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6 Ways to Cope With Stress

Dear Dr.Kim,

I am finding it very difficult to cope with the stress of this current situation. Do you have any recommendations to help me manage?

D.E. Victoria


Dear D.E.

The global health crisis has very quickly caused a remarkable shift in our lives and it is not surprising if you are having a difficult time adjusting to the circumstances. Each person’s situation is unique and so I can offer you some suggestions and it is also not meant to make light of the gravity of the situation that many face. I heard a very good quote on CBC radio this week from a Vancouver-based Psychiatrist, It was along the lines of –negative thoughts are paved by a super highway while positive thoughts can find themselves on a dirt road. I thought that was a clever way to describe how tricky it can be to keep yourself stable –and the ease at which the mind can gravitate to unease.

There are several natural strategies that can provide support. The more vital and robust you can keep your energy and health, the harder it will be to knock you off keel.

  • Nutrition – Even if your appetite is not as strong as it was, pulse protein and nutrient dense food throughout your day. Eat plenty of vegetables and remember that frozen and canned choices offer the same nutritional benefit of their fresh counterpart. Be mindful of your nutrition choices –appreciating the benefits, connect with why you are choosing something, and lift expectation of being perfect. As I like to say, just try to do a good job –not perfect –just a good job. Food is meant to be enjoyed.
  • Breathing exercise – Breathing exercises are a great way to activate –the calming parasympathetic nervous system. Some simple and effective breathing exercises are: Alternate Nostril Breathing, Square Breathing and Diaphragmatic Breathing. There is not enough room here to describe how to complete them but there are resources online that can provide guidance.
  • Be active – Get outside, if you can -on your balcony or in your yard. Make time to move your body whether it is stretching, yoga, dancing, gardening, or walking (to the limits advised by public health).
  • Kim McQueen is one of the Co-founders of the nourishing Supershake, Rumble.