How to Stay Mentally Strong in a Crisis
By Sandy Schroeder
As we all watch the current global crisis play out, it's easy to feel threatened, frustrated and angry. Others may feel depressed, defeated or overwhelmed.
Wherever you are with your family, your home, your job and your life right now, psychologists want you to know your feelings are justified and there are ways to stay strong.
Most of us know it is important to stay in touch with family and friends, to exercise daily, to eat well, and to get enough sleep. Here are some additional ways to stand up and bounce back.
Set limits on daily news - When you and your family begin to feed on the news it is easy to become down and stay there. Talk with your family about the crisis and watch some news daily. Then go on from there to do all of the normal things that you can. Don't hide from the crisis, but refuse to wallow in it. Choose reliable news sources and be honest about the situation as you do everything that you can to stay safe and help others do the same.
See how you feel and accept your feelings - Fear, hopelessness, anger, anxiety and sadness are all normal reactions to a pandemic. Talk with those around you and share your feelings as you seek new levels of normalcy with your kids, parents, friends, boss, neighbors and co-workers. Stay in touch online or on your phone to release some of the tension and frustration, and encourage each other.
Keep social media under control - Spending endless amounts of time soaking up more crisis commentary on all sorts of platforms won't do a lot for you or your family. Stay aware, but spend most of your time living in the moment to keep life as normal as possible for you and your loved ones.
Don't pressure yourself to be productive - Maintain as much of your usual work routine as possible, but cut yourself a little slack too. Find a balance between daily tasks and overload. I sometimes find myself working along only to suddenly stop and ask, "How did we get here?" The shock value of our current crisis will gradually be absorbed if we let it. We will get back to regular work levels faster if we allow space for the impact of the crisis.
Pay attention to facts and feelings - Feeling overwhelmed and completely threatened happens when we let emotions lead the way. Try for periods of calmness and meditation every day. Sit quietly and let your thoughts roll by unjudged. Later you may be more assured as you review your safety procedures and the best advice of our medical experts.
Wherever you and your family are in the crisis, do your best to take care of each other, and reach out to help others.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Schaumburg, Ill.