During times of tragedy, disaster or conflict, many people find it hard to focus and maintain daily routines. Even when not impacted directly, it can be challenging to cope with the turbulent events that shape today’s world.
Whether dealing with a global, national or personal crisis, here are a few healthy and practical tips to help maintain normalcy and reduce stress during difficult times:
- Remain Connected
It is important to discuss issues with loved ones, especially family, friends, and even neighbors. The simple act of expressing personal concerns can greatly reduce stress levels, and interaction can provide a sense of connection to others who may be experiencing similar emotions. Although communication is important, try to avoid engaging in emotionally charged debate or dwelling on the negative, as this may aggravate feelings of stress.
- Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
The importance of exercising during stressful times cannot be overstated. Exercise allows the mind to switch gears away from stressful events, and gives people a sense of control over their environment. Regular activity can relieve anxiety, frustration, and fear, increase feelings of well-being, and improve sleep.
- Turn Off Media and Unplug
Incessantly monitoring the latest news and headlines or watching the same footage over and over often increases fear, insecurities and irrational thought. Check in periodically for relevant updates and stay informed on news pertaining to physical safety, but try to avoid watching TV or browsing news online obsessively.
- Set Aside Relaxation Times
Remember to engage in leisure activities that can take your mind off the stressful events occurring. Any number of activities can be relaxing, from reading a book to watching a movie, listening to music, or going to a museum, park or show.
- Turn to Your EAP for Help
Dealing with a crisis of any scale is never easy to do alone. If stress or emotions feel overwhelming, don’t wait to seek help. Your employee assistance program is a vital, available resource, with clinical support and services ready to help employees and family members build resiliency and coping strategies.
If financial, emotional or other personal issues are interfering with daily life, it may help to reach out to your confidential employee assistance program (EAP), ACI Specialty Benefits. To speak with a clinician and receive personalized support, contact 800.932.0034 or email@example.com. EAP services are also available to all family members – even those out-of-state.