your Health Idaho on

Not many people would argue that the world is offering up some pretty negative stressors right now – take a pandemic, global conflicts, inflation, etc. Then there are your everyday stressors like relationship issues, problems at work or finances. There can even be stress from positive things in your life like moving into a new house, having a baby or starting a new job.

Sometimes, people don’t recognize that they’re feeling overwhelmed. Signs can be emotional like being easily angered or frustrated or feeling moody or agitated. Other signs can be physical like aches and pains, racing thoughts, headaches, muscle tension, trouble sleeping or digestive problems.

If you’re experiencing signs of stress, don’t dismiss them. Remember that stress is a part of normal human existence and everyone experiences it at one point or another. But it can lead to more serious health problems. It’s how you deal with it that’s important. According to the CDC, healthy ways to cope with stress include:

  • Eating healthy meals
  • Exercising regularly
  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Finding ways to relax like deep breathing, stretching or meditating
  • Avoiding drugs and alcohol
  • Recognizing when you need more help

The 2021 Health of Women and Children Report found that in Idaho, stress among women (ages 18-44) had risen dramatically and was nearly four percent higher than the national average. The report cited rising costs and housing affordability over the last decade and single mothers needing to work multiple jobs to support their children as contributing factors to the high stress levels.

A 2022 WalletHub survey of the most stressed states found Louisiana, Nevada and New Mexico to be the most stressed and Utah, Minnesota and South Dakota to be the least stressed. Idaho fell pretty much in the middle at #27. The survey measured 41 indicators of stress that fell into work, money, family and health categories. Idahoans were most stressed about money and least stressed about work.

If you’re feeling stressed, help is here. Every health insurance plan offered through Your Health Idaho is required to cover ten essential health benefits including mental health and substance abuse services. Check with your insurance carrier to see what specific coverages you have for mental health services and if specific providers are in network. You can also get an idea of how many mental health visits your coverage includes per year and what you can expect to pay out-of-pocket for things like deductibles (what you must pay for health care services before your carrier will start paying benefits) and co-pays (the fixed amount you pay for a medical visit).



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