A crisis may bring great disruption to our daily lives, such as changes in our routine and lifestyles. This can be a great source of stress, which may manifest itself as:
- Physical discomfort: Aches and pains, headaches, illness or worsening of medical conditions
- Low energy: Tiredness or lack of motivation to do even the things that you used to enjoy
- Sleep problems: Difficulty falling asleep, waking frequently at night, or sleeping too much
- Diet problems: Loss of appetite, sudden weight gain or loss
- Substance use: Increased consumption of alcohol, smoking, medications, drugs
- Negative feelings: Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness or suicidal thoughts
While the effects of stress may differ between individuals, here are some simple tips on how to cope with stress during a crisis so that you can better manage your mental health.
Start Writing a Journal
Journaling is a good way to start being more mindful, which can help with managing your emotions. Taking stock of what has happened during the day is more powerful than you think. Simply penning thoughts down allows you to work through your emotions and release negative feelings.
On a good day, you can track your successes and progress to give yourself a boost of motivation. On bad days, it is an insightful exercise of identifying factors and emotional triggers that cause negative emotions to surface.
15 minutes of daily stretching
Benefits of stretching includes improved circulation, posture, prevention of niggling body aches and pains. There are many 15 minute stretching routines available on YouTube, so take a look around and see what catches your eye.
For best results, make sure you have minimal distractions during this 15 minutes.
- If you are living with family, consider waking up earlier in the morning when everyone is still asleep, so that you will have an undisturbed period of time.
- Should you be referring to a workout online, put your device away once you are familiar with the routine and focus instead on the physical sensations in your body.
Talk to Someone
Speaking to another person not only offers a different angle or even a solution, it also provides support to someone else may be going through a similar rough patch but too embarrassed to bring it up. Reach out to your friends and family about what you are going through.
For certain issues, it may be easier to talk to a stranger. If you would like to do so, you can call the National Care Hotline at +65 6202-6868. It operates alongside other specialised service helplines, such as those for mental well-being or violence and abuse.
Online Counselling / Hotlines:
- Fei Yue’s Online Counselling Service: eC2.sg
- Institute of Mental Health’s Mental Health Helpline: 6389-2222
- Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444
- Silver Ribbon Singapore: 6385-3714
Being in a pandemic isn’t something that any of us have experience in dealing with; having a trained mental health expert may be a good way for you to navigate your emotions and stress until COVID-19 is over. If you would like professional support, Doctor Anywhere has trusted psychologists that can provide guidance on how to manage your stress.