by Donna Chacko
The Covid-19 pandemic has created stress, suffering, and uncertainty for all of us. Maybe you are lonely, concerned about your future or your elderly parents. Or, you are furloughed, trying to work from home, or crowded in a small space with antsy children. Maybe you are facing challenging financial pressures or risks because you are an essential worker serving the rest of us. Maybe you are grieving. Add to this the concerns we all have about how best to reconnect and reopen.
I suspect we’ve all experienced what happens when we stay up in our heads endlessly searching for answers to the many unanswerable questions of our day —it feels lousy and creates stress. My message is that there are steps you can take to feel better, reduce your stress, and be closer to God, as a package deal.
During my forty years practicing medicine, I came to see the power of stress to ruin health and happiness. 60-70% of office visits are in some way stress-related. Stress either causes or aggravates many chronic health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, headaches and pain.
Stress can impact every part of us—our minds, bodies, and spirits. It disrupts how we think, shows up as physical ailments, and distracts us from connecting with God. Sadly, chronic stress is a baked-in ingredient of our modern lifestyles— even before the pandemic. I knew there had to be a way to help people avoid the unnecessary stress and suffering that I witnessed during my career as a physician and in my own life.
Finding Serenity and Health
After retiring, I started a program at my church called Serenity and Health to encourage myself and others to take control over their own health by making better choices, even if by one tiny step at a time. I emphasize the role of mind, body and spirit interactions when it comes to health. For example, relaxing your body will quiet your mind, quieting your mind will relax your body, and trusting Jesus will reduce your stress.
Through Serenity and Health, I’m now able to offer free online and in-person programs, self-study resources, and a monthly blog to help you to feel better, act better, and walk closer with God. One of the themes that I frequently address in my blog and program is faith-based stress management.
Free Stress-Reduction Program
I’d like to invite you to try our free online program that is taking place right now: Three Keys to Less Stress During the Covid-19 Crisis. The program is completely online, is self-paced, and comes with a downloadable journal for you to keep. In three sessions, we’ll identify your stressors and practice deep breathing; the link between your faith and your health; and find ways to introduce simple healthy habits into your daily life. You can start the program as soon as you register, and I’ll be available by email for questions throughout the program.
I want to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Sine and the Godspace team for giving me this opportunity to share my program with you. I am honored and humbled to be a Godspace writer. Take some time and review the brief bios of this community. They are a loving, giving, and talented lot.
God bless all of you. I would love to hear from you
Donna Chacko, M.D.