Contributed by Katherine Egan, Executive Director, Organizational Effectiveness, Fordham IT
Has stress taken on a whole new meaning for you? Have you experienced exponential growth in your anxiety levels? It’s understandable. You’re probably working from home. Your partner may be working from home, too. If you have children, they may be taking classes remotely or perhaps their school has given you the added burden of homeschooling them.
With everyone competing for attention and the increase of technology’s presence, unplugging and relaxing take on a whole new meaning.
In an ideal world, our bodies can easily handle good stress, such as joy and excitement, and bad stress, such as tension and anxiety. Today, we’re all experiencing higher than normal stress, and it’s not going away. Prolonged stress like this can disrupt the body’s natural balance. Over time, it may increase your susceptibility to illness.
As you might imagine, finding ways to relax and reduce anxiety can help you stay healthy.
Keep moving Movement and exercise release endorphins, which boost your energy and mood. You might have heard that sitting for long periods is as bad as smoking. Think of exercise as a way to make your body fit enough to sit still.
Meditate Many people meditate to reduce stress. Meditation can also enhance self-awareness, improve emotional health, increase a sense of inner peace, and equip you to handle stress more effectively. Fordham University’s Wellbeing offers online meditation during the week via Calm City. Check your inbox for an email from that office for details.
Yoga Combine the benefits of movement and meditation with a yoga practice. Fordham University’s Wellbeing offers online yoga on Wednesdays. Check your inbox for an email from that office for details.
You’ll also find exercise, meditation, and yoga routines on YouTube and your favorite app store.
Other ways to reduce stress
- Create a schedule so your day has some structure.
- Prioritize tasks so you focus on one thing at a time.
- Schedule time to unplug from social media, email, and television. This might be a good time to take a walk!
- Read a book. The New York Public Library has some good suggestions for books, music, and movies.
- Explore the free multimedia resources from the Fordham University Libraries. You might find something that’s different from what’s on offer via Netflix and other paid services.
- Ensure everyone in your household has alone time.
- Journal about your quarantine life. Kids will enjoy this activity, as well.
- Use your journal to identify what causes you to feel stressed. You might discover insights you never would have considered otherwise. Once you learn what triggers your stress, you can take steps to minimize it.
Take care of yourself first so you can take care of others. Stay well and safe.