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Managing COVID-19 Stress Part 2: Problem-Focused Strategies For Coping with your Mild-to-Wild Warning Signs

Problem-Focused Strategies For Coping with your Mild-to-Wild Warning Signs

In part one of this series, April Dyrda brilliantly highlighted key information about common responses to stress and described some of the issues we are seeing at Synthesis Psychology as people deal with the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. She noted stress responses are a normal and important way our bodies alert us that something needs to be addressed, and that it is important to know our mild and our wild warning signs of stress so that we can put interventions in place as early as possible. Intervening early helps to reduce the probability that milder signs will escalate to wilder signs of stress.

In this part two article, we are looking at problem-focused coping strategies for some of the mild-to-wild signs of stress that are impacting many people during COVID.

Two key categories for coping with stressful situations are problem and emotion focused coping, and both can be useful (Lazarus & Folkman).

In problem-focused coping, the goal is to address the problem or cause of stress.

Problem-focused coping can look like:
-changing the relationship between you and the source of stress, such as managing or removing it, and seeking information to try to understand the situation and make conscious efforts to prevent the source of stress going forward

For example, people who are concerned about the ongoing financial effects of COVID-19 on their business are pursuing different ways to reach clients and consulting with financial resources to access up-to-date information and understand their options.

If you were laid off or are concerned about your work situation, this is an excellent time to do career research and develop your network through informational interviews. Have virtual coffees / informational interviews with people to ask people about their professional lives. There are excellent lists of informational interview questions online. For more job search strategies, our partner practice, Calgary Career Counselling provides excellent services and has extensive resources and strategies on their articles page.

Accessing news information from reputable sources is essential. It is useful, however, to think about where and how often to seek out information. An often-recommended guideline is to limit checking news to no more than once/day.

Problem focused coping can provide long term solutions to stressful situations. Sometimes, however, as with aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sources of stress can be beyond your control or cannot be addressed immediately. This was the situation we experienced while the COVID-19 vaccines were being developed and while they are being distributed. In these types of situations, emotion-focused coping is particularly important.

In emotion-focused coping, the goal is to address the negative emotions associated with stress.

In part three of this series, we will explore emotion-focused, meaning, and action strategies to help you to effectively cope with mild to wild stress.

For more strategies to manage stress and support your wellbeing, contact us at Synthesis Psychology.

– 

References:

Folkman S. (2013) Stress: Appraisal and Coping. In: Gellman M.D., Turner J.R. (eds) Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_215.

Image source

Post by Nina Hornjatkevyc, Registered Psychologist

 

Problem-Focused Strategies For Coping with your Mild-to-Wild Warning Signs

In part one of this series, April Dyrda brilliantly highlighted key information about common responses to stress and described some of the issues we are seeing at Synthesis Psychology as people deal with the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. She noted stress responses are a normal and important way our bodies alert us that something needs to be addressed, and that it is important to know our mild and our wild warning signs of stress so that we can put interventions in place as early as possible. Intervening early helps to reduce the probability that milder signs will escalate to wilder signs of stress.

In this part two article, we are looking at problem-focused coping strategies for some of the mild-to-wild signs of stress that are impacting many people during COVID.

Two key categories for coping with stressful situations are problem and emotion focused coping, and both can be useful (Lazarus & Folkman).

In problem-focused coping, the goal is to address the problem or cause of stress.

Problem-focused coping can look like:
-changing the relationship between you and the source of stress, such as managing or removing it, and seeking information to try to understand the situation and make conscious efforts to prevent the source of stress going forward

For example, people who are concerned about the financial effects of COVID-19 on their business are pursuing different ways to reach clients and consulting with financial resources to access up-to-date information and understand their options.

If you have been laid off or are concerned about your work situation, this is an excellent time to do career research and develop your network through informational interviews. Have virtual coffees / informational interviews with people to ask people about their professional lives. There are excellent lists of informational interview questions online. For more job search strategies, our partner practice, Calgary Career Counselling provides excellent services and has extensive resources and strategies on their articles page.

Accessing news information from reputable sources is essential during COVID. It is useful, however, to think about where and how often to seek out information. An often-recommended guideline is to limit checking news to no more than once/day.

Problem focused coping can provide long term solutions to stressful situations. Sometimes, however, as with aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sources of stress can be beyond your control or cannot be addressed immediately. This is the situation we are experiencing while the COVID-19 vaccine is being developed and distributed. In these types of situations, emotion-focused coping is particularly important.

In emotion-focused coping, the goal is to address the negative emotions associated with stress.

In part three of this series, we will explore emotion-focused, meaning, and action strategies to help you to effectively cope with mild to wild stress.

For more strategies to manage stress and support your wellbeing, contact us at Synthesis Psychology.

– 

References:

Folkman S. (2013) Stress: Appraisal and Coping. In: Gellman M.D., Turner J.R. (eds) Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_215.

Image source

Post by Nina Hornjatkevyc, Registered Psychologist