Here’s how to cope with stress, according to the World Health Organization

stress

(Sharon Wright, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Charlotte Edmond, Senior Writer, Formative Content


  • The pandemic has created an unusually stressful environment for a large number of people.
  • The World Health Organization has created an illustrated guide to managing stress, including audio exercises.
  • Around the world, healthcare systems are facing unprecedented strain, with concerns that restricting access to mental health support will store up problems for the future.

Whatever stage of lockdown you are currently experiencing, there’s no denying things are more than a little strange right now. Perhaps you are working from home, surrounded by the noise and bustle of family life. Perhaps quarantine is making you feel isolated, and getting in the way of your usual interactions with family and friends. Maybe job, financial and health worries are taking their toll.

Uncertainty and change associated with coronavirus may well lead to feelings of stress, so the World Health Organization (WHO) has some advice on what to do about it.

Doing What Matters in Times of Stress: An Illustrated Guide
Image: World Health Organization

The 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. These include ways to ground yourself, focusing on your surroundings and what you are doing rather than getting caught up in negative thoughts. Of course – it’s far from just COVID-19 concerns that can lead to stress.

Stress can manifest itself in a variety of ways.
Image: World Health Organization

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. Regular practising of these techniques can reduce feelings of stress, the WHO says.

What is the World Economic Forum doing about mental health?

One in four people will experience mental illness in their lives, costing the global economy an estimated $6 trillion by 2030.

Mental ill-health is the leading cause of disability and poor life outcomes in young people aged 10–24 years, contributing up to 45% of the overall burden of disease in this age-group. Yet globally, young people have the worst access to youth mental health care within the lifespan and across all the stages of illness (particularly during the early stages).

In response, the Forum has launched a global dialogue series to discuss the ideas, tools and architecture in which public and private stakeholders can build an ecosystem for health promotion and disease management on mental health.

One of the current key priorities is to support global efforts toward mental health outcomes – promoting key recommendations toward achieving the global targets on mental health, such as the WHO Knowledge-Action-Portal and the Countdown Global Mental Health

Read more about the work of our Platform for Shaping the Future of Health and Healthcare, and contact us to get involved.

Doing What Matters in Times of Stress: An Illustrated Guide.
Image: World Health Organization.

Identifying the problem

The guide also recognizes 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.

Doing What Matters in Times of Stress: An Illustrated Guide
Image: World Health Organization

By living and acting on our values, we are more able to influence the immediate world around us and the situations we encounter. The book uses the example that you may not be able to stop all the fighting if your country is at war, but you can stop arguing with people in your community, and instead act on your values. The way you act may influence others around you. And if you do not take care of yourself it will be hard to care for others and put your values into action.

Mental health services under strain

Evidence from previous quarantines show the potential psychological impact of lockdowns. With many healthcare systems facing unprecedented strain, experts have warned about the risks of putting mental health care on the backburner. It may be harder for some people to access support and their usual ways of coping may not be available. And there are fears that people are staying away from healthcare providers until they reach crisis point, storing up a flood of untreated mental illness cases.

Mental health charity Mind reported in May that nearly a quarter of people in the UK who had tried to access mental health support had failed to get help. Appointments were cancelled, accessing medical professionals was difficult, they were turned away from crisis services, and there were issues assessing digital alternatives.

With different communities facing uneven impacts on their mental health, and unequal access to support, governments are being called on to ensure mental health services don’t regress.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The sustainable fashion revolution is well underway. These 5 trends prove it

With rapid, far-reaching changes, world can prevent climate change worst-case scenarios – UN chief

The ‘American Dream’ can be best achieved in the Nordic nations, says Finland’s PM

Venezuela: MEPs demand free presidential elections and an end to repression

UN, global health agencies sound alarm on drug-resistant infections; new recommendations to reduce ‘staggering number’ of future deaths

Cyprus President urges collective leadership to address ‘root causes’ of world’s crises

Women Win in the West

Our idea of what makes a company successful needs to change. And it starts with making waste expensive

What do the economic woes of Turkey, Argentina and Indonesia have in common?

