April Wellness: National Stress Awareness Month and National Minority Health Month

This month contains two different but very important wellness topics.  Let’s begin with discussing National Stress Awareness Month to bring attention to the negative impact of stress. Managing stress is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. Knowing how to manage stress can improve mental and physical well-being as well as minimize exacerbation of health-related issues.

It’s critical to recognize what stress and anxiety look like, take steps to build resilience, and know where to go for help” (Source: National Institutes of Health, April Stress Awareness Month). Self-care is an important part of managing stress; allotting time away from stressful environments, thoughts, or people to self-regulate.

At times self-care may not be enough and seeking assistance of a medical professional or using your employer’s EAP (Employee Assistance Program) if available can help teach you ways to de-stress. Stress can impact not only your mental health,  anxiety and/or depression levels, but your physical health such as high blood pressure, which can cause heart issues and risk of stroke. Stress can also cause tension headaches and loss of focus. The less stress in your life the better!


April is also National Minority Health Month. National Minority Health Month is a time to raise awareness about the importance of improving the health of racial and ethnic minority communities and reducing health disparities.

“CDC data show that some racial and ethnic minority groups—particularly Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, and American Indian or Alaska Native people are at increased risk of getting sick, having more severe illness, and dying of COVID-19” (Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, National Minority Health Month).

Common preventive cancer screenings that are not scheduled as frequently in minority populations include breast cancer, cervical cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer. There are less frequent annual checks of blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight. The lower screening rates among minorities have an impact on health. The first steppingstone to consistent, preventive healthcare is establishing a primary care physician who can discuss screenings and testing as they fit with your age, family medical history, and current health risks.


Additional Resources

Stress Screener- Do you know what stress looks like? If you struggle to know, you are not alone because stress can look different to different people. Take this mini quiz to see if you are experiencing stress.

Are You Up to Date on Your Preventive Care? - This article gives you a list of ideas and screenings that you might want to discuss with your primary care doctor.

Preventive Health Screenings, By Age- This is a quick colorful chart is a reference for you and your family to make sure you are maximizing your preventive care.

Upcoming Events

April- Tune into You Challenge- the goal of this program is to help you to become in touch with yourself, reduce stress, and enjoy the present moment. See attached flyer for details. To register email

May- Cultivating Healthy Spaces- in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month this challenge focuses on mental well-being, and you will be delivered a plant to green up your workspace. Plants are delivered before May 1st so register early to ensure a delivery! Email to register by April 22nd, include work physical address when registering.

May 10th at Noon- MDLive Informational Virtual Class- Need an appointment outside of work hours or on weekends? Join this class to learn how to set up your free MDLive account. Through Excellus’ partnership with MDLive, you can schedule sick visits, therapist visits, and more via phone, tablet, or computer- wherever and whenever you need to! Register by emailing to be emailed the link.

June- Healthy Selfie Challenge- Take a picture of yourself doing something healthy. It could be alone, with others, or with your pets! Healthy activities can be as simple as drinking water or as challenging as climbing a mountain! Be creative, have fun, and stay safe. More information to come, winner will receive a NYS Empire Pass- access to all NYS parks. Entries can only be submitted after June 3rd till July 1st.

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