Stress Awareness Month: Spotlight on MSIH alum Sanjai Dayal, MD

Held annually every April, Stress Awareness Month highlights the many causes of modern stress in everyday life, and promotes activities and treatments for individuals to lower their overall stress. As we continue to manage the new normal during the COVID pandemic, it is all the more important for people to use techniques to better manage stress. MSIH alum Sanjai Dayal, MD (‘13) shared, “This pandemic has offset our sense of balance and tested our resilience in many ways.”

Dr. Dayal is an Assistant Professor at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, where he teaches residents and medical students. Over the past year, he has worked in Cornwall, Ontario as a community psychiatrist at Cornwall Community Hospital in outpatient, consult-liaison, and emergency psychiatry. 

Dr. Dayal completed his psychiatry residency at Duke University in 2017,  followed by an addiction psychiatry fellowship at Yale School of Medicine a year later. Later, he spent a year in Prince Edward Island, Canada, working at a methadone clinic and as a community outpatient psychiatrist. 

Regarding his thoughts on the effects of one’s health during these uncertain times, Dr. Dayal offered, “ In terms of stress management, I refer to the five core dimensions of health: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social….If you are feeling a bit off, there is an imbalance somewhere.” Dr. Dayal encourages those who are stressed to assess their sleep, exercise and eating habits, along with their social support network. 

During the pandemic, being self-aware and mindful of the core dimensions of health are especially important. Taking care of your physical health, discussing your problem with others, and recognizing when you need help are some of the tips the CDC recommends as methods for reducing stress (CDC).