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Wellness Wednesday 04.22.2020

Welcome to Wellness Wednesday, April 22, 2020,

Lifestyle Changes for Greater Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Health Ministry/Initiative

April is National Stress Awareness Month!

All areas of our lives have been impacted because of the novel COVID-19 virus, a new respiratory virus that was first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019.

During these uncertain times and social distancing, it is extremely important to Exercise>Choose Wisely> Eat Healthy>Relax>Manage Stress> Pray without ceasing, Hold onto God's Unchanging Hand and Stay connected.

Central Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church hosts many virtual activities throughout the week and on Sunday to address spiritual needs. We also have information about available food banks/resources.

Please visit our Facebook page or website:

Two-thirds of Americans say they need help for stress. But stress itself is not the problem. It’s how we relate to stress. The stress response is critical to our survival. It can save our lives or enable a firefighter to carry a 300-pound man down 20 flights of stairs. Of course, most of us don’t encounter a life-or-death threat all that often. We usually experience stress reactions in response to thoughts, emotions, or physical sensations. If we’re actively worried about whether we can put food on the table or get the perfect exam score, presto: the stress reaction activates. And if the bodily systems involved in stress don’t slow down and normalize, the effects can be severe. Over time, we can succumb to, among other things, high blood pressure, muscle tension, anxiety, insomnia, gastrodigestive complaints, and a suppressed immune system.

Creating space in the day to stop, come down from the worried mind, and get back into the present moment has been shown to be enormously helpful in mitigating the negative effects of our stress response. When we drop into the present, we’re more likely to gain perspective and see that we have the power to regulate our response to pressure.

Here’s a short practice you can weave into your day to step into that space between stimulus and response.


S = Stop

Stop what you’re doing; put things down for a minute.

T = Take

Take a few deep breaths. If you’d like to extend this, you can take a minute to breathe normally and naturally and follow your breath coming in and out of your nose. You can even say to yourself “in” as you’re breathing in and “out” as you’re breathing out if that helps with concentration.

O = Observe

Observe your experience just as it is—including thoughts, feelings, and emotions. You can reflect on what is on your mind and also notice that thoughts are not facts, and they are not permanent. Notice any emotions present and how they’re being expressed in the body. Research shows that just naming your emotions can turn the volume down on the fear circuit in the brain and have a calming effect. Then notice your body. Are you standing or sitting? How is your posture? Any aches or pains?

P = Proceed

Proceed with something that will support you in the moment: talk to a friend, rub your shoulders, have a cup of tea.

Treat this whole exercise as an experiment: Get curious about where there are opportunities in the day for you to just STOP—waking up in the morning, taking a shower, before eating a meal, at a stop light, before sitting down at work and checking email.

You can even use your smartphone’s message indicator as a reminder to STOP, cultivating more mindfulness with technology.

What would it be like in the days, weeks, and months ahead if you started stopping more often?

This article also appeared in the August 2013 issue of Mindful magazine.

9 Ways to Stay Positive During the COVID-19 Virus

by William Arruda

When the news is all doom and gloom—as it has been since the outbreak of the coronavirus— it’s hard for even the most optimistic among us to stay positive. It’s true that we need to take this virus seriously. It’s capable of causing severe illness, death, and drastic long-term changes to how we live and work. It could even cripple the economy. It’s easy to stay focused on those calamities: they seem to be the only topics covered on local and national news.

But those thoughts would be counterproductive. Obviously, there are things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak to protect yourself and those around you, but you do not need to become a COVID-19 expert, nor do you need to hear about every unpleasant detail from dawn until bedtime. Instead, focus on the positive so that you have the energy and resolve needed to weather this storm. Here are nine things you can do:

  1. Limit your intake. You could watch 24-hour news channels, listen to dire warnings on the radio, or visit countless websites and be bombarded with the angst of the moment. Instead, choose a single news source and decide how much limited time you’ll spend with it each day. Then stick to your plan.

