How to Reduce Stress: Tips and Strategies

As seen in the September 2020 Issue of Advancing Care.

Many people across the Hudson Valley — and around the world — are reporting higher than normal stress levels, due to COVID-19. There are ways to deal with this, says Lisa Hirsch, MD, an internal medicine physician at Bon Secours Medical Group/Good Samaritan Hospital, in Suffern.

“An initial strategy to help mitigate stress is to step back, take a deep breath and set some priorities,” says Dr. Hirsch. “The deep breath puts you in the present place, where you can better recognize the problem and what needs to be done.”


The WMCHealth Behavioral Health Center hotline is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week at 914.216.7733.


Hirsch also says that exercise is highly beneficial, as it “increases endorphins, which is a natural way to feel better, and aids in oxygenation, which supports focus and memory.”

With people adjusting to a “new normal” because of the pandemic, Dr. Hirsch says it’s important to set priorities where you can.

“You can’t be everything to everyone all the time,” says Dr. Hirsch, who also recommends creating and leaning on a support network for childcare or at work. Also, “make sure you unplug from smartphones, tablets and computers from time to time.” Additionally, bypassing negative thoughts and practicing mindfulness are extremely important.

“If your stress is overwhelming, talk to your doctor about the possibility of counseling.”

Help is Just a Phone Call Away

The WMCHealth Behavioral Health Center has been a leading provider of comprehensive behavioral health services for the Hudson Valley for more than 90 years.

To help members of our Hudson Valley community facing anxiety, challenges and hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WMCHealth established a free, confidential hotline to provide support.

Staffed by licensed and accredited members of our Behavioral Health Center team, the hotline is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week at 914.216.7733. Members of the community are encouraged to utilize this service.