Mental ealth During a Crisis

Emotional Boundaries 

  • Remember everyone reacts differently 

  • All you can do is give information; you cannot control how someone reacts to or processes that information

  • Take time to validate your own emotions. Its ok to feel how you do. Validate your feelings are real and also, they are part of your reaction to something. They are part of the story , not the entire story.

 

Mental Boundaries 

  • Set boundaries on the types of conversations that you have. Talking about certain things too much can be overwhelming emotionally and mentally. Feel free to switch the conversation topic “This isn’t helpful to me right now, but I would still love to connect, Can we talk about something else” 

  • Have someone you check in with on a regular basis to feel connected. (Text, talk, etc.). 

  • Limit the number of outside sources that you consume

  • Work on telling yourself your narrative about the crisis based on information you accept as  valid. Focus on your narrative as opposed to all of the competing narratives that may exist. Everyone you know likely has their own narrative and it is easy to become overwhelmed by others perceptions. 

Activities

  • Create a life narrative of positive memories and events.

  • Take time to be creative. Doodle on a page or play with different colors. Everyone can be an abstract artist. Do a puzzle, sudoku, or color page to stay busy and pass the time

  • Listen to music . Create a list of songs that are related to positive memories 

  • Burn a candle or add a new scent to your space. Scents like lavender are calming and citrus scents can elevate mood. 

  • Seeking counseling can be helpful to put thoughts and feelings into perspective and have an external sounding board

 

Mental Break

  • Breathing exercise: Inhale for a count of 3 and exhale for a count of 6. Do this 5 to 6 times in a row at different intervals during the day. This helps to kick out unwanted thoughts from your head and steady your bodies rhythm.

  • Work on scaling your thoughts: If you catch yourself saying absolutes like “should” or “must” or “always” or “never” , try to change them  to “possible” or “maybe” or “I would prefer” etc. Changing the intensity of the words we choose can change the intensity of the thought.

 

Dr. Elise Johns, PhD, LPC-S, NCC