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Great day to stop, take a deep breath, enjoy

April is National Stress Awareness Month, and experts say it's a good time to take a breath and make sure you're keeping your mental health in check.

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — During this National Stress Awareness Month, what better way to spend it than the great outdoors? At Lackawanna State Park, many say it's just what the doctor ordered.

"It's just a beautiful day," Gordon Browning said. "It's nice to get out here."

Whether you're fishing, rowing, or just out for a stroll, folks are streaming outdoors to blow off steam.

"If I'm not working, I like to fish, I have a bike."

That's what Jeff Whitney of Scranton was doing on this beautiful Thursday as he released his trout back into the lake.

"Definitely lowers (my stress level) it a lot, keeps me going," added Whitney.

"We love to walk, we love being outside anyway, but it is a great de-stressor anyway, especially this year," Sharon Vipond said. "It's been a year."

"It hasn't been an easy 13, 14 months, going through the pandemic. A lot of people, they lost their jobs, lost sources of income, had their lives turned upside down," said Katie Kudrick of Evangelical Community Hospital.

Especially this year, we should pay attention to our stress levels.

"The long-term stress, chronic stress, we worry that it can raise your blood pressure. Over time, it can cause heart disease, it causes headaches, it can cause worsening of anxiety and depression," Kudrick said.

Kudrick says to find whatever de-stresses you, though being outside naturally gets the body moving, gives you Vitamin D, and, of course, it's free.