Maintaining Strong Mental Health

Maintaining focus on mental health and physical wellness before, during, and after response to civil unrest can help keep your mind healthy during these difficult times. Stress can negatively impact your physical, psychological, and emotional health.46 Stress makes it difficult to think clearly, react appropriately, and regulate your emotions, particularly in dynamic situations such as 1st Amendment demonstrations and civil unrest. It is important to acknowledge stress as soon as possible,47 while it’s happening, and to take action to mitigate its negative impacts. During demonstrations, when situations are intensifying and emotions are rising, you can implement some of the following relaxation techniques:48, 49, 50

Clearing Your Mind (Meditation, Mindfulness, and Other Methods)

Learning to clear your mind can provide autonomy over your thoughts and emotions and give you a greater sense of control. This is commonly referred to as mindfulness, which is defined as, “moment to moment, nonreactive, nonjudgmental awareness.”50 The most popular way to practice mindfulness is meditation, during which a person is aware of, and acknowledges, their thoughts and emotions as they happen.50 This process can lead to reductions in anxiety and depression, PTSD symptoms, negative health outcomes, and even addictive behaviors. All of this results in increased resilience and emotional intelligence.50 Ways to clear your mind include:51

Maintaining Healthy Relationships and Spending Time with Loved Ones

In times of stress, many react by internalizing, shrinking away from support systems, and selfisolating, yet these are the times when reaching out is more crucial than ever. Spending time with your friends, family, colleagues, or teammates can “recharge” your emotional batteries. Loved ones want to provide you with the support you need; allow them to do this. Invest in healthy, productive relationships that replenish rather than deplete you.

Foster a Positive Outlook

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