How to cope with stress, panic attacks and insomnia?
In difficult situations, when a person is gripped by fear, anxiety and worry, it becomes very difficult to live, remain productive and make informed decisions.
What can help you regain calm and balance?
Here are some simple tips to help yourself in such situations.
- Breathe out long, on the count of 8 to 10. If it’s difficult, start with a smaller number and increase after a few repetitions. You can tie the inhales and exhales to the steps and do a walk.
- Massage and self-massage. You can do it simply with your hands or with the help of improvised means. For example, if there are massage spiky balls, you can massage with them. It is possible to change the temperature: to make the massage warm, cold. The goal is to provide a variety of bodily sensations, and thus to feel the body, to “ground” yourself. Feel the difference in the structure of the body under your fingers, pay attention to your sensations. Do not forget that it is possible to massage not only the arms, legs, feet, thighs, stomach, but also the ears, forehead, face, neck, head, fingers and toes, which may also have clamps, in which our tension accumulates.
- Try smiling sincerely and noticing how much better you feel.
- Exhale through a tube into a glass of water, gurgle.
- Moisten the mucous membrane of your mouth and drink. This is very important, because under stress, the mucosa dries out, and then the brain gets even more stressed. You have to trick your brain a little bit, so you have to drink or at least swallow your saliva.
- Tap, stomp your feet – sitting, standing. Take deliberate pauses.
- Sing, watch comedy, if possible. Joking and telling jokes, if there is a person to do it with.
- If you love photography – try to do a photo walk and take 2-3 beautiful or interesting shots!
- Find 5 things around you that you can see, touch, smell, taste, hear (for example, a table you can see, feel and pay attention to the texture, knock on it and listen to the sound).
- Sing! The vibrations of your own voice are also soothing. This is called vocalization. It doesn’t matter what you sing, it doesn’t matter if it’s clear or fake. The important thing is to sing. Read aloud poems and prose. Children like to be read aloud. If you sing, it is important to move in time with the song.
- Animals. If you love animals, tactile contact with your dog or cat can help you cope with stress. Watching birds or fish is also a great way to calm down.
- Sign up for physical activities: yoga, pilates, qigong, martial arts, dance. Try different things, choose what works best for you.
- Fix old or broken things. Clean up the house.
- Draw, sculpt, work with wood or other materials – creativity is an opportunity to express themselves.
- Try to breathe out deeper and longer than you are comfortable breathing in.
- Play board games. Checkers, cards, dominoes, whatever. Read, do crossword puzzles, play measured computer games. It is important to be intellectually distracted.
If you or another person has had a panic attack, you must first be sure that it is not a heart attack. If there is any doubt, it is better to calmly call an ambulance and go to the doctors.
Signs: feelings of fear, anxiety. Accelerated heartbeat, sweating, trembling. Pain in the chest or parts of the body. Goosebumps, a feeling of unreality, insanity.
About stress and sleep.
Warning. Advice about medications to use only after consultation with your doctor or physician.
- Get warm (shower, bath, heating pad, warm socks);
- Try to take a heavier blanket or cover yourself with a second blanket. Heavier blankets soothe many people.
- Place a warm towel or diaper over eyes (i.e., again, heavy, warm. You can warm it in the microwave (don’t burn it!) or on the radiator.
- You can try melatonin before going to bed. Spray or tablet BELOW the tongue. Doses are all different 1-5 mg. It’s best to start with a small one if you haven’t taken one before.
- Important: the time for melatonin is 9-11pm. And after melatonin you need to put away the phone – you should not play, or flip through your social media feed, or chat. Half an hour after taking melatonin, go to bed.
- Try easy walks before going to bed, do not light bright lights and loud music at home.
- Pleasant sounds of nature or lullabies of the peoples of the world (even for adults) can help you fall asleep.
- Try lying down to mentally “scan” your body and gradually relax the whole body one by one.
