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Jamie Bacharach
Head of Practice at Acupuncture Jerusalem

Managing your stress in times of crisis

Source: Shutterstock
Source: Shutterstock

The unrelenting nature of the news cycle in times of war can make it challenging to keep up with the ins and outs of day-to-day living. The heightened levels of uncertainty, stress and anxiety can make life feel overwhelming. The world seems like it’s spinning faster and the constant barrage of news does not let up. But in the midst of chaos, there are ways to regain control, find calm, and manage your stress effectively – by utilizing essential strategies you can employ to keep yourself grounded and find peace during turbulent times.

Balancing Information Consumption

While it is important to stay in the loop and know what’s going on around us, it can be easy to consume too much news and information during times of crisis. You can avoid this by setting specific times to catch upon current events and be wary of obsessively checking the news and wearing out the ‘refresh’ button. Additionally, prioritize quality over quantity when watching the news. Make sure you get your information from trusted news sources and stay clear of sensationalism. If you feel extremely overwhelmed by the news, you should consider taking a break from the news and social media, while asking a loved one to let you know of any essential information.

Practice Breathwork For Calmness

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A highly effective, yet simple strategy to manage stress is to be conscious of your breathing. Practices such as deep breathing, meditation and yoga can help center yourself and reduce the effects of anxiety. You may find that after practicing breathwork, you’re not only calmer, but it gives you the sense that you are more in control over your emotions and stressor-triggers. The science behind breathwork is that focused, deep breaths engage your body’s relaxation response, reducing the stress hormone cortisol and increasing feelings of calm. At our clinic, דיקור סיני בירושלים, I treat stress directly with acupuncture while at the same time advising my patients to practice breathwork for improved results.

Mindful Distractions

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During times of crisis, it can be beneficial to find healthy distractions that take your mind off of the situation and give yourself mental respite. These distractions could include reading, watching a movie, or spending time in nature, walking, jogging or bird watching. The more creative the distraction, the more likely it is to put your mind at ease. For centuries poets, painters and musicians have found emotional outlets through art, and you don’t need to be Picasso to access these benefits. Creating art or finding a project to work on can be for you, and for you alone, as a useful emotional outlet.

The Importance of Self-Care

Self-care doesn’t need to involve complicated rituals that involve hours and hours of your time. It can be as simple as making time for eating healthy, having a consistent bedtime routine or taking a relaxing bath with a glass of wine. It can also mean prioritizing time for your favorite hobbies, having a DIY face mask or reading your favorite book. At its core, self-care is about taking time for yourself amidst your responsibilities, even if it’s just for a few minutes. While it may feel inappropriate to be doing something self-indulgent while wars are waging, you owe it to yourself and your family to keep yourself sane and grounded.

Leaning On A Support System

There’s no need for taking on life by yourself and after all we are not alone in this world. Establishing a support system amongst your friends and family is vital for navigating times of crisis. Reach out to friends and family, engage in meaningful conversations, and share your feelings. Social connections provide comfort, reassurance, and a sense of belonging. If you have no family or struggle to make meaningful friendships, then fear not, there are many online tools you can tap into. Online support groups are places where you can find similar people who are going through the same things as you and this can be incredibly valuable for your emotional well being.

The Power of Routine

Establishing a daily routine can be a lifeline and help keep you distracted during times of crisis. Routine helps create structure and can provide a critical sense of normality. Additionally, having a set routine for working, eating and bedtime can help you maintain a healthy work-life-balance. Your routine doesn’t have to be completely rigid, and creating some room for movement and flexibility is also important. Your routine should accommodate unexpected developments, but be structured enough to maintain a sense of control. A well-structured routine can prevent feelings of chaos and provide a reliable framework to guide you through uncertain times.

Exercise As Stress Relief

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When we exercise we release powerful endorphins which help to promote feel-good feelings and boost our mood. It doesn’t have to be an intense hour-long weightlifting session, going for a brisk walk, practicing yoga or a simple home workout will be enough for you to reap the mental health benefits of exercise. Physical activity is a great way to combat the physical symptoms of stress, such as tension and restlessness. Engage in activities you enjoy, as this will make it easier to maintain a consistent exercise routine. This is something I will always advise my patients at Acupuncture Jerusalem to incorporate into their lifestyle and routine.

Conclusion

It’s no surprise that during times of crisis, stress becomes more and more difficult to manage. But, within the chaos of the crisis, there’s a path to peace and control. By incorporating the strategies discussed here, you can find your bridge over troubled waters and alleviate your anxiety through healthy coping mechanisms. Remember that managing stress during a crisis is an ongoing journey. Stay centered, maintain your support system, and continue practicing self-care. You are not alone, and with these strategies, you can find calm amidst the storm, regain control, and manage your stress effectively!

About the Author
Jamie Bacharach is a Jerusalem-based Acupuncturist and Eastern Medicine Practitioner with a passion for Health and Wellness. Jamie is a graduate of the Reidman International College for Complementary and Integrative Medicine in Jerusalem. Jamie is now the Head of Clinic at Acupuncture Jerusalem.
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