  2. Look to the past. Get hope from your past resilience. You have likely endured other unforeseen major life disrupters like 9/11, major hurricanes, or the financial meltdown of 2008. You made it through! And you are stronger because of it. Know that you will get through this. Remind yourself of your resilience on a regular basis.

  3. Watch a funny video. Thanks to the huge popularity of YouTube, there are thousands of videos that can help you take your mind off current events, if only for three minutes at a time. Start to bookmark the funniest among them so you can return for a repeat viewing whenever things feel gloomy.

  4. Look after your neighbors. You may be at low risk of severe consequences from the virus, but it may not be the same for your neighbors whose immune systems are compromised. The act of checking in on them (keeping six feet apart, of course) will not only make them feel good, it will make you feel good and remind you that there are others for whom this predicament is even more stressful.

  5. Support your favorite local business. Maybe you’re heeding the social distancing advice and aren’t eager to sit in a crowded restaurant right now. And others feel the same way. Those empty seats aren’t helping that restaurant owner to pay her staff or keep the restaurant in business. Buy a gift card to help the business owner now, and prepay for a wonderful meal you can have to celebrate when this pandemic is behind us.

  6. Send gifts in the mail. It may not be wise to drop in on your loved ones with some fresh-baked goodies, so send them a card or gift in the mail. Unexpected treats can be a huge pick-me-up-in times of stress. This is especially valuable to the elderly who are living in nursing homes. Many facilities have closed their doors to all visitors, making residents feel even more isolated and vulnerable.

  7. Take advantage of found time. I’m a public speaker and my speaking gigs are canceling left and right. It’s stressful. I could wallow in that for days. But that wouldn’t be productive. These cancelations give me an opportunity to focus on some things I’ve had no time for and to accelerate my progress on other product offerings. It’s liberating, and that’s what I’ve decided to focus on. If your company has implemented a WFH policy, how will you use the time you previously spent on commuting?

  8. Practice random acts of kindness. Leave an envelope with a little gift for the Amazon Fresh delivery person who drops off your supplies outside your door. Or have a coffee delivered to your doorman. Your kindness doesn’t require a monetary outlay. Write an unsolicited book review for a friend of yours who is an author. Comment on a colleague’s LinkedIn post. Send a snail-mail note of appreciation to a friend or colleague. Many in the entire country of Italy broke out in song and applause to honor their healthcare workers. Thank the custodians in your building or workplace for their efforts to keep things safe. Think of those who could benefit from your thoughtfulness and generosity. Then act.

  9. Take a daily inventory. Close your day, every day, with a positive acknowledgment of something you accomplished, learned or are grateful for. It will help dilute some of the negativity you’ve absorbed and remind you that not everything that’s happening right now is bad or depressing.

In times of constant negative messaging, you need an antidote so that you can keep your positive attitude and march forward with determination and hope. Be deliberate in activities that are positive, heartwarming, stress-reducing and laughter-inducing! Together, we’ll get through this.

William Arruda is the cofounder of CareerBlast and author of Digital YOU: Real Personal Branding in the Virtual Age.

Attachment: Sunday Morning Health Corner - Make Health and Nutrition a Priority during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

Don't forget, Sunday, May 3rd - Breast Buddy Check 3.

How Buddy Check 3 Works:

Find a Buddy or Accountability Partner – Choose a family member, friend, or co-worker.

Mark Your Calendar – On the 3rd of each month, mark your calendar as a reminder.

Call/ text, or email your Buddy – Remind each other to do your breast self-exam.

If you find a lump or any other suspicious sign, contact your physician as soon as possible.

Central Oak Grove Baptist Church, HHI, SC - Pastor Louis Johnson

Diane Neal, Carolyn Campbell, Linda Ferguson, and Duchett Hylton

Central Oak Grove Baptist Church Facilitators

Lifestyle Changes for Greater Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Health Ministry/Initiative

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