Staying Mentally Healthy During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has rapidly brought about changes in a number of aspects, subsequently causing a widespread increase in mental and emotional stress levels.

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“Probably the most important thing is to be totally honest about the level of stress we’re under,” said Jeffrey Stucke, licensed therapist and counselor.

“In our modern culture, we’re supposed to just stay positive and keep a positive mental attitude,” Stucke explained. “Oftentimes that creates more stress and distress for people.”

“So the most important thing is for us to know that we are in very difficult, stressful times, and it’s okay to be honest about that,” Stucke continued. “That’s not being pessimistic or nihilistic, it’s very necessary to be honest about the level of stress that we’re under.”

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“We live in a time of information overload, and it is incredibly important, one, to be very conscientious of the information I’m exposing myself to, and two, that I put limits on it,” said Stucke.

“When I feel like I can’t stop watching the news, that’s exactly when I need to stop watching the news, I need to get away from that information and try to do something more productive or creative,” Stucke explained.

“But those are difficult, difficult stresses, and we have to be honest with ourselves about how they’re affecting us,” Stucke went on to say.

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“One key thing is to remember that stress affects everyone differently,” Stucke began.

“In times when we’re under a great level of stress, we want certainty,” said Stucke. “So we think that everyone should react the same way that we do, and so we can become very intolerant of others.”

“So we want to be honest about the way that stress is affecting us, but we also want to let it affect our partners, our children, the way that it affects them individually,” Stucke explained.

“The second thing is that we want to understand – we want to understand what it’s like for the other person,” Stucke continued. “There’s an old saying, ‘you can’t be curious and angry at the same time.’”

“So when we see someone that’s being affected by these stresses differently, rather than being angry and saying, ‘it shouldn’t bother you like that,’ we want to be curious and seek understanding,” Stucke said.