By Ayesha Hana Shaji
Texas Metro News Team
Before the May flowers bloom, it’s important to tend to the roots of your well-being by managing stress effectively in April.
April is Stress Awareness Month, and with inflation stressing out 83% of adults, WalletHub, a personal finance website, has released a report on the most and least stressed states in the US. Texas earned a spot in the top 10 most stressed in the list, coming in 9th.
The report is based on 41 key metrics, including average hours worked per week, personal bankruptcy rates, and the share of adults getting adequate sleep.
In Texas, money-related stress was ranked the most stressful. Texas also ranked No.1 for the highest average number of hours worked per week.
Stress is a psychological and biological response to feeling overwhelmed or out of control or threatened, or when life feels unpredictable, said Leah Hibel, professor at the University of California. “Stress in large doses, or over long periods can erode your mental and physical health.”
To combat stress, Hibel said, establishing routines and seeking social support from loved ones who can empathize is helpful. Regular exercise and calming activities like yoga and meditation can also help reduce the negative effects of stress.
One effective way to reduce financial stress is to make a plan, said Joanne Gavin, professor at Marist College, who added that even small steps go a long way.
Gavin said if the debt burden is beyond a simple budget, contacting creditors and negotiating a different repayment schedule is something to consider.
“The bottom line is to do something to work toward correcting your financial problems,” she said. “It will reduce your distress. Doing nothing will only increase the stress you are feeling.”
Kelly Campbell, interim vice provost for academic affairs and co-chief diversity officer at California State University said living within your means is also important.
Everyone’s budget looks different and adjusting the ‘ideal’ or ‘dream’ materials to settle to be within the budget will help tremendously to manage financial stress, she explained.
Ayesha Hana Shaji is a 2022 graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, where she was on The Shorthorn staff.