Anxiety, fear, anger. Normal emotions in an abnormal situation.
So today about the emotions of experiencing deep anxiety. We know that many and many of you are experiencing your daily small and large difficulties, plus the news from war-ravaged Ukraine, we are involved in helping. This can take its toll on your health , hence the idea for the episode. The AskHenry webinar with Magdalena Bernatowicz-Bujwid was extremely well attended. We hope you’ll be keen to return to it, as the topic we discussed is extremely important, necessary and – unfortunately – still relevant.
Crisis to crisis is unequal – but always important.
Our lives follow a sinusoidal path – we experience ups and downs, which is normal. We are sad, we are lost and we are afraid – this is normal too. However, the events of recent years have affected us all exceptionally hard. Pandemics, economic changes, rising inflation, the war in Ukraine and the migration crisis. Even if you try to keep unpleasant messages out of your life, they permeate our world on their own.
Magdalena talked about several types of crisis: developmental, situational, existential and environmental. The one we dealt with during the webinar was the situational crisis, which is about the sudden circumstances we find ourselves in. This type of crisis is difficult – we cannot influence or control it. What we can control, however, are the emotions it has triggered in us.
You cannot control a situational crisis
but you can control your emotions
Situational crisis: how we experience it.
All emotions are good. They all stem from our evolutionary adaptation and emotions such as fear, anxiety are simply necessary for us. Fear is our natural reaction to a state of threat. If you feel it, it means that your body is working properly – it is sending you signals that something is not happening as it should. It is like a voice that says: it is time to take care of yourself and your loved ones. In each and every one of us, fear manifests itself differently, depending on our temperament. This in turn is determined by our personality. Introverts and extroverts react differently to fear or anxiety. Different, but that doesn’t mean worse or better. Your reactions are natural, learn to observe them.
How to deal with the crisis?
Mental health hygiene is incredibly important when dealing with a crisis. First and foremost, it is worth asking yourself: what do I need to feel comfortable in my life? How often do you ask yourself this question? We suspect that, like most people, too rarely. Try to change that. After all, you are constantly asking your children how they are feeling and if they need anything. You stand guard over their safety, which means also their psychological comfort. Remember that a well-groomed, stable parent is a well-groomed, stable child.
Look at yourself carefully. Think about what you are feeling at the moment. It is very often the case that we say: I feel anger. However, it does not always have to be anger. Frustration, sadness, grief, fear and even tiredness are often mistaken for anger. Look at what signals your body is sending you. Maybe it’s not an uncomfortable mattress at all that’s making your back hurt, but long-lasting stress that’s making your muscles tense up? By the way – at AskHenry we are masters at choosing the best-fitting mattresses for our customers. Just sain’ :)
Signals such as shaking hands, muscle or head pain, feeling hot or cold, stiff joints are all signals that our body often sends us during a crisis. So make sure you relax. It doesn’t have to be a trip to the spa, but a good daily habit. Don’t browse the news as soon as you wake up, limit your phone use as much as possible. Sleep in an airy room and hug your loved ones. And very often tell them how much you care about them. Tell yourself that too.
You are the only person you will spend your entire life with.
Sleep, nature, exercise, healthy food.
It’s the simple things that make our comfort in life greatly improved and our resistance to stress increase. Take a walk and spend time in the green. Give yourself an hour a day to do this. You don’t have to take 10,000 steps (although it’s good if you do), but look at yourself. Take breaks while you’re doing it. Don’t make it Instagram time, but at least go out on the balcony. A walk, of course, would be even nicer. Really, 30 minutes during the working day, especially one done from home in front of a computer, will not only reduce your stress but will cause your productivity and creativity to skyrocket. Find an activity that you really enjoy. Let it bring joy to you and your body.
What I can and cannot do.
Ask yourself a key question: am I in a position to influence the fate of the world on a macro level? Will my worrying help anyone? Of course not. So why worry about a situation over which you have no control? You can experience this particular experience of the war in Ukraine differently. If you have the opportunity, you can get involved in collecting clothes or food. The situation in Ukraine will unfortunately not get better for a long time to come, and there is still a shortage of aid. Find aid groups in your town, cook soup, donate money to a proven organisation. This is also part of building your own well-being. Helping others helps us – to live better, to understand the world and the other person better. But let the first person you care for be you.
We would like to invite you to watch the webinar with Magdalena Bernatowicz-Bujwid, you can find it here.