Now that the pandemic has raged on for nearly a year, people’s stress levels are through the roof. Teachers, healthcare employees, and other frontline workers, along with parents, kids, and all other citizens, are feeling the impact. It’s gotten so bad that even veteran media professionals are struggling to keep a stiff-upper-lip (take, for example, the live emotional breakdown of CNN journalist Sara Sidner as she reported outside of a hospital in South Los Angeles where COVID is surging).
While many people realize they are facing unparalleled levels of stress and anxiety, others may be so busy trying to keep their lives together that they’re not even aware of how frazzled they are. But no one thrives when they constantly feel afraid, exhausted, and overwhelmed, say Diana Hendel, PharmD, and Mark Goulston, MD.
COVID-19 has pushed many of us into survival mode. We are doing what’s necessary to survive, but the stress of continuing to function while under such extreme pressure to carry on eventually takes a toll.
It is important to learn to recognize when your stress is rising and take steps to mitigate it. Acknowledging what’s going on with your mental health empowers you to do something about it.
The good news is it doesn’t take much time or effort to reduce stress— even the severe stress so many are facing right now. Read on for this tool kit of simple “stress stoppers” you can use any time you feel stress or anxiety taking hold.
Do frequent self “check-ins” to recognize when your stress levels are rising. When you’re busy and under pressure to perform, it’s easy to go on “autopilot.” Therefore, periodically pause and do a quick self-assessment throughout the day. Consider your emotional state (Do I feel friendly and engaged, or edgy and aggressive?) as well as your physical state (Is my body calm and at ease, or is it holding onto tension?).
Take 20 or 30 seconds to scan your body and identify areas that may be holding onto tension or stress. For example, you might be carrying tension in your jaw or shoulders. When you notice an area that is tense, gently release the tension. Over time it should become easier to recognize when stress begins to take hold—and to do something about it.
Ground yourself when you start feeling overwhelmed. Grounding is a great way to reduce anxiety and arrive in the here and now. Use it any time you feel carried away by anxious thoughts or feelings, or triggered by upsetting memories and flashbacks.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
DO PROBLEMS REALLY EXIST? HOW CHANGING OUR PERSPECTIVE Can Change Our Life
Challenges can either awaken you or pull you into a deeper sleep.
TOP 5 MOST IMPORTANT THINGS FOR Women's Health
Ladies, what is something that you do every day to ensure that you are promoting your overall health and wellness? It’s been a difficult year for everyone, but women especially have dealt with the stress, burdens and major changes COVID has caused. It’s now more important than ever to take care of yourself.
A NATURAL SOLUTION FOR Summer Hydration
Fun in the summer sun can mean anything from poolside play and outdoor exercise to simply relaxing in the shade. While these activities make the season special for people of all ages, the heat also leads to the inevitable: sweat.
6 RULES FOR Healthy Grocery SHOPPING
Grocery stores aren’t as innocent as they may seem. They’re actually designed to influence your choices, from where foods are placed on the shelves to those impulse buys at the register. “It’s a business and they need to move it and want to sell as much as possible,” said New York City nutritionist Nicolette Pace.
MYTHS AND TRUTHS OF Nightshades
Public perception about nightshades is often negative but there are many benefits to these fruits and vegetables. The majority of the negative effects only occur to a small population of people. The benefits of this group of vegetables outweigh the negative effect only a small group have.
TIPS TO HELP Pets WITH Separation Anxiety
After more than a year of quarantining and bonding with their pet parents during the pandemic, many pets are now experiencing separation anxiety as Americans spend less time at home. Whether pet parents are planning to return to the office or go on a summer vacation, Crista Coppola, Ph.D., PetSmart’s consulting Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB), says that identifying and managing separation anxiety in pets can go a long way to easing the transition back to regular activities for pets and pet parents alike.