Draghi: Germany has to spend if Eurozone is to exit recession

Should we be worried about third-hand smoke?

4 eco-friendly products put sustainable spins on classic practices, from teacups to hankies

Can privatisation be the panacea for the lack of growth in Europe?

One in three Venezuelans not getting enough to eat, UN study finds

How AI and machine learning are helping to fight COVID-19

IMF: World cup and productivity

4 ways digitisation can unlock Africa’s recovery

Somalia: UN Security Council condemns terrorist attack in which dozens were killed or injured

UN agency assists Central American caravan migrants, voices concern for receiving countries

JADE Generations Club: Connecting perspectives, changing Europe.

We are on the edge of a new ‘cyber’ space age. This is how we make it a success

On sidelines of UN climate summit, US President calls for protection of religious freedom

The future of crypto-assets, from opportunities to policy implications

This app uses augmented reality to rewrite ‘herstory’

7 top things to know about coronavirus today

UN chief praises Malaysia’s death penalty repeal as ‘major step forward’

Political solutions ‘prerequisite to sustainable peace’, Lacroix tells Security Council

Building an Inclusive ICT Innovation Ecosystem

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: mental health, conflict prevention, Ebola in Uganda, Sudan protests, child labour

How technology and play can power high-quality learning in schools

‘Our goal is to democratize the air.’ How aerial transportation will shape cities of the future

Force used against protestors in Gaza ‘wholly disproportionate’ says UN human rights chief

Mexico cannot move forward ‘without addressing the shadows of the past’, says UN rights chief

How Africa’s women can drive the 4IR forward

Spotlight Initiative – EU and UN fight against domestic violence in the Pacific region

World Health Organization calls crisis meeting over deadly Ebola outbreak in DR Congo

Cheap sea transport with low cost seafarers

This is how we inspire young people in the Middle East to join the fight against climate change

Annual UN women activists’ summit opens with focus on services, infrastructure

Researchers have invented a brick that can build itself

The impact of COVID-19 on the life of the elderly

What can each individual do to lessen the burden of mental health in times of the pandemic?

JADE President opens JADE Spring Meeting 2014

A year on from Yemen talks breakthrough, top UN Envoy hails ‘shift’ towards peace, despite setbacks

Crowdfunding: what it is and what it may become

Easing funding woes for UN agency assisting Palestine refugees a ‘wise investment for today and the future’

New EU rules to boost crowdfunding platforms and protect investors

Draghi: A bridge from Brussels to Berlin

Why do US presidential elections last so long? And 4 other things you need to know

Constitutional Committee breakthrough offers ‘sign of hope’ for long-suffering Syrians

Saudi Arabia: UN experts push for prompt release of women human rights defenders

This is what’s happening to the Amazon, according to NASA

Africa is facing a food crisis due to COVID-19. These seeds could help prevent it

The Great Reset requires FinTechs – and FinTechs require a common approach to cybersecurity

Member States’ compliance with EU law in 2019: more work needed

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s speech from World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of New Champions

5 reasons why biodiversity matters – to human health, the economy and your wellbeing

5 lessons for social entrepreneurs on how to change the system

Consultant in Forensic Technology – 1969

UN condemns deadly attack on Burkina Faso church

More Stings?

Advertising

Trackbacks

  1. […] are the same non-governmental agencies (NGOs) that have brazenly offered advice how to cope with the stress of an alleged deadly virus for which there is no effective treatment or vaccine, or at least that is what they are telling the […]

  2. […] dieselben Nichtregierungsorganisationen (NGOs), die unverschämterweise Ratschläge gegeben haben, wie man mit dem Stress eines angeblich tödlichen Virus umgehen kann, für das es keine wirksame Behandlung oder keinen Impfstoff gibt – zumindest erzählen sie […]

  3. […] are the same non-governmental agencies (NGOs) that have brazenly offered advice how to cope with the stress of an alleged deadly virus for which there is no effective treatment or vaccine, or at least that is what they are telling the […]

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s