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Five on Friday: Reducing Anxiety and Stress

Five on Friday: Reducing Anxiety and Stress

For many, it’s been a stressful week! This week’s Five on Friday comes from Kaethe Weingarten, PhD, Director of Witness to Witness. She has reviewed hundreds of resources on reducing anxiety and stress. We asked her what some of her top recommendations would be for this very high-stress week, and she kindly offered up the following five resources, with a note included for each about why she recommends it. Thank you, Kaethe!

Here are “Five Easy Pieces” about how to de-stress I have selected out of the hundreds of resources I have that made sense to me to share today.  Here’s what I like about each one:


university of oxford logo

Some people think self-care is an overblown idea.  This short piece lays out concrete suggestions that are backed up by research for those of us who want the “hard science” as a reason to take better care of ourselves during stressful times.

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illustration of woman walking outside

These are simple, straightforward activities that don’t take much time or effort.  I did five-finger breathing with two of my grandchildren the other day and they liked doing it…and it helped.  (The six-year-old was about to have a loose tooth pulled!)

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Ideas from the Nap Ministry

For many of us, sleep is elusive these days.  Resting is an alternative.  Here are some suggestions from Tricia Hersey, founder of the Nap Ministry, that I have slightly modified. 


  • Close your eyes for 10 minutes
  • Take a long shower in silence
  • Meditate for 20 minutes
  • Stare out of window and daydream
  • Sip decaf tea before going to bed
  • Slow dance with yourself to soothing music
  • Pray
  • Do a yoga pose
  • Time yourself for a 20 minute nap
  • Take a hot bath
  • Take a media break
  • Batch your responses to texts and emails
  • Take a long walk in nature
  • Listen to a long piece of music while doing nothing else
  • Play a musical instrument
  • Work on a coloring book
  • Knit or crochet
  • Bake
  • Do slow breathing in to a count of 4, hold for 2 and out for a count of 5

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mindfulness exercise screenshot

There are so many guided meditation scripts out in the world these days.  This one appeals to me for its simplicity and tenderness.

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illustration of a woman in a mask looking out a window

I have always liked Toni Bernhard’s work.  This short piece rings emotionally true to me and it’s practical.




Have a safe and healthy weekend.


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