Here’s how to cope with stress, according to the World Health Organization
- The pandemic has created an unusually stressful environment for a large number of people.
- The World Health Organization has created an illustrated guide to managing stress, including audio exercises.
- Around the world, healthcare systems are facing unprecedented strain, with concerns that restricting access to mental health support will store up problems for the future.
Whatever stage of lockdown you are currently experiencing, there’s no denying things are more than a little strange right now. Perhaps you are working from home, surrounded by the noise and bustle of family life. Perhaps quarantine is making you feel isolated, and getting in the way of your usual interactions with family and friends. Maybe job, financial and health worries are taking their toll.
Doing What Matters in Times of Stress: An Illustrated Guide Image: World Health Organization
The WHO has released a new book – Doing What Matters in Times of Stress: An Illustrated Guide – which lays out some strategies for dealing with feelings of anxiety and stress. These include ways to ground yourself, focusing on your surroundings and what you are doing rather than getting caught up in negative thoughts. Of course – it’s far from just COVID-19 concerns that can lead to stress.
Stress can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Image: World Health Organization
The guide offers up advice and exercises, centered around breathing and relaxation, to help you refocus and engage with the world. The exercises can be followed using the pictures and instructions, or are available as an audio guide. Regular practising of these techniques can reduce feelings of stress, the WHO says.
Doing What Matters in Times of Stress: An Illustrated Guide.
Image: World Health Organization.
Identifying the problem
The guide also recognizes that coping and grounding techniques do not get to the root of the stress and negative thoughts. As such, it dives into ways to identify the underlying thoughts and feelings.