How to take care of your well-being even in times of crisis?

How to take care of your well-being even in times of crisis?

A lot of unexpected things have happened in the world lately, from the pandemic to the outbreak of war in Europe. These events have also had a direct impact on our daily lives. It is natural that in exceptional times, stress is also felt in the mind and body. As awareness of the crisis grows, sleep does not always come or you may end up watching the news non-stop. 


When you have more worries on your mind than normal, taking care of your own well-being can sometimes feel like a minor issue or even self-centered. However, it is precisely in times of crisis that it is important to support personal well-being, as it strengthens the ability to adapt to even the most difficult situations. Whether it is a global event or a personal crisis, taking care of your well-being and taking breaks from worrying brings much-needed balance and resilience to your everyday life – so it's worth cherishing them.  

Maintain your own well-being routines even in times of crisis 

Often, ordinary hobbies and everyday activities that bring joy can feel secondary in the midst of a crisis. However, experts urge people to pay attention to normal, small, well-being-enhancing routines, especially at times like these. Offline time, when we focus on any of our favorite hobbies, is the best medicine to balance both mind and body.   

As a built-in mechanism for the human brain, it is typical that our attention is much more focused on threats than on other things. However, it is worth consciously regulating this tendency so that we don't become overloaded.  

Breaks and small actions reduce anxiety

At exceptional times shocking changes in the environment can trigger a state of overstimulation and anxiety. It can be recognized, for example, by sleep problems, difficulty in concentrating, and constant planning of a coping plan. This is also a natural response to a crisis, but it is good to recognize the symptoms* and try to find ways of calming down. 

Compassion can also cause a stress reaction in an empathetic person, even if they themselves are not in immediate danger. It is natural that the distress of others may remain in the mind. Observing a crisis situation also often has an impact on one's own personal experience of security. That is why it is good to take a break from compassion and make room for other things. 

Focusing on your own well-being doesn't mean not caring about others or being aware of their situation. When you take care of yourself, you build and support your own resilience*, like mental endurance and flexibility. Strengthening mental resilience helps you to adapt in more difficult times and it also improves your ability to help others when needed. 

10 concrete ways to take care of your well-being 

We at Edenred together with our partners want to support your well-being in changing situations. We've put together 10 guidelines to reduce anxiety and balance a stressed mind and body. However, if there's a situation where anxiety doesn't go away on its own, it's worth contacting a professional for counseling. 

  1. Set aside dedicated time to follow the news and social media. Spend offline time, especially in the morning and evening, to give your mind and body enough rest and prioritize sleep. This will also prevent anxiety from starting first thing in the morning and continuing into the evening, disrupting your sleep at night.
  2. Allow yourself to focus on the things that bring you enjoyment. There's no need to feel guilty about hobbies, watching a sitcom, or any activity that brings you joy. On the contrary, they are acts that promote mental health and should be cherished. 
  3. If you feel the anxiety kicking in, try to relax your body. A variety of activities to calm the autonomic nervous system, such as low-intensity exercise, massage, yoga, meditation, bathing, calm swimming, or sauna, are often helpful. It is difficult to force the mind to relax when the body and nervous system are in overdrive. 
  4. Try butterfly hug*, which has been developed in crisis areas to calm intense stress. 
  5. Take up some form of exercise that gives you endorphins and makes you feel good. If you've just started running, don't skip a jog. If you like guided dance, Pilates, or Crossfit classes, for example, take them. If going to the gym, horse riding or climbing is part of your rewarding routine, keep up the good habits. 
  6. Immerse yourself in art, music, or entertainment. Enjoy the culture and let other worlds take you away: go to the cinema, an art exhibition, the theatre, or a band gig. You can read a book or listen to an audiobook, or immerse yourself in good music. It's good to let your mind wander and concentrate on other things. 
  7. Spend time in nature and try some mindfulness exercises*
  8. Spend time in the company of people you feel comfortable with. The company of loved ones often soothes a racing mind. Whether it is a friend, spouse, or family member, you can find something relaxing to do together or just chat. Stroking a pet or spending time with animals has also been shown to lower stress levels*.
  9. Eat well and have a versatile diet. Cook, eat out, or order healthy and tasty food cooked by someone else. Every lunch is an opportunity to feel better and support your health and well-being. Good nutrition also has an impact on stress tolerance* and mood. 
  10. Help others if you can. When it comes to a crisis that goes beyond personal life events, help is always needed. Even a little help can often make you feel better and relieve your own stress. Often the most effective way to help those in crisis areas, for example, is to donate to a trusted charity that will ensure that the right kind of help gets through. You can also find out more about volunteering in your own community. 

You can donate to humanitarian aid in Ukraine through these trusted organizations, among others:

Finnish Red Cross

Save the Children Finland

The Finnish National Committee for UNICEF

Plan International Finland

Finn Church Aid

World Vision Finland

UN Women Finland 

Edenred is also supporting Ukraine in the midst of the crisis with donations. As an international company, Edenred has also had its own employees in Ukraine who have been helped to safety to other Edenred countries from the war zone.

*in Finnish