Manhattan Therapist: How To Protect Your Mental Health During A Crisis

Nov 02, 2020
How to Deal with Stress, Anxiety, Worry. Coping Skills. Therapy for Stress.

Manhattan Therapist: How To Protect Your Mental Health During A Crisis

What is the most frequently used word in the news reports these days?

It is probably “Coronavirus” or “Covid-19.”

Yes, our city, the nation, and the world are in the throes of this very infectious virus, and the constant news about the pandemic can take its toll on your mental health. It is even more true for people who already suffer from various anxiety disorders.

So, a very pertinent question to ask yourself is how to protect your mental health— not just during an epidemic like this one, but also in other crises than can temporarily disrupt our lives.

In many such situations, our anxiety is triggered by the sense of uncertainty — worrying about the potential consequences of something that is unknown and beyond our control.

It is also fed by the fear of being unable to overcome a particular challenge, be it health-related or any other kind.

There are, however, some steps you can take to alleviate the distress you may be feeling right now or in the future.

Follow official advice: Speaking specifically of the coronavirus, stick to the guidelines and recommendations issued by health authorities and other officials. You will know that you are doing all you can to prevent getting sick and infecting others around you.

Speaking generally, and not just about the coronavirus, the important thing is not to give in to panic when a calamity strikes. There are ways to keep yourself calm and mentally strong when random and uncontrollable events happen.

 Try not to make assumptions: “What if” questions will only serve to compound your anxiety. Nobody knows what the future holds, so stop yourself from imagining worst-case scenarios. 


Maintain a perspective and calm approach: Refocus your mind on something positive and uplifting that is happening around you, no matter how small.  The way you feel will influence the way you think, and vice-versa.

Do what makes you feel good: Do you like listening to, or playing, music? Or maybe you have a hobby that you are passionate about? Whatever activity makes you feel good, by all means do it. You want to keep negative thoughts at bay, while you focus on the positive ones.

Increase your resilience: In a recent blog, we talked about the importance of boosting your inner strengths to improve your ability to cope with, and bounce back from, life’s hardships. Emotional resilience and good mental health go hand in hand!

Seek support: It’s normal to feel overwhelmed or stressed in a crisis. If you think you can’t cope on your own, reach out to others.  Activate your support network – if not physically, then through FaceTime, Skype, or even telephone. Staying in touch in your loved ones is essential to your well-being.

If your feelings of distress become unmanageable, contact a mental health professional. You don’t have to suffer through a crisis alone —help is out there.