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Managing COVID-19 Stress Part 3: Emotion-Focused, Meaning and Action Strategies For Coping with your Mild-to-Wild Warning Signs

Emotion-Focused, Meaning and Action Strategies For Coping with your Mild-to-Wild Warning Signs

Part two of this series explored problem-focused strategies for coping with stressful situations.

Part three explores emotion-focused, meaning and action strategies to help you to manage the mild to wild signs of stress many people are experiencing during COVID-19.

Emotion-Focused Coping

In emotion-focused coping, the goal is to address the negative emotions associated with stress. Emotion-focused coping can look like:

  • Supporting our physical health and resilience, for example, by exercising at least 30-minutes daily and eating nutritious food
  • Connecting to people: It is useful to connect with people, who you want to connect to, for at least 30-minutes every day. Connecting of course needs to be done in ways that supports everyone’s health.
  • Do shout outs about people to highlight how they are going above and beyond. This can be done on smaller and larger scales, and there are acknowledgement initiatives to support this across Calgary that highlight the inspiring support people are providing.
  • Taking breaks: Research absolutely supports being productive, there are extensive benefits to knowing you are doing constructive activities. Productivity research also supports taking short breaks throughout your day rather than pushing yourself non-stop to the point where wild signs of stress can occur, like exhaustion and burnout. Taking 2-15 minute active and/or resting breaks a few times a day, can reduce stress reactions from escalating to wild levels.

Note that emotion focused strategies do not solve the sources of the stress, and if some strategies are used to excess, for example, taking too many breaks, they might delay dealing with aspects of the challenging situation that are within your control.

Meaning-Based Strategies

Stressful situations can connect us with what is the most important in our lives.
It can be useful to think about a time when you experienced substantial personal or professional growth, or a time when you performed at your highest level, such as solving a significant problem, getting yourself out of a difficult situation, or raising a child. What was it that motivated and fueled you to grow, learn, and improve during these times? Those times can involve mild to wild stresses or struggles.

Acknowledge what COVID is highlighting that is meaningful to you. What are you learning? Which resilience and coping strategies are you developing, initiatives are you supporting, practical knowledge are you gaining e.g. online courses are you taking, activities are you pursuing with your kids etc.?

This strategy isn’t meant to diminish the substantial challenges and outcomes of COVID; rather, it helps to acknowledge that identifying what is meaningful to you can foster resilience during this challenging time.

Connecting to Resources

It is important to get help from friends, family, and coworkers during challenging times, and to seek professional help if you need it. Consider talking to your doctor or a counsellor about what you are dealing with. Community resources such as crisis centers and support groups can also provide useful assistance.

Actions and Outcomes

Take daily action to cope with stress. What is one thing you can do today to help you to cope with your mild to wild signs of stress? By taking action daily, in a year’s time your life can be supported in 365 ways.

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

We offer in-person appointments and have expanded our secure videoconferencing and telephone counselling to ensure you can access support even from a distance. Click here to contact us for a complimentary consultation with a Synthesis Psychology Registered Psychologist or Social Worker.

If you would like to stay connected and receive more information, sign up for our newsletter.

Image source

Post by Nina Hornjatkevyc, Registered Psychologist

 

Emotion-Focused, Meaning and Action Strategies For Coping with your Mild-to-Wild Warning Signs

Part two of this series explored problem-focused strategies for coping with stressful situations.

Part three explores emotion-focused, meaning and action strategies to help you to manage the mild to wild signs of stress many people are experiencing during COVID-19.

Emotion-Focused Coping

In emotion-focused coping, the goal is to address the negative emotions associated with stress. Emotion-focused coping can look like:

  • Supporting our physical health and resilience, for example, by exercising at least 30-minutes daily and eating nutritious food
  • Connecting to people: It is useful to connect with people, who you want to connect to, for at least 30-minutes every day. Connecting of course needs to be done in ways that supports everyone’s health and complies with distancing regulations.
  • Do shout outs about people to highlight how they are going above and beyond. This can be done on smaller and larger scales, and there are acknowledgement initiatives to support this across Calgary that highlight the inspiring support people are providing.
  • Taking breaks: Research absolutely supports being productive, there are extensive benefits to knowing you are doing constructive activities. Productivity research also supports taking short breaks throughout your day rather than pushing yourself non-stop to the point where wild signs of stress can occur, like exhaustion and burnout. Taking 2-15 minute active and/or resting breaks a few times a day, can reduce stress reactions from escalating to wild levels.

Note that emotion focused strategies do not solve the sources of the stress, and if some strategies are used to excess, for example, taking too many breaks, they might delay dealing with aspects of the challenging situation that are within your control.

Meaning-Based Strategies

Stressful situations can connect us with what is the most important in our lives.
It can be useful to think about a time when you experienced substantial personal or professional growth, or a time when you performed at your highest level, such as solving a significant problem, getting yourself out of a difficult situation, or raising a child. What was it that motivated and fueled you to grow, learn, and improve during these times? Those times involve can mild to wild stresses or struggles.

Acknowledge what COVID is highlighting that is meaningful to you. What are you learning? Which resilience and coping strategies are you developing, initiatives are you supporting, practical knowledge are you gaining e.g. online courses are you taking, activities are you pursuing with your kids etc.?

This strategy isn’t meant to diminish the substantial challenges and outcomes of COVID; rather, it helps to acknowledge that identifying what is meaningful to you can foster resilience during this challenging time.

Connecting to Resources

It is important to get help from friends, family, and coworkers during challenging times, and to seek professional help if you need it. Consider talking to your doctor or a counsellor about what you are dealing with. Community resources such as crisis centers and support groups can also provide useful assistance.

Actions and Outcomes

Take daily action to cope with stress. What is one thing you can do today to help you to cope with your mild to wild signs of stress? By taking action daily, in a year’s time your life can be supported in 365 ways.

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

We have expanded our secure videoconferencing and telephone counselling to ensure you can access support even from a distance. Click here to contact us for a complimentary consultation with a Synthesis Psychology Registered Psychologist or Social Worker.

If you would like to stay connected and receive more information, sign up for our newsletter.

Image source

Post by Nina Hornjatkevyc, Registered Psychologist