Strength and mental resilience during a state of emergency
The current situation in Ukraine affects the whole world and all of us are looking for every way to help, live in the moment, deal with difficult feelings and situations, and maintain the most meaningful everyday life possible.
There are many different ways to make yourself feel better and help yourself cope:
1) Give space for all kinds of emotions and thoughts
Each of us reacts to exceptional situations in a different way. Thus it is important to give space and understand both your own and others’ feelings and thoughts. There is no one correct way to experience a situation like this. The feelings that arise may be strong and inconsistent, so try to be gentle with yourself in their midst. It is important to give yourself and others permission to process and talk about worrying things, but it is also good to talk about other things. Remember to take some war-free time.
2) Put effort into everyday routines
Maintaining a normal everyday routine creates a sense of security and predictability. Take care of your eating habits, breaks, recovery and sleep as well as exercise and fun activities. Take time to do things that you enjoy and that bring you joy. Also take care of your physical fitness as well as you can. If you work remotely, stay in contact with your workmates.
3) Focus on what you can affect
It is understandable that we feel insecure, worried and even scared of things that are outside of our control. It may be calming to focus your attention on the things that you can control, whether it is helping those who need it, staying in touch with friends or taking care of yourself at home.
4) Take care of your social life
Take care of your social network and try to maintain your relationships as well as you can, do not isolate completely. If you cannot be around other people physically, stay in contact via phone, video, social media and email.
5) Take also care of your workmates
We are all in this state of emergency together, even if we react to it differently. It is exceptionally important to work together and try to keep the work situation as normal as possible in this new situation. Ask your workmates how they are doing and take breaks together (also over a remote connection).
6) Limit your use of media and pick your sources of information carefully
Perusing media and social media continuously may add to your anxiety, worries and mental burden. Try to limit your media use, and when you do need information, rely on the authorities for information. Especially protect children from the news overflow.
7) Trust human resilience and focus on hope
Occupational health psychologist's tips for a workplace wellbeing revolution
Fortunately, the stigma associated with mental health challenges is receding. In addition to the fact that employers are now more strongly directed to take care of the psychosocial stress, mental health challenges are dared to be talked about more openly and people know how to seek help for them. This is also clear from Terveystalo's statistics, where visits related to both anxiety disorders and depression have increased throughout the 2020s. Sari Nuikki, Terveystalo's leading occupational health psychologist, explains how mental well-being can be supported in the workplace with small everyday actions.
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