May is National Stroke Awareness Month

Posted Friday May 06, 2022

By Trazana A. Staples

I had a stroke at the age of 51, four and half years ago. A stroke does not discriminate! It can happen to anyone, at any time, and without notice.  Although, I am getting better every day, the road to healing has not been easy. I suffered a cryptogenic stroke. I had no known underlying health conditions that could have predetermined a stroke. The conclusion of my stroke was due to stress. Stress is a silent killer! I was managing a small nonprofit organization, I was taking care of others, (physically, mentally, and financially), I was putting out my personal life fires, and I was making myself available for whoever or whatever needed me. I was not making time to take care of myself, mind, body, and/or spirit.

I am here to tell anyone who is reading this today, please take care of yourself first! If you do this for yourselves now you might be able to avoid having a stroke later.

“Stress can work to trigger medical problems or alongside other medical afflictions that cause a stroke. Often stress, when combined with other factors, leads to triggers for disease. “Sometimes stress can cause inflammation, hypertension, or other vascular conditions — and it’s these that can lead to stroke or heart attack.”

(Cleveland Clinic, 2021)

I know now that a few lifestyle changes could have prevented my stroke from occurring and prevented me from another stroke. African Americans are 50 percent more likely to have a stroke (cerebrovascular disease), as compared to their white adult counterparts.

  • Black men are 70 percent more likely to die from a stroke as compared to non-Hispanic whites.
  • African American women are twice as likely to have a stroke as compared to non-Hispanic white women. (, 2021)

I have learned through my wellness journey that preventative measures can prevent me from having another stroke. By sharing some of this information I have learned, it is my hope to help someone to prevent them from having a stroke. These are just a few things that I do daily to distress my mind, body, and spirit and decrease my chances of having another stroke.

  • Begin your day with meditation/prayer and open your heart to peace & love.
  • Eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water, and minimize the processed food, & beverages.
  • Learn to say “No”! (It is not your job to save the world)
  • Take time to relax and self-care
  • Laugh, listen to feel-good music
  • Exercise (yoga, swimming, martial arts)
  • Get out in the sun and enjoy nature (gardening, enjoy the great outdoors)
  • Surround yourself with positive-minded souls
  • Be creative (arts & crafts)
  • Be Happy

To learn more about alternative strove recovery please visit

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