Some practical stress busters from the Department of Psychiatry. April 13, 2020  
     
  We all are well aware of present crisis named, Covid 19. Most of us have not experienced this kind of complex global trauma before in our lives. We all know that this pandemic is sweeping across continents and infecting people regardless of race, ethnicity or nationality. All these are very important and we should follow our local and WHO guideline. Its time to act in synergy and in a coordinated way to avoid maximum damage. It is important to follow our local and WHO guidelines along with acknowledging the psychological, social and economic repercussions of Covid 19. The key to survival is a stable mind aiming to accomplish the future endeavors. Let’s take this an opportunity to unlock our best human potentials and skills. For that here are few strategies:
Validate your distressing feelings:
The crisis of this magnitude can generate different range of emotions including fear, frustration, anger, anxiety, restlessness, hopelessness, sadness, disturbed sleep and appetite, hyper arousal states, body aches and pains. But it is totally okay to feels this way. It’s better to identify or name your feelings. You can say that, “I know I’m fearful and anxious due to this situation. Its okay to feel this way”. Validation of one’s painful feeling is the first step of healing
Mild anxiety and stress in this crisis situation are helpful as it maximizes the performance and one can do all the necessary steps to help oneself and others. The problem arises when the anxiety or stress is more than persons’ ability to handle. The key is to manage anxiety in these difficult times so that we can maintain our social functioning by protecting self and loved ones.
Let’s choose hope
Hope is the ultimate power and a driving force in every difficult situation. We all are powerful to fight with this crisis. Our mind the most powerful tool on earth and the biggest empowering machine is programmed to do this by choosing hope. So, let’s Repeat this again and again, “I choose hope. I refuse to become hopeless. This too shall pass”
Maintain daily routines
Behavioral technique are the best and effective tools.in the crisis situation use distractions to divert your mind thus controlling dysfunctional thoughts. We should try to have a structured day routine that includes:
i. Sleep for 6 to 8 hours.
Good sleep helps us to cope with stress and maintains a good immune system.
ii. Choose healthy foods.
Avoid processed and junk food.
iii. Talk to people and ventilate your feelings
iv. Deep breathing
Breathe in slowly through your nose for five seconds and hold this breath in your abdomen for a second and breathe out through your mouth for 7 seconds. Do it for 3 to 4 minutes and do it twice a day or whenever you feel anxious.
v. Progressive muscular relaxation
Contact a group of muscles for 5 seconds and then relax it for 10 seconds. start from head to your toes.
vi. Grounding
Is an effective technique for managing anxiety states
o Notice 5 things you can see
o Notice 5 things you can hear
o Notice 5 things you can touch
o Notice 5 things you can smell
o Notice 5 things you can taste
vii. Exercise or walk is very helpful
Avoid Excessive Media:
Too much research on social media shall only worsen the anxiety. Let the medical experts and health departments do their job and trust their advice
Things one can control vs. things cannot be controlled:
Focus on doing your part of the job, things you can control are limited. There are always things in our life which are beyond our control. Simply leave them. You are not responsible for them.


Bracket off your worries:
Set a time bracket to think stuff which is worrying you. For instance20 minutes per day. Always remind yourself if worrying thoughts disturb you that it is to be entertained in that bracket period only. Mind it this period should not be your bed time or waking up time as this will worsen your mental health.
Religious support:
Difficult times are supposed to grow us and to have a closer relationship with our Creator. Have faith, spend time in praying and asking forgiveness. Believe that with every difficulty there is an ease. Remembering that the Creator can give you the ultimate peace of mind and tranquility of heart which is necessary to go through this difficult time.
 
     
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