Fact Check

Was the Day After 2020 Election Also National Stress Awareness Day?

It depends on whom you ask.

Published Nov. 4, 2020

Businesswomen stressed holding her hands on her forehead. (Getty Images/skynesher) (Getty Images/skynesher)
Businesswomen stressed holding her hands on her forehead. (Getty Images/skynesher)
Nov. 4, 2020, the day after U.S. Election Day, also happened to be National Stress Awareness Day.
What's True

A U.K. charity that sponsors International Stress Awareness Week considers the first Wednesday of each November, including Nov. 4 2020, to be National Stress Awareness Day.

What's False

There are competing claims for the date of this awareness day. A U.S. based nonprofit that sponsors "National Stress Awareness Month" holds that the day is April 16 each year — the day after taxes are due.

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As the United States woke up to an undecided presidential election amid a worsening pandemic on the morning of Nov. 4 2020, some Twitter users noted that "National Stress Awareness Day" allegedly fell on this day:

The claim is not baseless, but there are at least two days popularly considered to be National Stress Awareness Day.

The Nov. 4 claim has its origins in a U.K. charity named the International Stress Management Association (ISMA). This organization currently sponsors an event it named International Stress Awareness Week that was originally named, according to its website, National Stress Awareness Day when first conceived in 1998. In numerous instances that predate the 2020 election, this organization has described Stress Awareness Week as the first week of November with the Wednesday of that week being Stress Awareness Day. The ISMA is the organization that is referenced on the National Day Calendar website, which is often shared as the source for the claim that Nov. 4 is that holiday.

A look at Google Trends going back to 2004, however, suggests that interest in "National Stress Awareness Day," at least in the U.S., has historically peaked in April each year:

The reason for this appears to be that another nonprofit organization, the U.S.-based Health Resource Network (HRN), declared in 1992 that April is National Stress Awareness Month and that April 16 (the day after taxes are due) is National Stress Awareness Day. The April 16 awareness day is referenced in health or lifestyle blogs and is included in some online calendars, including one for 2020, as well.

Either way, neither date is an official holiday or government initiative. Because multiple days have been claimed as National Stress Awareness Day including Nov. 4 2020, we rank the truth of this claim "Mixture."

Alex Kasprak is an investigative journalist and science writer reporting on scientific misinformation, online fraud, and financial crime.

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