Inhale, Exhale

Local Doctors Share Top Tips for De-Stressing

Feeling stressed? Take a deep breath and try one of these go-to solutions from local health care providers.

By Staff June 9, 2020 Published in the May-June 2020 issue of Sarasota Magazine

Image: Shutterstock

Click here to see our list of 2020 Top Doctors.

Maintain a Routine

“Have some semblance of normalcy. Get up in the morning, get dressed like you’re getting ready for work or school. Go outside. Try an early morning walk or a walk at dusk, ideally when there aren’t a lot of people around. Feel that you’re getting the sun and that you’re connected to the earth and the world. And practice mindfulness, whether it’s yoga or a guided meditation, even if it’s for five minutes. It balances your autonomic nervous system. I meditate twice a day. I like Calm, Headspace, even Deepak Chopra has guided meditations. I’m also reading The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav. 10% Happier by Dan Harris is also good.” —Dr. Chippy Nalluri, noninvasive cardiology

Get Enough Sleep

“Everybody needs to sleep. With a pandemic, you really need to sleep. That’s because immunity resets during sleep. A famous study of colds demonstrated people who slept less than six hours a night (often not by choice) were four times more prone to infection. So: 1. Slow things down the hour before you go to sleep. You might want to go on an “electronic diet” knocking off brightly lit media an hour before sleep. Lots of patients tell me they do better NOT watching the nightly news. 2. Abnormal sleep is the new normal. If you wake and you’re not back to sleep in 1-5 minutes, pick out a good classic book and read until you’re ready again. 3. If stuck at home, stick to the three Rs—relationships, routine and reading. Sleep does better with routine times. 4. Consider a nap of 20-30 minutes in the mid-afternoon. We need sleep like food. Get rest.” –Dr. Matthew Edlund, sleep disorders

Release Endorphins

“While stress is not new to urban living, current events have certainly made it more prevalent in our lives. Here are five tips to help deal with stress. 1. Realize the source. (Perhaps watching CNN 24/7 is not a good idea?) 2. Eat well. Warm soothing foods and even sweet treats, in moderation, might help. 3. List things to do or get accomplished. 4. Engage in activities that have worked in the past, such as music, painting, deep breathing and meditation. 5. Exercise. This is always a great help for stress relief. Releasing endorphins by activities such as biking, walking, yoga or Pilates can significantly reduce stress.”—Dr. Louis Cohen, concierge medicine

Do What You Love

“Strive to be a kind human. Do what you love. Eat loads of local veggies and produce. Learn something new each day. Share it with someone. Walk/bike/paddle/dance—sweat, stretch, repeat. Try an online yoga or Pilates class. Go outside, listen for the birds and insects. You are not alone. Call a friend, laugh, keep it up. Reach out to old friends, express your gratitude. Let your inner light shine, share it with your neighbors. Bask in their glow, too. Bake cookies, eat a few, share the rest. It’s OK to get lost a bit, it will help you find yourself. Revive your inner strengths to thrive. Lastly, follow the CDC guidelines and mask your mug.”—Dr. Krista Toomre, family medicine

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