During times of tragedy, disaster or conflict, many people find it hard to focus and maintain daily routines. Even when not impacted directly, it can be challenging to cope with the turbulent events that shape today’s world.
Whether dealing with a global, national or personal crisis, here are a few healthy and practical tips to help maintain normalcy and reduce stress during difficult times.
Sharing personal feelings with trusted loved ones and friends in the aftermath of a difficult situation can help build connection, resilience, recovery and growth. While respectful, open and healthy communication is encouraged, it is also important to try to avoid emotionally-charged debates that may aggravate feelings of stress or anger.
Turn Off Media and Unplug
Incessantly monitoring the latest news and headlines or watching the same footage over and over often increases fear, insecurities and irrational thought. Check in periodically for relevant updates and stay informed on news pertaining to physical safety, but try to avoid watching TV, following social media 24/7, or browsing news online obsessively.
When situations feel ‘out of control,’ it can be helpful to do something within your control. Whether it’s sending a care package to someone who lost a loved one or helping with relief efforts for those who have lost homes and belongings in natural disasters, there are a variety of ways to be of service through challenging times.
Prioritize Self Care
Remember to engage in leisure activities that can take your mind off the stressful events occurring. Any number of activities can be relaxing, from reading a book to watching a movie, listening to music, or going to a museum, park or show. Get enough sleep, eat well, and remain active.
Turn to Your Assistance Program for Help
Dealing with a crisis of any scale is never easy to do alone. If stress or emotions feel overwhelming, don’t wait to seek help. Your assistance program is a vital, available resource, with support and services to help build resiliency and learn coping strategies.