Preserving well-being in times of crisis
The stress and uncertainties that began just over 2 years ago apparently won’t have abated anytime soon. In times like these, when under constant stress and perpetual burnout, it can get near impossible to preserve one’s basic well-being, let alone the productivity needed to perform optimally both in business and in one’s personal life.
While the causes of the current stress and discomfort are often external forces beyond our control, what we can do is change how we respond to these forces and focus instead on what we can control. In this article, we’d like to provide some helpful tips for preserving one’s physical and mental well-being in troubling times like these.
1. Don’t worry about things beyond your control
As we just pointed out above, we’re often dealing with forces outside our control, about which we can’t do anything but worry. However, even worrying about them does not in any way constitute a productive approach to dealing with them – worse, it can paralyze us and prevent us from doing what could actually be beneficial to us, and potentially to others.
Instead of worrying about social and political developments which are completely out of your hands, invest the time and energy into activities which will make it easier to set your worries aside and remain positive. Let’s go through some of the top ones with which you can’t go wrong.
2. Do physical activities
You don’t need to be super sporty in order to be physically active, so don’t fall into the pitfall of not doing anything just because you can’t immediately do it all. Even just stretching your back a couple of times a day will benefit you and may actually motivate you to do some additional exercise.
One of the most failsafe things you can do is take a walk, if possible in nature. Once you get more used to that, you can then turn your walks into longer hikes with more diverse destinations, or take things up a notch further by dedicating yourself to more specific activities, e.g. jogging, cycling, swimming, martial arts, etc.
3. Pick up and/or focus on a hobby
Following the train of thought from the previous point, picking up and/or focusing on a (new) hobby can do wonders for your well-being, whether that be a sport, a new book, or even something more growth-oriented such as acquiring a new skill or entering a new industry.
4. Meditate and practice mindfulness
In the extremely fast paced modern world ruled by instant gratification, it’s getting harder and harder to stay in tune with one’s inner self and not get caught up in the mass of information and feelings we’re bombarded with daily.
Meditation is one of the best ways to reconnect with yourself, break unhealthy thought patterns and gain more clarity on the events unfolding in your life. Daily meditation sessions combined with mindfulness will make you more resilient and better equipped to deal with seemingly unbearable situations and times.
5. Curb social media usage and/or screen time in general
The abundance of available pleasures of the modern way of life paradoxically leads to a decrease in people’s overall well-being. Much of this is the result of spending too much time glued to a screen, whether it’s that of a TV, a computer or a mobile phone.
Social media takes this an additional step further with algorithms designed to stimulate unhealthy behavior. It often provides a skewed perception of reality, by inflating or embellishing other people’s lives, which makes it one of the top causes of depression and suicide, especially among the younger generation.
More recently, with crisis following crisis, practically all social media platforms have become filled with emotionally loaded content and consequently even more harmful to our mental stability.
Limiting your usage of social media and screen time in general is key to taking a break from the overabundance of information; remember – you can’t disconnect if you’re always connected!
6. (Re)connect with friends and loved ones
One of the absolutely essential elements of both physical and psychological well-being, and one which seems to have been somewhat forgotten due to Covid-related concerns, is genuine human connection. In contrast, loneliness and isolation can actually be harmful to the functioning of the immune system.
According to research by the American Psychological Association, “loneliness … can lead to long-term "fight-or-flight" stress signaling, which negatively affects immune system functioning”, meaning that “people who feel lonely have less immunity and more inflammation than people who don’t.”
Of course, not everyone is super sociable and some prefer spending time alone; still, keeping in touch with friends and family doesn’t have to mean that you’re connected 100% of the time.
Find the right cadence that works best for you and loved ones, and, most importantly, just make sure you have someone to talk with when things get particularly tough.
Maintaining positivity in times of constant stress and societal upheavals is difficult, but certainly not impossible. We hope these tips are able to serve as a starting point and help you find your own approaches and techniques to preserving your well being. If you discover or already use some that you find particularly useful, feel free to reach out to us and let us know about them!