Ways you can beat stress during hard times

Mar 19, 2020, 10:43 AM

Let’s face it, we’ve all seen better days and now that Utahns have been hit with a one-two punch of coronavirus spread and Wednesday’s 5.7 magnitude earthquake, stress levels are way high.  But experts say there are ways to ease tensions, and one of those ways is to remember that most of us have been through hard times before.

“We can look back on the things that we’ve done to help us get through that.  There’s a great amount of strength in resilience we have as humans.  One of the most important things we can do to build that strength is to feel helpful, to feel like we’re doing something that’s helping ourselves and others,” advises Intermountain Health Care’s Dr. Travis Mickelson during Wednesday night’s coronavirus/earthquake town hall that aired on KSL NewsRadio.

Michelson says sleeping well, continuing an exercise regiment as best as you can, eating healthy and contiuing to feel like we are being helpful to others, including checking on seniors, are good ways to relieve our own stress.  If kids are at home, look to them for entertainment as kids generally find ways to entertain themselves.

“Most homes are filled with card games, board games and books to read,” says Mickelson.  Parents should “stick to a routine, avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed, and spend the hours before sleep doing activities that are calming and create a sense of safety.”

Experts agree that no one can control natural disasters such as earthquakes, but we can control what we do in the aftermath.  Dana Garfin of the University of California Irvine’s school of nursing says following guidelines advised by your local health department and advice from officials in the wake of an earthquake goes a long way in keeping our stress levels low and gives us a sense of command, opening the door to options for helping others, according to the Deseret News.

Experts also agree that finding new hobbies during times of limited mobility is helpful in keeping stress levels low.  Staying positive, meditation, writing in a journal are other ways to keep the stress away.


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