The global Covid-19 pandemic will go down in history as one of the most devastating, both physically and mentally. Learning a new reality is challenging as your daily life is disrupted by social distancing, masks, and constant stressors for the invisible threat lurking nearby. the financial stress of job loss is devastating. Still, strong people adapted.
Is it any wonder that people are anxious, depressed, and dealing with a host of mental health issues? This is not the first crisis in American history, but it will be one that will be remembered for the lives lost and the financial devastation it has caused. Other horrific events include the 9/11 terrorist attacks or the SARS outbreak.
Americans learn to cope and move on, but much of the way you respond to a crisis comes from your core strength. A mentally strong person can handle these adverse experiences better than someone who is not as resistant. It is possible to come out of this nightmare with post-traumatic growth rather than Post traumatic stress.
If you’ve never heard of the term post-traumatic growth, you are not alone. When you go through a stressful experience, you make positive rather than negative psychological changes. You have the power within you to ascend to a higher level of functioning, even though the world is in the midst of a great crisis.
Things strong people do to protect their mental health
When this pandemic ends, and it will, you may be stronger than you were before it started. However, your actions dictate how you will be on the other side. If you want to make sure you’re mentally unharmed, here are some proven things strong people do to avoid long-term mental health problems.
1. They learn to control their emotions
If you find yourself feeling a bit sad and tearful at times during this pandemic, know that you are not alone. A healthy person does not avoid his emotional self. Rather, they learn to keep it under control. According to Dr. Marsha Linehan, the creator of DBT therapy, you have three states of mind, and they are:
• Emotional: this is where your emotional statements rule.
• Rational: here both logic and facts abound.
• Logical: Here, it takes a combination of your emotional and rational mind to develop a reasonable opinion.
When you learn to control your emotions and use a rational mind to govern them, you can live by logic. Your feelings are everywhere, especially in a pandemic. Your emotional mind may tell you that you are going to be one of those who die from the coronavirus, but your rational mind steps in to provide you with the statistics you learned.
More people recover than die, so you learn to be logical with your emotions. It is easy to engage in catastrophic behavior, but you must learn to use logic to stay sane.
2. They don’t beat themselves up for a loss of concentration.
It’s challenging to be productive when the whole world is in chaos. While working at home may seem like a better way to get more done, many people find it quite challenging. It’s normal to have trouble concentrating and feel completely overwhelmed by homeschooling and your new role.
When your safety is threatened, you must realize that you are doing the best you can to survive. Practice personal care to help cleanse the body and mind, and don’t be so hard on yourself. If you can’t focus or focus on a particular day, take the day off.
Strong people accept their flaws and realize when they are at their breaking point. It’s okay to not be well, and you can give yourself time to get away from the stressors around you.
3. They understand that what they feel is normal
Accept your feelings and don’t try to bury them where they rot. If you want to be resilient, you must know that anger, fear, sadness, and anxiety are all part of such a challenging event. There will be things that will take days to process because it is so overwhelming to take it all in at once.
In 2013, Adjustment disorder was added to the American Psychiatric Association diagnostic manual as a mental illness. Whenever you go through a major stressor in life, even within the preceding 90 days, it can cause you great mental anguish as you try to process and cope with it. Anyone going through this pandemic is in danger of suffering from this mental strain.
Changes in society, such as homeschooling children, working from home, job loss, and the death of friends and loved ones, have taken their toll. The key is to accept what you feel, process those feelings, and move on. Don’t chew and get mentally overwhelmed.
4. They choose carefully who they follow
Strong people avoid negative people and they are careful who they follow. When it comes to fact-based data, don’t trust social media. Avoid those who challenge public health efforts to manage the global pandemic.
Not only is it unhealthy to see people joke about the things officials are doing to help you, it is psychologically damaging to hear something that may or may not be relevant. For factual data, listen to officials like the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control.
Mentally strong people will understand that you cannot believe everything you read or hear on television, social media, or the radio. When you use new, reliable sources, you can reduce false reports and the mental strain caused by inaccurate information.
5. They learn to meditate
Meditation has a host of benefits as it helps release negativity from the body. People who meditate regularly can return to a calm state even during the most stressful conditions.
Meditation is proven to reduce levels of stress, anxiety, help with depression, and improve your overall emotional health. Some say it helps improve concentration and return them to a healthy baseline.
One of the best ways for a strong person to protect themselves during a pandemic is to avoid the amount of news they consume. Have you ever heard of compassion fatigue? Nothing is encouraging on the news these days, and when you ingest all that negativity, it affects you adversely.
When you hear one devastating report after another, it can put your body in a state of traumatic stress. Your body will release cortisol and adrenaline to put you in fight or flight mode. It is common to use doomscrolling to get current events, but you just need to know what affects you.
By limiting your exposure and choosing reliable media, you can promote mental stability.
7. Avoid negative people
Easy ways to avoid negative people include turning off the news and stop doomscrolling on social media. Although, what about the people you meet every day? While you must accept their flaws, you don’t have to listen to or participate in their toxic behaviors.
Avoid those who lie, gossip and are self-centered as they can affect your mental health.
8. Focus on personal care
Strong people know that to overcome such a devastating pandemic, they must take care of themselves. Ways to reduce exposure are essential, such as getting plenty of exercise, eating right, getting the recommended amounts of sleep, and zooming in with family and friends.
While the pandemic has put a lot of distance between you and your loved ones, you can still zoom in for the social interaction you need. Since many gyms have closed, why not work out online with some friends? Exercise helps maintain positive energy flow and can help build your immunity.
9. They know themselves and what they need
Strong people know what it takes to get there. If they are introverts, they prefer smaller groups anyway, as the larger ones exhaust them. They find that being alone burdens them.
The extrovert needs other people and activities to feel mentally strong. They will use ways to connect virtually and keep their social life strong no matter what is happening. Part of being healthy is knowing what you need and getting it regardless of the new restrictions and mandates.
10. They respect other people
A healthy person learns that you never know what someone else is going through, so you should always be nice. He didn’t realize that the grumpy worker at the drive-thru this morning just got some bad news about a loved one. He probably didn’t even feel like working, but he had bills to pay.
The man who took his parking spot at the mall was in a hurry and didn’t even see him. You didn’t know he was there to buy his wife a soft robe. Look, she’s in the hospital fighting for her life since Covid-19. The strongest respect other people because they realize that what you see or hear on the outside is often a reflection of what is happening on the inside.
Living in a pandemic requires a lot of strength. There will be good and bad days, but you should practice self-care to make sure you stay mentally intact. Find your support between positive peopleAnd remember that it’s okay not to be okay.
A strong person can get through a horrible situation and have post-traumatic growth instead of post-traumatic stress. The choice is up to you.