The Coronavirus pandemic has created an unusually stressful environment for a large number of people. Photo Pexels

How to cope with stress and anxiety

“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.”

DURBAN -The World Health Organization (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. 

As many healthcare systems facing unprecedented strain due to the Coronavirus pandemic, experts have warned about the risks of putting mental health care on the back-burner. 

“The guide offers up advice and exercises, centred 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,” said the WHO.

The guide also recognises 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.

According to a new research study, which appeared in the journal American Psychologist, the pandemic has led to a significant increase in the number of mental health issues affecting people in the United Kingdom.

“Covid-19 has caused global uncertainty, which has had a direct, detrimental effect on so many people across the U.K. and around the world. People have been unsure when they would see relatives again, job security has been rocked, there is an increased threat to many people’s health, and government guidance is continuously changing, leading to much uncertainty and anxiety,” said lead author of the study, Dr Hannah Rettie.

 

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