By: Rev. Jeffrey R. Funk (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association, U.S.A)
- Through Exertion
a. Because Ministry can be a sedentary profession, you need to adopt a thirty to sixty minute program of regular (at least three times per week) physical activity- in the form of jogging, walking, bicycling, swimming, tennis, racquetball, basket ball, working out at the local spa anything, as long as you find the exercise interesting (so you will keep at it) and it is strenuous enough to produce deep breathing and liberal perspiration.
b. Be sure to consult with your physician for his or her recommendation of a safe level of exercise for you – especially if you are forty years old or have any health complication.
- Through Nutrition
a. You need to regularly eat a well- balanced diet when under a lot of pressure. Most nutritionists agree that the best diet is a balanced one that includes some of all the food groups.
b. Foods you might want to limit when experiencing stress:
1. Reduce the amount of caffeine rich beverages you consume (especially coffee, colas, and tea).
2. Decrease your intake of fat and sugar. It has been said that, “Our reserves in physical energy disappear proportionately as our waistline expands.”
c. Get enough fluid into your system throughout each day. Why? Dehydration causes stress on your body. The universal recommended action is six to eight glasses of water a day.
a. To sleep soundly for a full night is a valuable restoration gift. Proper rest allows your physical, mental and emotional self to regain lost energy. Rest restores us. Determine how much sleep you need to feel and function at your best (studies show that most adults need about eight hours per night) and then determine to get it most nights during the week.
b. You need to take appropriate breaks daily- not working for too long a period of time and not working on one situation for too long. You need weekly breaks – not working over fifty hours a week. You need to take a quarterly long weekend off and yearly break of at least two weeks off.
- Without Addiction
a. You must avoid using drugs and alcohol to help you cope with stress. Tranquilizers and sleeping pills should be used only under a doctor’s care and with extreme caution.
b. Drugs and alcohol merely numb the symtoms of the stress. They do nothing to help cure the cause. In fact, alcohol can actually cause stress. In laboratory tests, alcohol has been shown to trigger the release of stress hormones from the brain and pituary and adrenal glands; the same reaction that might be brought on by money woes or marital problems.