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LIVING IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
Stress is a normal reaction to an unusual situation. We are living in an uncertain time where stress is common. It is nearly impossible to go through one day without hearing alarming information on the news about the current pandemic. Stress management has become vital for individuals and families. Here, we will discuss coping skills to practice for reducing the consequences.
Trauma is the perception of a life-threatening experience combined with an overwhelming sense of helplessness to do anything about it. The nervous system becomes so stressed that it stops functioning normally and doesn’t return to a normal state of balance. We stay anxious or stuck in some debilitating way that diminishes our ability to act, to feel, or to think.
People can be resilient in the face of traumatic experiences but we can’t avoid them. We can’t avoid traumatic instances where we feel threatened, helpless, or overwhelmed. Resiliency lies in being able to act in feeling that we are not helpless, we can do something to make things better. Resiliency also lies in the ability to reach out to others for help and support to avoid isolating ourselves.
Tips For Coping
It’s normal to have difficulty managing your feelings after a tragedy. Everyone experiences stress differently, don’t compare yourself with others around you or judge other people’s emotions. Here are some tips for coping with stress:
Talk about it
By talking with others about the event, you can relieve stress and realize that others share your experience and feelings.
Spend time with friends and family
They can help you through this tough time. If your family lives outside the area, stay in touch by phone if possible. If you have children, encourage them to share their feelings and concerns with you.
Take care of yourself
Get as much rest and exercise as possible. Try to continue any religious activities or practices.
Take one thing at a time
Getting things back to normal can seem impossible. Break the job up into doable tasks. Complete that task first and then move on to the next one. Completing each task will give you a sense of accomplishment and make things seem less overwhelming.
Help if you can
Volunteer to help clean up or rebuild your community. You can help prepare meals for others including the elderly. Also, read to children in the shelter. Helping others can give you a sense of purpose in a situation that feels beyond control.
Avoid excessive drinking and drugs
Drugs and alcohol may seem to help you feel better, but in the long run, they generally create additional problems that compound the stress you’re already feeling.
If you need help, ask for it
If your stress is so strong and it gets in the way of your daily life, talk with someone. Don’t try to go it alone. You may want to talk with a mental health professional to discuss how well you are coping with recent events. You could also join a support group. Don’t try to go it alone. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.