One part of ICAA's definition of emotional wellness includes "coping with challenges," in positive and effective ways. One way is to manage stress.
The following are general ways to manage stress:
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a well-balanced diet and drinking enough liquids
- Learn strategies to cope with stress such as relaxation, meditation, yoga, Tai Chi
- Change thinking- help people focus on what they can control, include daily gratitude thoughts, create activities that divert attention away from the pandemic and on to other things so they can laugh and feel joy
- Get people involved in their community, have them take this (stress) energy and put it into a 'helper' mode-focusing on others reduces inward thinking and decreases stress
- Get people to stay social and interact with loved ones and friends, get them to share their thoughts on worry and anxiety with others
- Use technology to reduce stress, such as wearables, apps, and online games.
- Urge people to reach out to staff and their healthcare providers if their despair is great and if they are feeling depressed or losing hope
- Create a sense of trust, a community that cares, and a sense of belonging among all people in the organization
- Eat well and make sure that people are getting enough vitamin B12 in their diets. When under stress, people do not obtain the benefits of B12, such as providing energy and elevating mood. Also, older people do not make as much stomach acid needed to break-down and use B12 effectively.
- Feeling like nothing matters, apathetic, thoughts of suicide
Stop and think. Many people have unmanaged stress, which can cause health issues and hinders progress toward reaching emotional wellness. What ways do you have to identify the sources of stress affecting your customers and staff? Are you applying a robust stress recognition and management program during the pandemic? What activities are you using to focus on wellness?