403-261-5085
·
305, 1167 Kensington Crescent NW, Calgary, AB
·
Mon/Fri/Sat - 9:00AM-5:00PM
·
Tues/Wed/Thurs - 9:00AM-8:00PM

Managing COVID-19 Stress: Knowing Your Mild-to-Wild Warning Signs

As we continue to adjust to life in a global pandemic, we’re also learning how to cope with and recognize the ways that changes in our environment can trigger changes in ourselves. In response to stressful life events (such as COVID-19), we’ll often notice a stress response in people who are living through these events, such as through alterations in normal or baseline mood, thoughts, attitudes, or behaviours. Some examples of common stress responses include:

While these changes might be uncomfortable, it can be helpful to know that stress responses are a normal and important way for our bodies to get our attention and alert us of something that needs to be addressed. One thing to pay attention to as you tune into your own stress responses is the severity of your symptoms. In other words, if we think about our wellbeing along a continuum, as our stress response increases, so will the severity of our symptoms. This is captured by the mental health continuum model (shown below) designed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

When we’re able to gauge how stress affects us, we’re able to identify what is commonly referred to as our “mild” and “wild” warning signs of stress. Mild or early warning signs are often the first things we’ll notice when faced with stress and will usually show up when we’re in the yellow zone of the mental health continuum. Depending on the person, this might look like taking longer to fall asleep, being more easily irritated, or spending more time watching TV. As things escalate, we’ll notice more wild or dangerous signs of stress, which become more prominent and pervasive as we move into the orange and red zones of the mental health continuum. This might take the form of pushing people away or isolating yourself, or even getting angry and raising your voice when you don’t usually do so. It’s important to note that these responses are characterized by noticeable and persistent changes to your baseline, and that knowing what it looks like for you to be in the “healthy” or green zone of the mental health continuum can make it easier for you to identify when these changes are occurring.

While each person will naturally experience the effects of stress differently, noticing where and when you are most impacted can allow you to more easily notice and, as a result, better manage your own stress and anxiety by seeking out earlier intervention. Stay tuned for our next blog where we’ll be sharing key strategies for how to effectively manage stress and anxiety related to COVID-19.

 

Post by April Dyrda, Registered Provisional Psychologist

 

As we continue to adjust to life in a global pandemic, we’re also learning how to cope with and recognize the ways that changes in our environment can trigger changes in ourselves. In response to stressful life events (such as COVID-19), we’ll often notice a stress response in people who are living through these events, such as through alterations in normal or baseline mood, thoughts, attitudes, or behaviours. Some examples of common stress responses include:

While these changes might be uncomfortable, it can be helpful to know that stress responses are a normal and important way for our bodies to get our attention and alert us of something that needs to be addressed. One thing to pay attention to as you tune into your own stress responses is the severity of your symptoms. In other words, if we think about our wellbeing along a continuum, as our stress response increases, so will the severity of our symptoms. This is captured by the mental health continuum model (shown below) designed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

When we’re able to gauge how stress affects us, we’re able to identify what is commonly referred to as our “mild” and “wild” warning signs of stress. Mild or early warning signs are often the first things we’ll notice when faced with stress and will usually show up when we’re in the yellow zone of the mental health continuum. Depending on the person, this might look like taking longer to fall asleep, being more easily irritated, or spending more time watching TV. As things escalate, we’ll notice more wild or dangerous signs of stress, which become more prominent and pervasive as we move into the orange and red zones of the mental health continuum. This might take the form of pushing people away or isolating yourself, or even getting angry and raising your voice when you don’t usually do so. It’s important to note that these responses are characterized by noticeable and persistent changes to your baseline, and that knowing what it looks like for you to be in the “healthy” or green zone of the mental health continuum can make it easier for you to identify when these changes are occurring.

While each person will naturally experience the effects of stress differently, noticing where and when you are most impacted can allow you to more easily notice and, as a result, better manage your own stress and anxiety by seeking out earlier intervention. Stay tuned for our next blog where we’ll be sharing key strategies for how to effectively manage stress and anxiety related to COVID-19.

 

Post by April Dyrda, Registered Provisional Psychologist