In the midst of unprecedented global tensions, it’s not uncommon to feel a heightened sense of stress and anxiety. The constant influx of information from various sources, coupled with the uncertainty surrounding world events, can take a toll on our mental well-being. This blog post aims to provide practical tips and strategies to help you manage and mitigate stress during these challenging times.
I watched the movie Leave The World Behind on Netflix last night and boy, did it affect me. It didn’t help that there was a storm outside and in the middle of the night, I was kept awake by wind batting at the windows, and falling trees crackling in the distance.
These apocalyptic movies used to seem more funny and far-fetched to me than they do now. Even the movie Idiocracy, in all its hyperbole, is feeling closer to reality than it used to. Both movies include humor and irony, but still, I cannot help but feel the sense of doom they are also trying to evoke. Just turn on the news or scroll your media feed, and, every day we find the not-so-funny irony of the state of the world.
I panic. Maybe we should have a bunker. Maybe I do need cases of water and Spam, and iodine tablets and bullets. Maybe I should learn to hunt. And then I wonder, “would I even want to try to survive in a post-apocalyptic world?” Would there be a point? I am certainly no Katniss Everdeen.
So how do we manage our nervous systems, amongst all the uncertainty portrayed on screen and in real life?
1. Stay Informed, but Set Limits:
While it’s important to stay informed about world events, it’s equally crucial to set limits on your news consumption. Continuous exposure to distressing news can contribute to heightened stress levels. Designate specific times of the day to check reliable news sources, and avoid excessive exposure, especially before bedtime. Use fact checking websites to ensure you are not going down a conspiracy rabbit hole and talk to people about your worries and theories.
2. Practice Mindfulness and Meditation:
Incorporating mindfulness and meditation into your daily routine can be a powerful antidote to stress. Take a few minutes each day to engage in deep-breathing exercises or guided meditation. These practices can help calm the mind, improve focus, and cultivate a sense of inner peace amid external chaos. You may not feel an immediate shift but think of a daily practice as compounded interest. Over time, each daily deposit will add up to whole lot of mental health goodness.
3. Establish a Routine:
Creating a daily routine provides structure and predictability, helping to alleviate the anxiety that often accompanies uncertainty. Ensure your routine includes time for self-care activities, socializing in fun and supportive ways, and moments of relaxation. Consistency fosters a sense of control in an otherwise unpredictable world.
4. Connect with Supportive Networks:
Share your feelings and concerns with friends, family, or support groups. Discussing global tensions and its impact on your mental health can be therapeutic and may provide valuable perspectives. Connecting with others who share similar sentiments fosters a sense of community and reduces feelings of isolation. You can also volunteer or make charitable contributions to agencies that are working to make the world, or our little corner of it, a better place. Make routines with your family or friends too. Establish a Friday night pizza and board games or movie night or something else that is fun, bonding and everyone can look forward to each week. Lastly, it’s easy to forget there are many good people out there doing good things. Be one of them.
5. Engage in Physical Activity:
Regular exercise is a proven stress reliever. Whether it’s a brisk walk, a home workout, or a yoga session, physical activity releases endorphins that positively impact mood. Find an activity that you enjoy and can easily incorporate into your routine. Just like meditation, this is a compounded interest type of strategy.
6. Limit Social Media Exposure:
Social media can amplify feelings of stress and anxiety, especially during times of global tension. Evaluate your social media usage and consider taking breaks from platforms that contribute to heightened stress levels. Use social media mindfully, focusing on positive and informative content. I try to load my Instagram feed with as many positive influencers as possible. That could be people like: Jay Shetty, Gary Vaynerchuck, Juggling the Jenkins, Stephen King, and so many others depending on your tastes.
7. Seek Professional Support:
If you find that stress is significantly impacting your daily life, consider seeking professional support. A mental health professional, like me, can provide coping strategies, tools for managing stress, and a safe space to express your concerns. Our nervous systems have been on overload for many years now. Living in a state of fight, flight or freeze is not healthy and can lead to not only mental breakdowns big and small, but lower our immune systems, cause illness and even damage relationships.
Managing stress amid global tensions requires a proactive and holistic approach. By implementing these practical tips, you can cultivate resilience and fortify your mental well-being during uncertain times.
Remember, it’s okay to prioritize self-care and seek support when needed. In the face of global challenges, taking steps to safeguard your mental health becomes an essential aspect of navigating the uncertainties that life presents.
For more support reach to out to me for a free consult call. As an experienced therapist and life coach, I am ready to help you understand how to manage your nervous system and improve the quality of your one precious life.