Ways to Reduce Stress
As coronavirus news updates become more alarming by the day, and concerns about our health, our finances and the availability of resources feels more pressing, it’s easy to become gripped by fear and anxious about all of the uncertainty we’re facing.
While we’re doing what we can to prevent infection with COVID-19 by washing our hands frequently, staying at home, and practicing social distancing (staying 6 feet apart) when we have to go out for essentials—having additional strategies to reduce our stress levels during this crisis is helpful.
Guest Appearance on Taboo Talk with Lady Charmaine Day
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to be a guest on Taboo Talk, a radio show hosted by my beautiful friend, Lady Charmaine Day. The episode was entitled, “Dr. Dayo Lanier shares ways to reduce stress during this crisis with Taboo Talk” and during the show we discussed several ways to maintain a sense of calm in the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis (if you missed it, you can listen to the episode by clicking on the title link above).
Here are some of the stress-reducing strategies we discussed in the episode:
1. Prayer – My go-to strategy for maintaining a sense of calm. Additionally, my personal Bible study and devotion time (I’m currently reading the Jesus Calling Family Devotional), allow me to find peace in the middle of this crisis.
Two verses that I’ve found especially reassuring:
- “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
- “Then He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was great calm.” – Mark 4:39 (NKJV)
2. Knowledge – It’s important to have accurate, up-to-date information that’s factually correct and evidence-based. The best place to get that information, as well as updates on COVID-19 is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at cdc.gov.
3. Mindfulness – Being mindful by staying in the present moment, reducing stress with meditation, deep breathing and yoga helps me. As does journaling, which I highly recommend. Much better to have all of those worries on the page, rather than banging around in your head.
4. Physical Activity – Exercise increases our endorphin levels (the feel good brain chemicals), which can increase feelings of well-being, decrease stress and help to ward off anxiety and feelings of depression.
5. Self-Compassion – Best described by Dr. Kristin Neff, one of the world’s leading experts on this subject, in the following quote: “With self-compassion, we give ourselves the same kindness and care we’d give to a good friend.” The opposite of self-criticism, self-compassion helps us to recognize that we’re doing our best.
6. Social Distancing – We should all practice social distancing. But it’s still important to maintain social connection and a sense of community (even if it’s virtual). Phone calls, FaceTime, group texts, social media communication, discussing movies we are watching and books we are reading, all help to keep our spirits lifted and reassures us that we’re not in this fight alone.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to listen to the “Dr. Dayo Lanier shares ways to reduce stress during this crisis with Taboo Talk” episode, click on the link to check it out. In the meantime, enjoy your weekend and stay safe!