- Aromatic soothing oils, infusions, incense: lavender, frankincense, cedar, sandalwood or others (choose, it’s individual, aromatherapy…).
Can’t breathe – shivering or tightness, etc.
Some stressful situations can be brief, some long term. Often we adapt to a stressful situation while in shock, but sometimes our adaptation mechanisms get “stuck” and need help.
If you can’t breathe:
- Look at nice, beautiful objects, such as clouds. Admire them, study them.
- Spread your shoulders. Rotate your shoulders back and forth. Raise your arms on the inhale, lower on the exhale, gradually increasing the movement. If you want, at the end you can breathe in deeply and with a feeling, rising on your toes, and then exhale, lowering and hunched over a little, and return to your normal measured breathing.
- Do cycles of diaphragmatic breathing. Lie down and breathe in – your belly and chest rise, deflate like a balloon on the exhalation.
- Try reverse breathing (vice versa), literally a few repetitions, without getting carried away: inhale your chest goes down and your belly inflates, exhale and press your belly button against your spine and your chest goes up.
- If you can’t breathe, sing. Something where you have to pull long, long stretches. Karaoke at home and singing along to your favorite songs is a great thing!
- If you can scream, scream. In the woods, in the bathtub, with friends as a joke.
Shiver or jam:
- Allow yourself to shiver with your whole body. Allow your body to shiver. You can use a vibro platform.
- Stiffened but not shaking, use the exercises described on Youtube – search “shaking, shaking technique, vibration gymnastics. “
- Shake and shake your whole body, for about 10 minutes, so that your own adrenaline doesn’t suffocate you.
- Stand with your legs slightly bent (crouch), raise your arms relaxed to shoulder-chest level and do 108 light shakes while lifting your heels and slightly dropping-kicking, in a comfortable mode. Watch your breathing change on its own, but don’t control it.
- Don’t forget to eat or at least drink. Even if you have no desire. Many people can’t, and there are already complaints about the stomach… Broths are great, animal broths are better, but vegetable broths are also possible. Mashed soups are good because they are soft, warm, you don’t have to chew, and simple and grinded foods. Strongly boiled rice. If you have an aversion to food, try to distract yourself from the food at this moment, for example, with pleasant music.
- If there is nothing at all, it is worth to drink at least a glass of tea, sweet (with honey). You can put in it 1 teaspoon of collagen or sports protein/gainer. Continue to eat at least this diet, until the appetite returns.
- You can make an interesting new dish, not even for yourself, but for friends, family. Try it yourself, too.
Tips for helping others
Each of us can be useful for others. You may be approached by people who want to talk. Don’t force help, but don’t shut yourself off. If you have the energy, be willing to talk. If not, refuse with the utmost respect and sensitivity to the other person’s feelings.
For communication, find a comfortable place without excessive attention from others. The other person’s feeling of trust is important. Let the other person talk, even if you disagree. Do not pull the blanket over yourself or burden the other party with their problems. Be patient and calm Carloson. Show wisdom, strength, warmth, kindness, and refrain from judging or unsolicited advice. Concentrate on what the person is saying and do not interrupt. Demonstrate attention, nod, nod, and ask careful follow-up questions. The voice should be calm, slow, set a measured pace. Take an open posture or similar with the interlocutor, maintaining a mutually comfortable distance. Find out what kind of help is needed. Be honest. If you are close to the person, he may need body contact – a handshake, a hug. Be sure to ask in advance if the person wants this, offer a very specific action, and provide that opportunity.
A quiet time together is also wonderful! Support the person’s belief in their own abilities and ability to overcome the crisis.
If you don’t know what to answer or say, think: What would my best friend say to me? What would a truly compassionate person say to me? Don’t forget that the person you are talking to may also have problems sleeping, eating, staying hydrated, breathing. Help him or her restore key functions.
Feeling anxious is a normal state that should and can be experienced. Emotions are a natural process; you can cry, laugh, worry. Don’t bury your emotions deep inside yourself, don’t suppress them, let them come out.
