Road rage, people screaming at flight attendants, hostesses in restaurants dealing with obscene and unruly customers when they explain the mask mandate, unfortunately these are not rare events. The global pandemic and uncertainty about when, if, and how Covid will recede from our existence has most of us on edge. Throw in a little political discord and the everyday irritants that seem to be more pervasive now than ever before, and you have a recipe for stress. We know that stress can undermine your health and serves to spread discord at home and at work, but how can one rise above it all and effectively get through the stressful times? While everyone might have their own stress reduction techniques, here’s what I do that usually helps. Perhaps some of these tools can work for you as well. I find that meditation is one of the best tools in my wellness toolbox and I make certain to build in time every day for meditation and my gratitude practice. They serve to calm my racing thoughts and get me centered. It doesn’t mean the situation that is causing me stress has gone away, it simply means that I can handle it better. The same holds true for exercise. A ride on the Peloton, a run on the beach, or an hour of yoga all work to help settle my mind and the endorphins that are released during the exercise serve to improve my mood.
Spending time with family, my partner, and friends always makes me happy. Some people disappear into themselves when they are stressed. For me, having a pajama party with my girls, sharing a meal with my partner, or doing pretty much anything with my good friends keeps me from thinking about what is stressful. Travel is also a huge stress reliever and even if Covid has conspired to wipe out travel I’ve still managed to indulge my travel bug enough to keep me happy. I also turn to reading as a way to keep some of the stress at bay. Whether fiction is your cup of tea, or nonfiction suits you best, there are books aplenty to help you forget about what is causing stress. I know that these stress reducers are band aids and cannot eliminate the cause of your stress. Still, if you can get through the stressful times easier and with less impact on your body and brain, then these band aids are a good thing. Am I right?