Persistent exposure to crisis situations, such as the endless months of the coronavirus spread, can prove harmful for mental health. A study published by Boston University School of Public Health found that 8.5% US adults experienced symptoms of depression before COVID-19, which spiked to 27.8% by mid-April in 2020. Reorganization of mental health services and support to reduce loneliness by local and government authorities must continue, particularly for older people, according to a press release by the World Health Organization (WHO). This will help people plan and prepare better to cope with emergencies, if any. Additionally, here’s a look at how to manage stress and stay calm during a crisis.
Vent Your Feelings
A critical situation can give rise to bouts of depression, with accompanying lethargy and appetite disruptions. Remember, you cannot overcome depression with sheer willpower or mindfulness. Seeking help from experienced counselors can help alleviate the symptoms of depression, prevent the life-long struggle with anxiety or compulsive behaviors through interpersonal therapy techniques, according to experts at the Institute for Personal Growth. Therefore, do not hesitate or feel embarrassed to sign up for online therapy.
Take a Walk Everyday
Spend at least an hour in solitude to help yourself unwind from the ongoing chaos. Even a 20-minute stroll of about 2 miles can clear your mind, reduce stress and relax your muscles, according to an article on Harvard Health Publishing. Besides walking, you can also take up cardio or aerobic exercises, which helps reduce cortisol and adrenaline levels, while releasing endorphins, the feel-good hormone.
Validate Others’ Emotions
Try to be empathetic and considerate towards your loved ones. Listen to their worries and consider sharing personal experiences of stress management. Act as a calming presence and be open to different perspectives, which could also bring you relief. In fact, knowing that everyone undergoes some form of crisis in their life can help you feel less alone and gain confidence to tackle the situation in a practical manner. Try not to blame anyone or display anger, which might only exacerbate the problem.
Disconnect for a While
Give yourself enough time to process the problem situation. This will allow you to come up with new solutions, unique approaches and fresh coping mechanisms. Denial is never a solution to an existing problem. Pull away from the situation for 1-2 hours at least, to feel clear your head and recoup your coping skills.
Stay positive, take care of your diet and focus on deep breathing daily. Remember, it happens to the best of us but can be managed with the right help.