Most importantly, maintain your physical strength.
Notice and limit the triggers of anxiety. Limit your consumption of negative information and contact with unpleasant triggers. Don’t watch the news, the feed, think about who you want to communicate with.
Set a schedule for the day. Don’t be afraid to break it and revise it, but still follow the plan.
At least 30 minutes of physical activity a day – cleaning also counts! But a walk or a sport is better.
Make a gratuitous nice surprise gift to someone important to you. You can just write them nice words.
Think about what good you can do now for yourself, for those around you. Maybe they are also having a hard time and you could give them a support. And this in turn may help you to keep yourself in working order.
In times of uncertainty, practicing gratitude can help you be in touch with moments of joy, fullness of life, and pleasure. Each evening, take time to reflect on what you are thankful for today. Try to remember something specific and notice something new each day, such as: “I’m thankful it was sunny at lunchtime and I was able to sit in the garden.” You can start keeping a gratitude journal and collecting notes in a gratitude vase. Invite your family to get involved, too.
Ask yourself the question: What was my dream today?
Try to remember: 1-3 or maybe 5 pleasant, inspiring things, events of that day or week. Note such events in the future.
Make plans – “what do I want to do after the situation is over”. What I will do, how. This is very important and very useful. Describe, draw an image of what you want and what you will do. Write a story. Make a project plan for the future.
By the way, remember the last time you were pleased with yourself, what was your pleasant achievement, your personal little triumph, success? Think back to such an event. Don’t be ashamed to be proud of even a seemingly small thing! You are good for it!
In difficult periods and when reality is changing rapidly, the regulation of people’s behavior may become loose, and you may encounter both indifference up to and including stupor, and suddenly overly emotional people and, in your view, inadequate reactions, an assessment of reality.
Do not get involved in the conflict, allow the other person to adapt. Most likely, this is a person’s reaction to stress.
It is very important not to blame yourself. You are not guilty of anything. Don’t “piss” yourself, don’t order yourself, “Get it together, wimp!” Let go of your anxiety and focus on something else important to you right now. You need to take care of yourself and your loved ones. Come up with a simple little useful thing to do. Perhaps set a reasonable and good bar: one day is one task and that’s already a lot!
If you need professional prompt psychological help, you can contact the psychological service of Shaninka.
Write to WhatsApp 8 (915) 337-31-21 (please do not use texts or calls, only Whats’App) marked “Urgent”.
We will try to respond within 2-3 hours and promptly look for windows from our staff, although the service load is heavy right now.
- Emergency Psychological Assistance Service EMERCOM of Russia Psychological helpline phone: +7 (495) 989-50-50
- Free crisis helpline
- Helplines: 8(495)988-44-34 (free in Moscow), 8(800)333-44-34 (free in Russia).
Collected from various sources by Anton Savin, Psychological Service of Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Designed and supplemented by Misha Zeldin. Published with the permission of Kirill Khlomov, head of the Psychological Service of MVSHS.
Quality of life: how to survive depression
Pre-New Year’s Eve is a very deceptive time. On the one hand we are all waiting for a miracle, but on the other hand we realize that some things are left in the past and cannot be fixed or returned. This is where depression can “hit” us, and its insidiousness lies in the fact that it will do so without warning, leaving us alone with fear and pain.
The head of psychogenic disorders clinic GMS Clinic, psychiatrist Roman Glebovsky told the online magazine Posta-Magazine about what depression is, how it appears, who is at risk and how to survive this difficult illness.
. Time disappeared, so did the light. It became dark, empty, and scary inside. Desires, needs, and meanings were all gone. And so were the colors-the world around me was suddenly all the same gray. I wanted to die, nothing more. I also wanted to cry all the time. Just like that, for no reason at all. My depression lasted a few months, several years have passed since then, and I still remember that period with horror, and every time I start praying that it will not happen again.
