Social distance and economic uncertainty increase the levels of stress and anxiety, which increases with the passing of days and weeks.
Recent statistics suggest that many people have experienced moderate to severe psychological impacts during the initial outbreak of COVID -19 in China. This is a very normal response and we can take some practical steps to manage it effectively. It is important that we do this for several reasons.
First, managing our stress levels has a significant and positive impact on our immune system, and the World Health Organization has emphasized that boosting our immune system and taking appropriate preventive care plays a crucial role in combating coronavirus. Improving our ability to cope will also improve our overall well-being and the likelihood of fighting the virus. This situation is also likely to continue and possibly worsen in the coming weeks; it is important that we implement strategies to deal with stress now so that it does not overwhelm us, and we can remain present and strong for our families, friends, and colleagues.
Six Scientific Tips To Avoid Nervous Break Down and Manage Stress
Find out how you feel:
The first step in dealing with increased stress and anxiety is to first recognize that you are feeling it. Stress can manifest itself in several ways, including sadness, confusion, irritability, procrastination, physical tension, and pain in the body, lack of energy, and even have problem in sleeping. We all have a different response to stress, and it is important to get to know yourself physically and mentally daily to know how we are feeling and to recognize the symptoms of stress. Ignoring this step and ignoring how we are feeling prevents our ability to manage our stress.
The meaning of things:
It is tempting to discard our feelings, especially at a time like this, when we all try to cope and remain strong for those around us. But the reality is that stress responses are our body’s way of protecting us, and early warning signs, such as feeling angry or tired, can be crucial indicators that we need to intervene before stress becomes overwhelming. The human body has adapted over many centuries to be able to react and protect itself from external threats, such as a global health pandemic, so it is perfectly normal to experience a stress response right now. Make it a habit to set aside time for yourself every day to understand this in yourself and understand the situation in order to avoid stress.
Small changes, big impacts:
The good news on how to deal with the first signs of stress is that often small changes in our daily routine tend to make a big difference. These daily rituals and routines differ for everyone and depend on your typical stress response. For example, if you normally experience physical stress, such as tiredness or body tension, you may decide to go to bed 30 minutes earlier than normal or take time out for a relaxing bath.
Avoid the pitfalls of common thinking:
An important element in building these strategies is to recognize what you can control and release the need to control what you cannot. There are practical things that we can all do in the current situation to protect ourselves and our loved ones. This includes good personal hygiene and the practice of social distancing, but there is also much that we have no control over. It seems simple, but just thinking about these things does not help. So take a moment to acknowledge these things and then release them. Try to be aware of the many myths out there that can be misleading and prevent us from focusing on what is under our control. Avoid making situations bigger than they are; or the other pitfall of common thinking, which is where we predict a future state that is based on our greatest fears versus the facts of the situation.
Increase the Intensity of Exercise:
Increasing our level of exercise can be one of the easiest and most effective ways to increase our mental well-being and strengthen our immune system . While it may not be possible to go out and take a brisk walk, there are many routines that we can do in our homes to help. And even better, it is if you can have a family member or friend to accompany you in person or virtually.
The human connection:
While we all practice social detachment, it is important not to forget the need for human connection at the moment. A more useful way of thinking about this can be physical distance, so as not to neglect the need for social connection with our friends and family – as this is another important element in combating stress. Checking in with others via a phone call or video chat can also serve two purposes, as the other person may also need a friendly human connection.
Now, more than ever, we must prioritize our individual health – and that includes our mental well-being. Take advantage of these six tips to recognize your feelings and maintain your overall mental health as we all go through Covid -19 together.
If you find that your signs are difficult to manage, consider seeking professional help.