WorkWell Banner with the words "Stop stress in its tracks" April is Stress Awareness Month

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Everyone experiences stress from time to time. It’s a natural reaction to the demands of life. Managing stress can be a challenge - learning new strategies, and getting the right care and support can help reduce stressful feelings and symptoms. There are different types of stress from a variety of sources. Learn more here.


Recognize the signs of stress:

 Common signs and symptoms of stress include:

  • Headaches
  • Tight shoulders
  • Clenched jaw
  • Racing thoughts
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Lack of sleep
  • Social withdrawal
  • Changes in weight


Women with First Lady

There are many ways to cope with stress, and your way to cope may be different from someone else’s. WorkWell NYC is here to help you find healthy ways to cope with stress.





Ready to stop stress in its tracks?

Learn about common stress triggers and ways to manage your stress here.





Take 5 minutes to relax your mind and body

Learn how to do a muscle relaxation exercise.  Learn More

Two Arrows Pointing in Opposite Directions.  One says "Stress" and the other says "Relax"

Stressed muscles are tight, tense muscles. By learning to relax your muscles, you will be able to use your body to relieve stress.

This progressive muscle relaxation exercise will help you identify and reduce stress from head to toe.



The words "Start Here"
Tighten each muscle and maintain the contraction 20 seconds before slowly releasing. Start with your face, then work down the body. Notice the feeling of tensing and releasing your muscles:


  • Forehead - Wrinkle your forehead and arch your eyebrows. Hold; then relax.
  • Eyes - Close your eyes tightly. Hold; then relax.
  • Nose - Wrinkle your nose and flare your nostrils. Hold; then relax.
  • Tongue - Push your tongue firmly against the roof of your mouth. Hold; then relax.
  • Face - Grimace and squeeze all your face muscles tightly. Hold; then relax.
  • Jaws - Clench your jaws tightly. Hold; then relax.
  • Neck - Tense your neck by pulling your chin down to your chest. Hold; then relax.
  • Back - Arch your back. Hold; then relax.
  • Chest - Breathe in as deeply as you can. Hold; then relax.
  • Stomach - Tense your stomach muscles. Hold; then relax.
  • Buttocks and thighs - Tense your buttocks and thigh muscles. Hold; then relax.
  • Arms - Tense your biceps. Hold; then relax.
  • Forearms and hands - Tense your arms and clench your fists. Hold; then relax.
  • Calves - Press your feet down. Hold; then relax.
  • Ankles and feet - Pull your toes up. Hold; then relax.

The entire routine should take 12 to 15 minutes. Try to practice it twice daily – it may take you a week or two to get the hang of it!


Take care of yourself

Self-care can help you reduce and manage stress.  Learn More

Yoga Class

❖  Explore stress coping activities, which may incorporate meditation, yoga, tai chi or other gentle exercises.

❖  Take a walk with a friend, or try a fitness class. Shape Up NYC offers free fitness classes, including yoga, in all five boroughs. Registration is not required.

❖  Eat and drink healthy foods and beverages. Check out the Guide to Healthy Eating and Active Living in NYC for some tips.


Stay social

Connect with friends, family, co-workers, and your community.  Learn More

Family Walking Together in the park

❖  Plan activities with your partner, children or friends.

❖  Talk with people that care about the social issues you might be struggling with.

❖  Try to participate in community-based activities around your neighborhood, such as at a house of worship or local park.


Seek Support

Learn where to get more help if you need it. Learn More

Two Friends Sitting and talking Outside at a Table

❖  If you feel overwhelmed, talk to a partner, family member, friend, or your healthcare provider. If you don’t have a health care provider, find one in your network click here to find one in your network.

❖  You can also contact the NYC Employee Assistance Program for help. The EAP offers free and confidential assistance to employees and family members. If treatment is necessary, the EAP can help refer you to a provider that is covered by your health insurance. The EAP can be reached at 212-306-7660 or by email at