“While depression used to be thought to be some kind of seasonal change, many studies now suggest that in large cities with millions of people, this seasonality does not exist. That is, depression can happen to any of us at any time. Dr. Glebovsky was telling me.
I listened and remembered how it happened to me. It was as if I had been turned inside out, stripped of all desires and values, left without support and protection. Support of friends, love of loved ones, interesting projects at work – nothing helped. Pain, hopeless sadness, grief and a feeling of hopelessness accompanied me everywhere and would not leave me even for a minute. I had to go to a specialist and start taking antidepressants; otherwise I would not have made it – I didn’t have the strength to fight. Antidepressants became my best friend for the next couple of years- they helped me to restore the joy hormone serotonin. Which, as it turned out, due to a hormonal malfunction suddenly stopped being produced in my body.
Types and causes of depression
Depression can be organic, unrelated to external factors. At some point, the endorphin hormones (serotonin, melatonin, treptophan) decrease in the body, while the causes of such depression are most often physiological: age and vascular changes or some physical trauma.
There are also endogenous depression, which can be based on stress, stressful family situation, loss, divorce, quarrels, problems at work, lack of a full sleep and wakefulness regime. And it is the right mode of sleep provides us with the necessary amount of hormones of joy – endorphins, which “protect” from this unpleasant disease.
“If we sleep little and poorly, we increase the so-called “evil hormones”, destroyers – nurochlamines, nuroadrenalins, adrenalins, – continues the conversation Roman Glebovsky. – Each person has an emotional limit, including the limit of the psyche. There is no beginning of depression without signals. There are always some kind of harbingers. They can be anything from a decrease in appetite or a change in taste, to a decrease in libido in women and in potency in men.
Symptoms of depression
Man is so built that he rarely pays attention to the signs, to what he is trying to “tell” the harbingers of the disease. It can last a month or a little more, and then the pain just breaks out, and with it what you have been holding back and trying not to notice for so long.
“A depressed person can be seen immediately: tired skin, lifeless, empty eyes, decreased efficiency, talking about how everything is bad, that he is tired, that he is not doing well, does not need anything, is not interested. Man loses interest in life, around him as if the cell grows beyond which he does not want to go. says the doctor.
If a person suffering from depression is not helped in time, the vortex of pain can drag him down to the very bottom. Psychologists call such a state “winter of the soul”, when positive feelings and emotions seem to freeze and you become deaf to the outside world. But it is not the end of life, it is just winter. It is as if it tests the strength of your desire to live.
How to help a depressed person
But there is no spring without winter, and every test is given to a man in order to make him stronger and wiser, to feel the taste of life, to appreciate it. But in moments of depression it is extremely important that the people closest to them do not give up, that they respond, sympathize, help and support.
“With depressed and anxious-depressive patients I first try to work with the help of psychotherapy. I try to find reserves in the person himself, in the family, in changing the circle of communication and redirecting thoughts, to give him something new. To light an inner fire in the patient, which will help him to live and move on. Because without this fire neither you, nor me, nor anyone can live. Roman Vladimirovich shares.
If someone close to you does not want to go to a specialist, but you see symptoms of depression, try to help him with simple ways. Get outdoors more, take him for a ride on horseback or to the dolphinarium, go on a trip, drink wine, go to the movies. Try to get him to eat more sweets – this promotes the production of endorphins. And if all of this did not help – you should definitely consult a therapist.
The 7 “products of good mood
- Black coffee
- Red fish
The human psyche has an amazing property – it can self-repair as long as the body lives and breathes. With the right approach and treatment for depression, you can learn to live and breathe again fairly quickly. At first confused, then increasingly confident. Then comes the understanding that the “winter of the soul” was needed in order to bring spring and summer back into your life, learn to listen to your heart, love simple things, smile at the sun and every new day, enjoy food and communication with your loved ones. To enjoy the little things that you didn’t have time for before. Love life in all its manifestations.