The coronavirus outbreak can be a very stressful situation for both adults and children. The pandemic has caused mass layoffs and shutdown of schools and other institutions. Many people are worried about making money and securing food for the weeks to come. The outbreak is also particularly stressful to those who are most likely to be infected, namely older adults and young children. In this situation, it is important to be mentally strong and know how to cope with stress in order to help others around you. What’s On recommends the following:
• The first step is to accept it when you experience anxiety. Admitting you are experiencing anxiety will give you the clarity to know what you need to do to manage it. Taking a few deep breaths, stepping away from media updates about the pandemic and trying a few unwinding activities will help you navigate the feelings of panic you may experience.
• Know the facts because there is a lot of misinformation out there. Knowing what symptoms to watch out for, how you can attain a safe environment at home, and why staying in isolation is necessary will help you manage your stress and ease feeling helpless.
• Reach out to those who do not know how to keep themselves safe. Encourage others to seek out reliable medical advice and learn the necessary steps to avoid contracting the virus. It is important to remember that a lot of people risk information by not knowing basic self-care at this time.
• Stay connected with family and friends. Social distancing is essential these times which mean calls, texts and social media contact to those closest to you will help you stay calm. There are also social forums and social media groups you can join to share isolation tips and have a support system.
• Fix a daily schedule for yourself. Anxiety tends to creep in when your mind is most occupied with fearful news updates. Maintaining a schedule much like you did when you were at work or school will help you cope. Incorporate regular hand washing into your routine amidst trying out meditation or a new hobby you did not have time for before. Try your best to be productive and the sense of achievement will fend off feelings of helplessness.
What’s On will continue to update you on what you can do to get yourself through these stressful times but at the end of the day, you have to take the steps to arm yourself with the best information and make the best out of the time you are spending in isolation. Connect with others and make time to unwind.
By Tanzia Haq