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Managing Stress

Church Health

I took a walk yesterday and encountered a beautiful budding cherry blossom tree. I was quickly transported to a year ago when life as we knew it halted. Walks in nature were life-giving.

Did anyone ever dream the pandemic would last this long?

It’s been a hard year, and no one has been immune to that. A year full of worry and fear, canceled plans, and death and loss. Of course, we were stressed and overwhelmed. Of course, we were exhausted.

You’ve probably heard the effects that long-term stress has on the body. And a quick Google search will hand you a myriad of ways to reduce stress. But one of the most effective things I’ve found in my own life as well as my work with others is to be gentle with yourself. One little trick is to talk to yourself like you were talking to your best friend.

Give yourself permission to be what you are. Give yourself permission to feel what you’re feeling. It will give others the courage to do the same.

This is Denise Hensley for Church Health.