Ever since the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus, the world is going in frenzy. Anxiety, panic and stress are some normal reactions observed due to the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. Call it the fear of catching the virus or doubt on how it will impact the society economically and socially, people have a lot of concern around school, work, their finances and their ability to participate in events or social gatherings. The situation has worsened for those who have already been suffering from anxiety.
Since this is a stressful time for all of us, it’s important to maintain calm and be kind to ourselves. It’s completely alright if you want to take a break from busy routine and focus on your mental and physical health. But if you are in denial that this infectious disease is a phase that will just pass with time, it’s time to take a reality check and do whatever you can that will empower you to get through this challenging time. Here are some tips to help you cope up with the stress during the Covid-19 pandemic.
1. Open up and connect with others
When we talk of quarantine, social distancing and isolation, a lot of people get confused about the concept and take it for complete isolation where no one can get in touch with them. Yes, there is no denying to the fact that social distancing may help prevent further spread of the virus, but it doesn’t mean you can’t talk to people you care about or connect with other over video calls or phone calls. During any crisis, be it on a local scale or global scale, it’s normal to feel sad, angry, frustrated and scared. What can help you in this situation is to open up with others. Talking to people who share the same concerns as you (it may be your best friend or family member or anyone close to you) can help you immensely in dealing with stress.
2. De-linking Novel Coronavirus to any ethnicity or nationality
It’s true that Covid-19 cases were first observed in Wuhan, China, but linking China to the virus and calling Chinese nationals with bad names or cussing them won’t help you deal with the ongoing stress. At this point, when the entire world is suffering and fighting the disease, you need to be more empathetic towards all no matter what their religion, caste, nationality or ethnicity is. It is absolutely wrong to target a group or nation for a thing that too is dealing with. You need to be compassionate and show kindness towards people doesn’t matter if they are infected or not.
3. Take care of your body
When you are staying home, it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritious food, engaging in physical activity to manage your mental and psychological well being. At this time, you need to avoid unhelpful coping strategies like tobacco, alcohol and other drugs that can worsen your health.
4. Get the facts right
While there is a lot of misinformation being spread over social media about the virus and linking it with things making no sense for example- how Coronavirus is the beginning of world war III, how china wiped its enemies etc , you must filter the facts before believing any random viral video or message on social media. If the news cause you stress, minimize watching, reading or listening it and seek information only from trusted sources.
5. Take breaks
Staying at home, working from home can take a toll on your health. So don’t hesitate to take breaks whenever you feel stressed. Try to do activities that you enjoy from the safety of your home. You can dance or you can groove to your favourite music or catch up on news or step outside your balcony and enjoy the view etc. Take breaks frequently to ensure that your mind feels refreshed after getting exhausted with work.
6. Learn for your experiences
Lockdown or social distancing is the time where you need to contemplate on things you’d left in your past, things that made you happy and so on. For example- if you had an interest in paintings, you can use your skills or hone it. Happiness and optimism are a great remedy to combat stressful situations. Use your skills to embrace your emotions during the outbreak.
7. Do virtual meetups
Seeing the face of your loved ones can bring a smile on your face. When you are practising social distancing, you can do a conference video call with your friends or family and talk to them about how your days are going, new things you’ve learned, etc. This way, you would easily forget the hysteria around Coronavirus and help others manage stress and anxiety.
8. Breath-in fresh air
Social distancing doesn’t mean that you cannot step outside for fresh air. Whenever you get time or if the weather is nice, make sure to go out and relax in the open and breathe some fresh oxygen.
If you care about your well being and of others or if you don’t know how to handle anxiety, feel free to get a consultation from a certified health professional. Let us know how you are taking care of yourself amid the pandemic.