As we continue to live under the shadow of coronavirus there are a whole host of coping strategies which you can use to help yourself through tough times.
Identifying and, crucially, practicing helpful coping strategies enables us to build our resilience.
“Much like a gardener would tend to his plants or an athlete would tend to their body, we need to tend to our emotional wellbeing too”, said deputy clinical lead Josef Landsberg.
“You can learn and practice skills which help you feel better and more able to cope with the adversity we are currently facing. You will benefit from the time and effort you put in.”
Josef explains the most commonly used coping strategies can be divided into helpful and unhelpful coping strategies.
He said: “Unhelpful strategies like avoiding addressing a problem or excessive drinking, can make things worse. Whereas helpful strategies may include thinks like ‘active coping’ and ‘acceptance’.
“When people practice and apply helpful coping strategies it means they experience less distress in uncertain times.”
You can build your tolerance to uncertainty
Try thinking of your intolerance of uncertainty like a psychological allergy. Hay fever sufferers have a strong reaction to even a tiny amount of pollen. They might start sneezing, get itchy eyes or have difficulty breathing. In the same way if you feel unable to tolerate uncertainty consider that you are allergic to uncertainty. You therefore experience higher levels of distress after being exposed to a small amount of uncertainty. During this coronavirus pandemic we are all exposed to uncertainty on a daily basis. You can work to reduce your allergy by:
- Using routine to provide comfort: It can be helpful to focus on things you can control during times of uncertainty. You still have control over your habits and routines. Eat nourishing meals at regular times and remain physically active. Government guidelines suggest at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week.
- Stop seeking absolute certainty and learn how to cope with uncertainty: People can be taught how to cope with uncertainty. Research has shown that cognitive-behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help reduce uncertainty intolerance.
- Be more mindful: Being mindful means being more present in the moment with curiosity. It also means not judging yourself about the thoughts going on in your mind. Being mindful during times of uncertainty can give your mind a break from thinking about all the things that may go wrong and relieve stress.
- Applying self-compassion: Rather than judging yourself negatively for feeling stressed about uncertain times, you can declare that it’s normal to feel that way, apply self-care and give yourself time to adjust. Choose to take part in fun and meaningful activities in your life.
Visit the Every Mind Matters website to see the top 10 things you can do to improve your wellbeing if you are worried about coronavirus.
Actions you can take to improve your situation, which can result in improved coping and mental health.
- Stay connected
- Talk about your worries
- Support and help others
- Feel prepared
- Look after your body
- Feel prepared
- Stay on top of difficult feelings
- Do things you enjoy
- Focus on the present
- Look after your sleep
If you are struggling with your emotional wellbeing or mental health Healthy Minds Buckinghamshire can help.
We offer proven NHS care to help people who are struggling most with uncertainty and worries.
Appointments are available over the telephone, via video conferencing and face-to-face appointments.
Call 01865 901 600 or visit our website.