Have you noticed that the entire world looks stressed to the core right about now? The recent coronavirus outbreak isn’t helping matters either, leading to the layoffs of many people with no sign of future employment.
For those who still have a job, on paper, the question is if their desks will still be waiting for them when the pandemic is over.
However, this is not the time to give in to stress. There is so much of that going around that you risk an overdose of it.
That is why we have put together this piece to help you manage stress better in these trying times.
Accept the Situation
Trying to behave like everything is fine when it is not will put a great deal of strain and stress on you.
Of course, the mind over matter mantra is famed for working, but there is always a limit to what your mind can take and that is where it starts to break down.
That is why the first step to beating stress is acknowledging and accepting the situation bringing about that stress. Be it a potential layoff, an overdue promotion, or loss of pay you must put a finger on it.
By naming the problem, you are not living in denial anymore. And when you don’t live in denial, you get the extra benefit of tackling the stress effectively.
Humans have the innate desire to control everything. Right from the onset to the outcome, we want to always be on top of things. We have taken this same approach into almost every other part of our lives so much that it ends up bringing us stress.
Always know that no matter how great a plan is, there will always be that situation that changes the dynamic of things for you. Not giving room to these will set you down a spiral of negative thoughts and emotions that will eventually result in stress.
That said, control can be tricky.
We recommend that you know what you can control and what is out of your control. Once you can accept that some things cannot be impacted by your actions or inactions, you are quick to let them go.
That way, you can focus on what is still within your control before it spins out of proportion too.
Following the point above, one of the poor habits that come out of wanting to maintain control over something that should be let go is not sharing.
A popular saying is that a problem shared is half solved. While that does not always hold, there is a lot of sense to it.
When you share the reasons for your stress, you run the chance of getting fresh insights into what you are facing. For sure, you have your point of view already – but that might not be the best.
On sharing, you suddenly start hearing some new sides to the argument that you may have never thought about before.
The best part of sharing is that you now have someone that can keep you accountable as you progress through the journey of beating that stress. This will even give you an added motivation to do better – and be better too.
That said, sharing is not something you do with just anyone.
Depending on the root of your stress, choose someone you can confide in. They should also be willing to put effort into helping you in any way that they can – no matter how small.
Avoid Substance Use
It is not uncommon for some people to turn to substance use when the first signs of stress start setting in. For lack of a better expression, this is about equal to setting yourself up for more problems.
On the one hand, substance use and abuse won’t get rid of the stress. When the effects wear off, the user will always come back to face the reality of what’s going on in their lives. Thus, they keep seeking more and more temporary escapes.
On the other hand, such consistent usage will birth a new problem – substance dependency. This might even be worse to get rid of than the initial causative factor of the stress that led them down this path.
Thus, stay off any drugs and alcohol during this period.
Take A Break
In the middle of this current pandemic, for example, there are a series of things that could trigger your stress.
It could be the news items popping up on your TV screen every day, recording the new number of amazing people that we are losing to the virus daily. It could even be the unrest that has started creeping up in different cities on the back of this lockdown.
It could be anything at all.
Believe us when we say that it is not cowardly to take a step back.
Speak With Loved Ones
This is not the same as the tip to speak to someone above. Of course, they said someone could be one of your loved ones, but this is much different.
Staying disconnected from your social circle for too long could put you into a sorry state. You would not have descended into such a spiral on a normal day otherwise. That is why we recommend speaking with your loved ones daily.
You will be surprised to feel very much relieved after spending some time/ speaking with them. Surprisingly, you don’t have to discuss your stress with them either before you feel better this way.
When feeling uncertain or out of touch, it might be time to reach out to those that care about you for some fresh breath of love.
We want to believe that this is not the first time that you have experienced stress. In the past, you have been able to deal with it in some way. Only thing is, this one might look like a new form of stress to you.
Well, it would always look new, but the principle of dealing with stress rarely changes.
Dig deeper into yourself to unearth the skills that you used to overcome stress in the past. Dust them off and refine these skills to fit into your current situation. Put them to use too, and you would be building yourself up to tackle issues of this magnitude later.
8 Seek Professional Help
After all that we have said, there is no shame in seeking professional help too.
There are a ton of great therapists out there that you can talk to. Sometimes, you might not even identify your stress levels – or what is causing them – rightly. These professionals have the tools and resources to work with you until they get to the very bottom of the problem.
That way, they can effectively tackle the issue for you.
You don’t have to wait for the lockdown period to be over before you get started either. Most of these therapists now hold online sessions which can be just as effective.
Seek one out today and get back to your best self once again.