In the midst of this pandemic, stress, anxiety and depression are more prevalent than normal. Whether you have lost your job or are trying to work while supervising and schooling children at home, many are feeling overwhelmed and like their life and their emotions are outside of their control. Below are a few tips from medical professionals and experts on how to build resilience and regain a bit of control in these uncertain and concerning times:
Keep A Journal
One way to help manage a wave of emotions is to put them on paper. Writing down the events of the day helps you to process them says Yale Medicine neuropsychiatrist Dr. Arman Fesharaki-Zadeh says. He especially recommends finding a quiet place with minimal distractions where you feel comfortable writing as little or as much as you want, with no judgment, ideally on a daily basis.
Get Adequate Sleep
According to Yale Medicine, getting adequate sleep is key to helping manage stress and anxiety, and therefore your ability to be resilient. “Consistent bedtime routines increase predictability and control,” they write. Routines and rest fosters good mental health and productivity, which give you more of a feeling of control in a chaotic moment.
Find Ways To Be Social
Since most of us are in some phase of quarantine, we are much more socially isolated than usual. Yale Medicine also recommends maintaining as a robust social life for your mental health, at a safe distance or virtually. They recommend visiting family and friends at a social distance, volunteering, sending cared and e-mails and regularly checking-in with those closest to you.
Seek Information From Verified Sources Once Or Twice A Day
It is easy to get caught up in doomscrolling the news, and Dr. Luana Marques, a psychotherapist professor at Harvard Medical School says Google trends show that searches for “coronavirus anxiety” peak around 11p.m.-4a.m., showing people are not sleeping well, likely as a result of anxiety about the virus.
Dr. Marques recommends trying to slow your brain down, decreasing your stress and anxiety, and one way to do that is to only check the news once or twice a day from verified sources. She recommends the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
The American Psychological Association recommends taking this weird moment in time to find some purpose, perhaps through giving back, moving towards your goals in an intentional and disciplined way or taking this time to do some self-discovery. “It’s helpful to acknowledge and accept your emotions during hard times, but it’s also important to help you foster self-discovery by asking yourself, ‘What can I do about a problem in my life?’ If the problems seem too big to tackle, break them down into manageable pieces,” they write.
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