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Stress Reducing Strategies During a Pandemic

In a world that has our heads buried in our social media feeds, where negative news casting seems to be surrounding us, and the outcome of the global pandemic is very uncertain, it can be extremely triggering. Anxiety, discomfort, and uncomfortable feelings of panic may be consuming us. You’re not alone. You may be experiencing a necessary “toughness;” day in and day out building an immunity to a myriad of certain traumas like job losses, business and school closures, and financial stress. Even if you are not personally affected, to witness these realities in modern day society may push you to build up resilience. 

The American Psychology Association defines resiliance  as “the process of adapting in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, or other significant sources of stress.” Becoming resilient helps you work through difficult events, but it also helps you grow and improve your life even when we aren’t in a global pandemic. The personality traits of a resilient individual can be learned and will continue to help you cultivate productive activity in the present and the future. Some people refer to resilience as “bouncing back,” but it’s more than that. Being resilient includes learning from past experiences and developing new coping strategies for a brighter future.

Some coping strategies to help you get through this difficult time are: 

    •    Exercise or practice some sort of physical activity at least 20 min daily 
    •    Engage in positive self-talk or inner dialogue
    •    Get out more and experience nature
    •    Listen to soothing or relaxing music 
    •    Cultivate humor
    •    Practice journaling to process thoughts
    •    Breathing exercises or meditation 
    •    Embrace change
    •    Don’t dwell on negative thinking
    •    Create goals 
    •    Adopt an optimistic outlook
    •    Develop strong personal connections

Among the many practices to building resilience and emotional strength, there is some internal work that can be done to establish a life of internal fulfillment and peace. If we are able to go inward and become accepting of all our parts, even the ones we may deem negative, we can become more self accepting. With this self acceptance and knowledge will come the self love and self respect we crave and deserve. Our anxiety will calm and our minds will find peace. A strong way to grow and become resilient is to acknowledge that a lot of anxious thoughts and emotions will show up during challenging times. If we can accept them rather than try to push them away or escape them we may become stronger. In a psychology article published by the Huffington post, the journalist writes “notice negative emotions, thoughts and physical sensations as they come up, look into them with curiosity, describe them without judgment and then let them go.” This is an essence of mindfulness, which has been consistently linked to good psychological health. 

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