6 Ways to Protect Your Mental Health During a Sudden Upheaval

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You thought you were doing ok. You likely were. You’d faced several challenges already, and came out on top.

Then it happened—a sudden upheaval. In an instant, your entire world changed, and you were called upon to react to a situation which sapped your energy, drained your resources, and left you feeling as though mentally, you’d just taken a battering.

This is a tough scenario, one which can be pretty hard to bounce back from without some work to protect your mental health during the upheaval. Let’s look at some ways to accomplish this.

Be Unsettled – When you’re caught in the chaos, it’s normal to feel like you don’t know which end is up. You can’t possibly know all the answers, or the next best step when you’re still coping with the realization things have gone horribly wrong. You need to give yourself a break.

Get in the Moment – What’s going on right now? When upheaval strikes, it’s normal to start worrying about a lot of long-term ramifications. Yet, worry can put you into an anxiety loop very quickly. To avoid this, try mindfulness or meditation to put yourself back in the now. Deal with what’s right in front of you first.

Slow Down – Speaking of doing what’s in front of you, sometimes it can feel very overwhelming to push yourself back into motion. Try taking things in short bursts instead. Do the next thing in front of you for five minutes. Then take a breath, collect yourself, and do it again. Soon you’ll regain your momentum.

Accept Your Emotions – We can be hard on ourselves when it comes to what we ‘should’ be feeling. Here’s where it’s essential to feel exactly what you’re feeling right now. There is no right or wrong here.

Get Support – Don’t go it alone. Isolation leads to anxiety and depression. Reach out to your friends and family. Talk to them about how you feel. They are your tribe. They’re there for you. Allow them to help.

Give Yourself Time – Not everything goes according to a specific timeline. You’ll drive yourself crazy if you think there’s a specific time you need to be done grieving or being angry about something. Truly, you need to do you. Take the time you need to feel all right.

The good news? You can and will be ok so long as you stay the course and do the work to protect yourself. But even if you find you can’t, that doesn’t mean all is lost. Sometimes we all need a little help to sort this kind of thing through. It’s ok to reach out to a friend or even a counselor to help get yourself back on track.

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