• Han Butler

Dealing With Anxiety And Your Relatives Through The Current Crisis

The feeling of stress is one of the most common human emotions. It is a signal - a warning sign - without which no evolution of human life would be possible, as it is the human body's response to danger and threat. When our ancestors lived in caves and were in danger, it was absolutely vital that they had a mechanism to help them react very quickly. Even today, this mechanism is necessary. Plenty of us suffer with anxiety and poor mental health, and it is something that is a response to stress of some form and it can be debilitating.

The goal is not to avoid stress, but to determine to what extent it is tolerable for everyone, so that it is a beneficial driving force. Helps us operate at maximum efficiency. However, as the stress level rises, so does the performance. Those who find the ideal level of stress for themselves and deal with it successfully, accept the challenges of life without suffering.

How the COVID-19 crisis may affect us

The economic crisis of COVID-19 and the times we are currently living through, are causing a feeling of uncertainty and fear for tomorrow. We feel that our survival and the survival of our children are threatened. It is a condition that we can not control and this increases the stress even more. Others may need to work harder, others may face dismissal. In this case, in addition to financial problems, they will experience the loss of their professional identity, with significant effects on their psyche. There is a risk of substance abuse to alleviate anxiety and depression. The situation needs to be actively addressed because that's how anxiety and depression starts to form.

Manage your stress

  1. Think about where it might come from. That is, examine whether the situation that concerns you is as negative as you think or whether past experiences are to blame.

  2. Keep notes of what you learned from the process.

  3. Prioritise them.

  4. Set achievable goals, starting with the easy ones.

  5. Think positive.

  6. Do not see things "white or black".

  7. Do not generalise if something goes wrong, not everything is destroyed.

  8. Plan your time, your activities, your priorities.

  9. Set your limits, do not commit to things you can not or do not manage to do.

  10. Claim your rights, your needs, your desires.

  11. Distract yourself with something else such as yoga.

  12. Do not hesitate to seek help from a mental health professional if you feel that you are at a dead end.

Vulnerable groups and what to expect

These people may experience more intense stress due to their concern not to be infected with the virus or due to the concern that there will be no available nursing facilities (mainly ICU), or also due to the social distancing imposed on them for protection which deprives or limits their contact with their loved ones. The need for care from their loved ones can also create strong feelings of helplessness but also the feeling that they are a "burden". These groups, which show increased rates of anxiety and depression even under normal circumstances, require special attention on the part of doctors and their relatives to detect the onset / worsening of a mental disorder. Individuals in these groups should be encouraged to express their mental state without being ashamed in order to be treated promptly and effectively. If support / treatment from the environment of vulnerable people does not work, the help of a mental health professional should be sought again. Ensure that they have the medications that they need and that they are armed with the equipment they need, too. Look at free pill boxes.

Families with children

Children, even teenagers, are more susceptible to rumors and often more insecure. They can express their stress in various ways, such as anxiety, sadness, irritability, crying, concentration and attention disorders, sleep or appetite disorders, reflux behaviours (eg nocturnal enuresis), atypical physical discomfort, etc. Their attitude and reaction to events are often influenced/ identified with that of their parents. Parents should therefore, based on what has already been mentioned above, maintain their composure and positive perspective, take care to detect any concerns and insecurities of the children and help them in an understandable and comprehensible way to understand the situation and form a positive perspective. Also with their example the parents will guide the child in maintaining a healthy routine of education, sleep, food, physical exercise as well as in maintaining contacts with their friends. If parental intervention does not work, the intervention of a mental health professional should be sought.

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