National Stress Awareness Month
Many of us accept stress as an everyday part of life, yet few are truly intentional about addressing it, or know where to begin when it comes to trying to mitigate or minimize it. April is widely known for its playful pranks, college sports, and seasonal changes, but it’s also National Stress-Awareness Month. All of us face different stressors in our daily lives and as such, we all have varying ways of coping with it. But take it from me, there’s no better way to relieve a little stress than on the court.
As a mother of five and entrepreneur, stress is an inevitable part of my life. However, allocating time to decompress has been a critical pillar of my success, both professionally and personally. Because of that, I am a huge advocate for finding an outlet for stress, and for me, that has been pickleball. In fact, in times when my husband and I find ourselves at odds, we often wind up battling it out in a friendly match and leaving it all on the court.
According to the Mayo Clinic, virtually any form of exercise, including low-intensity aerobics like a light game of pickleball will have a direct and immediate positive effect on your overall stress. Not only does exercise increase the production of endorphins from your brain, but it also allows you to transfer any tension or negative energy into concentrated movements. What makes pickleball so special is its ability to offer stress relief both through movement and socialization. Human nature tends to favor community and social connection, but stress can often leave us feeling isolated. Studies have shown that involvement in a community improves our ability to cope with stressful situations, alleviating the effects of emotional distress through a shared source of respite. That very connection through socialization and inclusivity is what drew me and many others to pickleball during the pandemic and ultimately why it is continuing to experience such incredible growth. It’s the activity that brought so many together in arguably one of the most divisive, isolating, and stress-inducing times of our lives.
Moral of the story? Find a way to manage your stress with intention this month, whether you hash it out on the court or play a friendly match to laugh it off, remember to always be civil and play nicely.