THREE TO USE YOUR ANXIETY TO WAYS YOUR ADVANTAGE
Anxiety and stress go hand in hand: Usually when you are anxious, you are also in a state of stress. (Ever been stuck in traffic on the way to the airport, when you are already cutting it close to your departure time?) And when you are stressed, particularly if you are a high-functioning, take-control type of person, you are likely dealing with some anxious feelings too (Case in point: Work deadlines keeping you up at night).
EWG's 2021 Shopper's Guide TO PESTICIDES IN PRODUCE™
Collard and mustard greens join kale among the most pesticide-contaminated fresh produce on the Environmental Working Group’s 2021 Dirty Dozen™ list. For the first time, bell peppers and hot peppers have made the list.
7 WAYS TO Snack SMARTER
MAKE HEALTHY SNACKING EASY. Keeping fruit, vegetables and other accessible nutritious ingredients in the refrigerator or pantry increases the chances you’ll reach for a better-for-you option when a snack craving strikes. Having staple ingredients on hand that can be paired with vegetables or whole-grain crackers like Fresh Cravings Hummus makes it easy to create healthy snacks. Made with high-quality ingredients like smooth Chilean extra-virgin olive oil, savory tahini, which is known to be a source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and non-GMO chickpeas, the line is available in Classic Hummus, Roasted Red Pepper and Roasted Garlic varieties and can be found in 100% recyclable packaging in the produce aisle of your local grocery store.
5 TIPS TO PUTTING A STOP TO Blotchy and Discolored Skin
Heat, cold, sun, sweat, genes, hormones, stress…”Blotchy skin,” can appear for many reasons. If left unaddressed, skin-discoloration conditions can interfere with people’s ability to enjoy their everyday life – and, in some cases, can develop into more serious medical issues. Our skin is our largest organ, with processes that require complex coordination of our body’s systems.
How we know
TOBIN HART is a humanistic transpersonal psychologist, professor in the University of West Georgia’s Humanistic, Transpersonal and Critical Psychology program, and co-founder of the ChildSpirit Institute. In the final part of this series, in which he is interviewed by VICTOR KANNAN, Director of the Heartfulness Institute USA, Tobin speaks about the intersection of western psychology and spirituality, in particular the importance of presence, imagination, wisdom, love, compassion, purity, and overcoming spiritual bypassing.
One of my closest friends in my hometown had a love marriage, which many considered to be a rebellious act against our small society.
DR. RICHARD DAVIDSON is a prolific and well-known neuroscientist, speaker, meditator and author. In March 2021, Richie was interviewed by THANGAM VENKATESAN, professor of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin and ANAGHA MATAPURKAR, Ph.D. MBA, about his life’s journey and latest initiatives to bring well-being to humanity.
Contentment - THE ART OF REMOVING AND CREATING HABITS
DAAJI continues his series on refining habits, in the light of Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga and current scientific and yogic principles and practices. Last month, he explored the first Niyama of purity, shaucha. This month he shares his insights on that pivotal human quality – contentment, which is known in Yoga as santosh.
Communication: Bridging the Gap
In this 3-part series, LIZ KINGSNORTH introduces the basic principles of Heartful Communication, and how it can guide our understanding of our personal feelings and the feelings of others, ultimately leading to a more consistent state of harmony. In part 1, she focuses on the importance of the quality of our communication.
If You Disagree, You Are Not Listening
DR. ICHAK ADIZES explores the art of diffusing a disagreement, especially when the other party claims that you have not understood them because you are not listening. He uses the technique of mirroring to ensure better understanding and communication.
Our Shared Humanity
“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” —Pema Chödrön
The Pandemic of the Separate Self
DAN SIEGEL is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and executive director of the Mindsight Institute. In part 2 of his interview with UDAY KUMAR, he speaks about intraconnectedness, alloparenting, presence, connection, open awareness, and love.
THE CAB RIDE
I sat in the cab on my way to the airport as the driver zoomed over Delhi’s wide roads. The sun was rising over the horizon as a new day dawned – quite literally, as election day approached the city of Delhi.
Turn It Around
AMRUTA PATEL is a student at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She has been studying Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication and Heartful Communication for the last several months.