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How Can We Reduce Stress During This Pandemic?

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Hi, how’s everyone doing out there? Sometimes it feels like there’s a giant ball of anxiety looming over the entire planet these days. But keep in mind our mental health is also a very important factor in how we deal with the current global pandemic. How can we reduce stress during this pandemic? Listen to this Question Your World radio report produced by the Science Museum of Virginia to find out.

The Coronavirus and COVID-19 has us thinking about a lot: the health of our loved ones, economic factors, isolation, and not touching your face every five minutes are just a few examples of things that are stressing people out all over the globe right now.

Reducing stress is as important as ever these days. Keep in mind that stress can actually negatively impact our immune system's strength and right now, more than ever, we need our immune system to be working as best as it can to keep us healthy and prevent adding unnecessary stress on our busy clinics and hospitals.

A lot of things seem out of our control, but here are three things you can control to help your body fight both illness and stress.

Number one: Sleep! You’ve got this one, folks! A good restful night of sleep - which includes all phases of the "REM" cycle, can boost your immune system and improve our cognitive functions. There’s a lot of new information being thrown at us daily between school closings, global pandemic updates, daily household tasks, and beyond, A good night’s sleep is vital for our brain to reliably process information, make decisions, and allows for a healthier immune system. So, get some rest!

Number two: Exercise! Once again, your immune system and cognitive function will be benefited from regularly giving your body some light to moderate exercise time. Moving the body around gets blood flowing which will bring fresh oxygenated blood to our neurons and get your brain cells working at full capacity. Health experts encourage making some time to head outside at least once a day for fresh air. Going on a jog or a walk are totally allowed while practicing social distancing guidance.

Number three: Hydrate! Every cell in your body needs water. Your brain, the epicenter of your stressful thoughts, would also benefit from being properly hydrated. Also. many of your organ systems need water to help flush out toxins and keep you running efficiently, including your immune system. If you’re feeling lethargic or having trouble thinking clearly, maybe swap out your coffee for some water and let your body get properly hydrated.

These are just three ways you can take some control over your days and get a little stress-relief going. Chatting with loved ones, making some art, listening to music, and watching a classic comedy movie are some ways you can add a little joy to your life as well, but the three items listed above will keep your body in good and healthy shape.

Don’t forget, we’re all in this together and you’re not the only person that’s stressed out, but by doing a few simple things you can reduce stress, boost your immune function, and provide a little TLC to your mental health along the way. Stay safe and mentally healthy out there, folks!