In this article we are going to discuss the psychological and emotional effects of load shedding on people in Pakistan and how can we diminish these effects by following certain guidelines. Load shedding is a big miserable problem that is giving agony to the people mentally and emotionally. We have been only given two options in our life, first of all, if we don’t like something, we can change it, if we can’t change the situation, we need to change our attitude towards that situation.

muhibzahraLoad-shedding has never been such a big issue in Pakistan as it has become now for the past few couple of years. It is an awful reality with which our day starts and ends on the same note. Neither we can give our best to our work and interests in day, nor can we sleep peacefully at night. When it is posing such a big misery then one can surely imagine its effects on daily life. 

Massive load shedding is causing sleeping disorders and psychological ailments among people. It has been scientifically proven that human brain requires 8 to 9 hours of sleep for proper functioning but people are unable to get sufficient sleep at night due to the issue of load shedding.  This stressful situation generates intense emotions of anger, distress, tension, frustration, anxiety, depression, and lack of interest in daily activities. Intolerance and aggression are yet the other behaviors; now very common among people in Pakistan. Stress gives us headaches, backaches, shortens your temper, and reduces sleep. Anxiety and depression has increased to a great extent. A psychologically unhealthy person can’t perform his or her role effectively in everyday life.  But the good news is that 90% of such problems are manageable, if attended promptly.  

Think about the ways you currently manage and cope with the stress of load shedding in your life. Are your coping strategies healthy or unhealthy, helpful or unproductive? Unfortunately, many people cope with stress in ways that compound the problem. These coping strategies may temporarily reduce stress, but they cause more damage in the long run:

Unhealthy ways of coping with stress  are 

  • Smoking
  • Overeating or under eating
  • Withdrawing from friends, family, and activities
  • Using pills or drugs to relax
  • Taking  your stress out on others (lashing out, angry outbursts, physical violence)
  • Abusing Government, leaders and Wapda

Healthy ways to relax & recharge

If your methods of coping with stress are not contributing to your greater emotional and physical health, it’s time to find healthier ones. There are many healthy ways to manage and cope with stress, but they all require change. You can either change the situation or change your reaction. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems. As a Clinical Psychologist I can suggest you these simple tips. These tips can help out to change your reaction towards the stressful situation of load shedding.

  • Go for a walk.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Call a good friend.
  • Take a long bath.
  • Play with a pet.
  • Get a massage.
  • Listen to your favorite music.
  • Practice deep breathing.
  • Watch & listen a comedy even on radio and mobile phone.
  • Share your pleasant memories.
  • Connect with others. Spend time with positive people who relieve your stress.
  • Keep your sense of humor.  The act of laughing helps your body fight stress in a number of ways.
  • Crack jokes and share funny events of your life during the time of load shedding.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress.
  • Exercise regularly. Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress. 

The best way to cope with stress is to accept things as they are. Acceptance may be difficult, but in the long run, it’s easier than railing against a situation you can’t change.  No single method works for everyone or in every situation, so experiment with different techniques and strategies. Focus on what makes you feel calm and in control.