We All Need Relief from Stress

We All Need Relief from Stress

Dr. Natalie Gelman

A reader pointed out to me that I have not addressed ways of dealing with the stress. I appreciated that observation. It is certainly a fair and realistic desire right now. Our lifestyles have changed. We have changed. I will not elaborate on these statements as I have done so in prior articles. What can we do to feel better?

I did write an article “To Be Able to Laugh” that the Sun published on Aug. 20, 2020. It was about the role of laughter in healing, emotionally and physically. It is wise to do.

Watch a movie, read a book, play a game, put on a costume, anything that provides humor.

Here are some more ways to relieve stress:

Go outside. We need to take breaks, get out of our houses, be distracted, and exercise. Go for a bike ride. Take a walk. If it begins to feel repetitive, make a plan. Decide to only focus on flowers. Pay attention to the people you see, hopefully from a distance. Count dogs.

Take a car ride. Explore the changes in Alameda. Go outside Alameda. Go somewhere you have not been to explore, walk, hike.

Make phone calls to friends and family. Pick someone you have not spoken with in a long time. There will be new information to share and an opportunity to connect to someone. For many of us, there is not much new to say to those who are frequently in our lives, but someone we have not talked to for a long time offers new exchanges.

Facetime or Zoom. Tired of this already? Certainly, those with meetings through work can be. Be creative. Do it to watch an animal in someone’s family. Plan a question to address. If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go? Have everyone do their hair in an outrageous way.

Meet someone for lunch outside. Pick a park. I do this in my garage for the winter. We sit apart and each bring our own lunch. To get together for an hour is a break from out day and a way to maintain meaningful contact.

Clean something in your house that you typically do not. Discard things you do not use or wear. The Vets are picking up donations with arrangements made by phone. Rearrange things.

Plan something for the future. A new piece of furniture. New landscaping. A place to travel. A social event. Idea: Pre pandemic, I did an appetizer party where each person brought an appetizer. It was creative and fun and easy to place everything on one table and have everyone wander without needing to sit down. I provided drinks.

Schedule what you can do into your week, such as a walk or phone call. Create distractions for yourself and look toward the future. It’s going to get better.

Dr. Natalie Gelman is an Alameda-based therapist. Submit questions to drnataliegelman@gmail.com or through her website, www.drnataliegelman.com.