How to minimise mental stress in a crisis.

Today is day 3 of the 21 days lockdown in India.

I would be lying if I said I am dealing with it very well because I am NOT.

My anxiety hit the roof yesterday when I was watching the film, Contagion. If you have seen it,  you will know how very similar it is to what is happening in our world today.

But, if you haven’t seen it, then I would suggest that you DO NOT WATCH IT, even out of curiosity.

*(Just stay away from films that deal with infections, pandemics, alien invasions and the like. We don’t need any more of it to add fuel to fire and  increase our anxieties.)

Yesterday, when I stepped outdoors to buy some meds, there were a hundred thoughts swimming in my mind:

How long will this crisis last? When will the tides change? How are the daily wage earners coping with the situation? What will happen when the stocks deplete and we are left with nothing?

What will happen to the destitute residing on the streets? And, how will the stray animals survive, with no humans frequenting the public areas, no eateries or shops running, and no one leaving any food for those poor souls?

I returned home with a heavy heart and couldn’t focus on anything. Even as I type this post today, my mind oscillates between hope and despair.

I am writing this post for myself, really, along with several of you, who could be experiencing a surge in their anxiety levels and feeling helpless, just like me.

Who feel lost, and alone, during this time when we have also been asked to stay away from each other. True, we are in constant touch through social media but is that enough to find solace and seek the warmth that we all so require in today’s dark times?

Thankfully, for us all, there are psychiatrists, therapists, and medical practitioners, who keep sharing tips to help us face the turmoil.

My psychiatrist, Dr. Chetan Vispute, has begun an Online consultation and counseling session to help those overwhelmed by these tough times.

He also shared a few tips on mindset shift during a pandemic that can help you deal with your monsters.

Mindset shift during a pandemic

 

A few friends also shared some easy tips to help me cope with my anxiety, and I am sharing those with you all.

I am well aware of how to care for my mental health in a crisis–I have done it earlier–but, in today’s anxious times, I tend to forget those basic To-dos that have otherwise helped me deal with the complexities that came my way.

So, here are a few dos and don’ts you need to remember whenever you are having difficulty facing the situation:

5 TIPS TO FOLLOW IN A CRISIS:

1. BREATHE:

It’s always the one thing we forget to do, be it in a crisis, or otherwise. A friend reminded me about its importance as I shared with her my anxieties, as did a psychologist friend, who sent me a message about breathing slow, focusing on my breath as I inhale and exhale.

Just BREATHE. Count the number of times you breathe, say, a minute or two, and watch your anxiety dissipate.

 

2. LIVE IN THE MOMENT:

We, humans, have the tendency to always float away into the future. Seldom are we in the here and the now.

Our future is uncertain; we have no idea what turn life could take, so the best thing we could do for ourselves is to focus on the moment that we have with us, and do our best.

Is there anything else that we can possibly do that could alter the course of our life? I doubt it, for we never know what course life takes!

 

3. STEER CLEAR OF DARK IMAGININGS:

This is something I fight with each day. Frightening thoughts increase my anxiety, and as much as I understand that I need to change my mindset, I fail to do so.

Being in the moment and thinking good thoughts will definitely help me through these tough times.

I so need to remember these words, each day, every day.

Good thoughts, positive thoughts, happy thoughts, peaceful thoughts.

 

4. SHARE YOUR FEARS WITH YOUR CLOSE ONES:

I have started doing it now.  Earlier, I would feel guilty sharing my worries with others as I felt that each of us is fighting battles on a daily basis; how can I burden my people with my fears?

But, it’s in these moments when fear has seized the entire world, that we need to talk about things that trouble us.

Doing so will definitely help us cope with life better as we have a shoulder to lean on. And, we all need a shoulder to lean on, a patient ear to hear us out, and a hand to hold as we walk through this menacing maze.

5. THIS, TOO, SHALL PASS:

Four words that I repeat to myself when in a crisis, but which I seem to have forgotten in the past few days!

Nothing in this world is permanent. Every moment comes to pass; good times, bad times, tough times, happy times, they all pass.

The time that we stare at today, will pass, too.

Let’s consider ourselves lucky that it’s teaching us precious lessons for life.

 

CONCLUSION

Our mind is our biggest, strongest weapon. In a time of crisis, it’s how we use it that decides how we fare as a species.

So, let’s put our mind to good use; let’s fill it to the brim with positive, happy thoughts; let’s also use it to give us the strength and support we need today so that we beat the monster and win this battle.

 

Pin it for later!

Minimise your stress and face a crisis

 

 

 

Categories: Health-Wise, mental health

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11 replies

  1. Just what the doctor ordered Shilpa! Strangely, on the 11th of March I attended a Mindfulness workshop conducted by a dear school friend and she taught us five meditative practices. The one I loved most was the Raisin Meditation where we actually meditated over a raisin. But jokes apart, concentrating on the breath and doing the kinhin walk is therapeutic and relaxing.
    I haven’t yet freaked out but my patience is wearing a bit thin. Unfortunately, my waist is not wearing thin in the process 😦

    Like

  2. Oh how I wish you hadnt watched that movie!! Hugs to you and please keep yourself in a positive frame of mind by talking it out with peeps. I am right here – so just call.

    The added housework is the only change in my routine; otherwise I am still doing all the things I was doing earlier. Only miss my walks – but this is important so…

    I have taken a conscious step to avoid all the negative reports and forwards and what nots on Corona. I am dedicating my social media time in connecting with people and spreading positive news only. Please look at helping with the relief efforts- just tweet or share facebook posts to spread the word. You will feel good about it and also help out a very real cause.

    Lots of people are going about helping out in this situation. Thats the best news for me and I am trying to do my bit to help out there.

    Hope we all come out of this sane and a little less scarred. Hugs Shilpa XOXO

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know, Shalz! I realized it at the end of the movie that I should have stayed away from it.
    Anyway, now that I have learned my lesson, I keep away from such movies.
    I also stay away from all the negative news and the statistics they keep sharing on the news channels.
    It’s best to watch/read happy posts, stories of how people are reaching out to one another in this time of crisis.
    Yes, we all will get out of it, someday soon. But I hope we have learned a valuable lesson from it all!

    Hugs!
    Take care! ❤

    Like

  4. Dear Shilpa,

    This too shall pass and we are in this together. So do keep our chin up.

    These are the things I’m doing to stay hopeful amidst the crisis:

    1 hour yoga every day while the DH does his workout with me in the living room
    chanting
    reading something hopeful- “Kaizen” currently
    journaling sometimes
    spending time with my family and furry girls
    meditating when I can
    Making video/zoom calls to friends and family
    Staying away from negative news and forwards
    Watching only Comedy on TV if I do watch TV that is.
    Tending to my plants.
    Watching the clear skies and breathing in the fresh air.
    Writing with optimism in my heart. The idea is to inspire myself before I can inspire others. Recollecting some good memories from the past and writing them down.

    I hope this helps.

    Please take care and try not to let the challenges overcome you. I know this is easier said than done. But when we look at the brighter side of things, it does help. At least we have a safe home where we are housed with food on our table, unlike many at this point of time. We are really privileged, to have what we do.

    But sometimes our anxieties have no rationale and they somersault into our lives.

    Sending you lots of love and healing prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

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