Our Mental Health in these times of Uncertainty
Fear and anxiety about Covid-19 and the implications of this can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in these uncertain times. It is particularly important to therefore take special care of your mental health at this time.
All individuals react differently to a stressful situation. Your response to a situation may be completely different than another person’s due to a number of factors – direct involvement, health implications. Age. Perceived vulnerability, personality factors and so on.
Stress during this time may include any or all of the following:
- Fear and worry about one’s health and the health of loved ones
- Anxiety around financial and wider implications of the situation.
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health problems
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
The good news is that there are ways that may help you reduce stress and take care of your mental well-being.
WAYS TO MANAGE STRESS AND ANXIETY
One of the ways to reduce stress during this time is to explore the facts about COVID-19 and understand the actual risk to yourself and people you care about. It is however important that the information is factual and accurate and not based on opinion alone. As a result, be selective about what you read. When we share accurate information about the covid-19 you can help make others feel less stressed and allow you to connect with them.
Aside from learning about the outbreak, taking reasonable measures to prepare for potential eventualities can also be important e.g. purchasing extra groceries, looking into options around the evolving work issues. This will help evoke a sense of perceived control which is a key factor around maintaining our mental health.
It is important to take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories since continuously hearing about a pandemic without a break can be upsetting. Although it is important to stay informed, people can become more distressed if they see repeated images of the situation in the media. This will vary from person to person. Some people gain a sense of control by seeking out information whilst for others this can become overwhelming and triggering. Trust your reactions and make a decision around what is best for you regarding your exposure to information and updatesPartaking in activities that brings one joy as well as talking with people you trust about your feelings is also recommended.
Prioritise doing enjoyable activities to balance out your stress and maintain positive responsible social interaction.
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or increasingly more anxious seek out someone you trust to share your feelings.
To summarise then :
- Explore accurate information
- Take reasonable measures to help feel more prepared
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news/social media
- Eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly
- Take deep breaths, stretch, meditate
- Get plenty of sleep; avoid alcohol/ drugs
- Prioritize activities you enjoy
- Talk with people you trust about how you are feeling