Assess  Your Stress


Chief Sam DiGiovanna

Photo courtesy Landon Jensen.

October is National Emotional Wellness Month. It is the time to focus on Emotional Wellbeing. It is a good time to start taking stock of our stress levels, and an excellent time to make some changes, too. Emotional Wellness Month and provides information and resources to help us do just that.

Stress comes into all our lives in varying amounts. Depending on the demands, emotional health can take a toll. However, noting the causes of our stress helps identify the biggest offenders so we can stop them.


  • Review your financial plan. Make sure your plan aligns with your savings and income with your goals. You may need to readjust for the future or change current spending habits. Even planning for a dream vacation can improve emotional wellness when done responsibly.
  • Calculate screen time. In this digital world, the amount of time we spend online impacts our emotional health. We are bombarded by data, news, and alerts constantly. Consider reducing the amount of time spent in front of the screen. One way to reduce online and screen time is to unplug one day week. Use the time to read a book, schedule a massage and go for a walk. Rate your emotional wellness before and after your unplugged time.
  • Assess resources available to you.  Many employers offer tools and discounts for emotional wellness. Checking with your human resources department is an excellent place to start. From videos to free counseling sessions, these benefits provide substantial relief when life seems upside down.
  • Remember the relationships in your life.  This is a big one. Friends, family and even co-workers play a huge role in our emotional health. They improve our social and spiritual wellbeing by keeping us connected. Human beings thrive on social interactions. Without them, we feel isolated. Large or small, a well balanced, healthy, social community provides a satisfying spiritual, emotional, recreational and educational benefits. As a result, our friends and family provide a strong support system we rely upon when a crisis strikes.
  • How’s your physical health? Keep up with routine health checks. Also, add healthy eating habits and increase physical activity to reduce overall anxiety.

By identifying stressors and improving our emotional health, we are more likely to surf through the highs and lows in life more successfully.


Set some goals for reducing stress in your life. Consider what your biggest stressors are and the best ways to remove them. How do you reduce stress? Do you have a stellar support system? Use #EmotionalWellnessMonth to post on social media.

Let help you with your stress. It’s not going anywhere and like a fire, if not controlled, it will only spread harm to you and those around you!

About Chief Sam DiGiovanna

Sam DiGiovanna is a 33-year fire service veteran. He started with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, served as fire chief at the Monrovia Fire Department and currently serves as chief at the Verdugo Fire Academy in Glendale, Calif. In addition, he is a regular contributor to NBC News 4 Los Angeles.  Sam also serves as Executive Vice President of Fire Operations at CORDICO INC.