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  • Writer's pictureGudrun Frerichs

Reducing Stress

I thought it's time to put on my 'old' psychotherapist hat for a moment. Why? Because the worldwide pandemic is causing huge stressors among people. Stress is an insidious, silent enemy, that causes more problems and illnesses than we think at first glance.

One point is important to understand that it's in our power to eliminate stress. There is no situation that can cause us stress. It's how we think about a situation that is causing stress--and if it's our thinking, then we can stop it. Take the current pandemic. It's understandable that we feel despondent and stressed about being isolated, losing income, losing restrictions in our movements, losing our jobs.

What that causes, though, is incredibly harmful: low energy, headaches, diarrhea, nausea, aches and pains, chest pain, insomnia, lowered immune system, loss of sexual desire, loss of appetite or overeating, depression, anxiety, and many more symptoms.

What can be done?

  • Don't listen all day to bad news,

  • focus on things you can control rather than on what you've lost,

  • exercise, go for walks, bike rides,

  • reduce caffeine and alcohol (alcohol is a mood depressant),

  • connect with neighbors, friends, and family,

  • have hot baths... even better with nice scented candles

  • get plenty of sleep

  • watch funny or romantic movies

  • get plenty of hugs and human touch

  • read books in your favorite genre

  • and most of all, don't beat yourself up when you do get stressed.

Despite how grim everything looks at the moment, this too will pass. As the English Queen said so eloquently a few days ago: We will get through this and we will meet again.

Take good care!

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