Protecting Your Mental Health in Times of Crises (French version available)
Open discussions about mental health and efforts to destigmatize it have drastically increased over the past few years, with prioritizing your state of mind being communicated as an integral part of your overall welfare. These discussions are encouraged during particularly difficult times. In turn, society is now approaching related issues from a more compassionate standpoint.
That being said, one of the most critical tools regarding the subject matter is not only acknowledging your mental health, but additionally, knowing how to effectively protect it.
If you’ve recognized this importance and are looking for ways to ensure your mental state remains healthy, through unforgiving times in particular, here are a few pointers:
Don’t Be Afraid to Say “No”
This statement especially refers to those who consider themselves “people pleasers.” In general, we take on many responsibilities or tasks because we have that desire to appear resilient and capable, even during times of crises. However, always remember: putting yourself first in certain situations, mainly when it involves your well-being, should also be prioritized.
Occasionally, when things are not absolutely necessary for you to accept, say “no” if you truly believe they’ll have any further negative impact on your mental health.
Focus On Things That You Can Control
The devastating events occurring in Ukraine have sent shockwaves around the world. With how technology is today and having that ability to access content at your fingertips, you’re likely seeing non-stop coverage of these events. The amount of negativity people are exposed to is astronomical and may likely be instigating much apprehension amongst those who regularly engage in online news consumption. Thus, there’s an implication that we focus on things outside of our control.
A suggestion would be to continue staying updated, as it of course remains important, but monitor more closely how much news, such as that regarding Ukraine and Russia or other grim, broadcasted information, we consume. If you feel anxious as well as sensing that it’s taking a toll on you mentally, try to limit your screen time in this respect and concentrate on upholding productivity within your own life.
In an event where you’re experiencing feelings of anxiousness, power off your device(s), take a deep breath and ask yourself basic questions including: “What’s the next thing I have to do right now?” or “What can I do to get my mind off of what’s happening?”
Ensure that you have healthy relationships with the people in your life. They should be there to encourage and support you when times are tough. If you find that you’re noticing unhealthy patterns within your relationships with friends and/or family, distancing yourself from them or, in some cases, even ending the relationship(s) might be a good idea. Toxicity is not what anyone needs when attempting to protect themselves from emotional/psychological distress.
Although every person must exercise resilience in times of crises, it does not at all imply that caring for yourself shouldn’t be a priority. In most cases, looking out for yourself will likely enhance your overall quality of life and actually put you in a better position to tackle the inevitable challenges ahead. Depending on your individual situation, review what’s stated above and see which or if all tips provided can help protect you mental health.