The world is currently facing an everyday battle, one that is invisible: the novel coronavirus tagged as Covid-19. With it threatening the entire planet for more than a month now and scientists and medical experts still figuring out how to defeat it, it’s no wonder that some people are saying it’s our generation’s world war.
Inevitably, daily life has been disrupted. Travel plans and events like concerts and weddings are forced to be canceled. Schools and businesses are closed, and everyone is highly encouraged to stay home.
The abrupt changes caused by the pandemic, plus not knowing exactly how long this will go on, have made things confusing and stressful. If you feel this way, take a deep breath and know that how you feel is completely normal. If you have a history of mental illness, you may be feeling extra anxious these days, which is also valid.
The next days or even weeks may be a roller coaster ride for many of us, but there are ways to help support yourself during these uncertain times.
Focus on things you can control
We’re in the midst of a situation where there are a lot of things that we cannot control, like how the people will behave or how long this will last. Likewise, you can’t control community imposed guidelines like curfews or minimal mass transport. You can’t also do anything if you’re being mandated to work from home (if you have kids, this could be too challenging).
However, you have the power to do the following:
- Take charge of your time and activities while being quarantined at home. This may require organizational and planning skills, but you got this!
- Purchase groceries and essentials in bulk or order online to avoid frequently going out.
- Reduce your risk from being exposed to the virus or unknowingly spreading it by washing your hands frequently with soap and water, not touching your face, observing social distancing, eating healthy food, and getting enough rest.
For more tips on protecting yourself and loved ones from COVID-19, see here.
Be updated but do not obsess over the news
It’s essential to equip yourself with the latest news and update. However, constantly monitoring it and being on social media, where there are a lot of opinions and too much information, may only bring compulsion and more anxiety instead of feeling at ease. Limit the time you go online or watch the news. Too much of it may bear more harm than good.
Connect with other people
Although we have been advised (and in some cases, ordered) to stay away from crowded places, avoid socializing, and to stay indoors except to seek medical help, do not forget the importance of human connection. Social distancing does not mean isolating yourself.
Take advantage of modern technology and stay connected with your family and friends. Check on each other, but also talk about other things, like a funny moment to take your mind off the problem.
Talking to someone even for just a couple of minutes will not only make things feel “normal” but will also remind you that you are not alone.
Seek Professional Help
If you need support coping with the coronavirus pandemic, there is professional help available for you. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shared useful information on how to deal with stress, anxiety, and fear caused by all that has happened in the past weeks.
Those with mental illness must continue with treatment and must watch out for worsening symptoms. For parents, pay extra attention to your kids as they, too, can experience anxiety, especially during these moments.
Meditate and do something to feed your spirit
To divert yourself from being consumed from the dreadfulness of being stuck at home, think of ways to actually enjoy it. To achieve calmness and relaxation, consider meditating or doing some stretching exercises.
As well, do things that you find to be therapeutic, like baking, reading a book, or crafting. You can even do some fixing around the house. Take time to pamper yourself with a long bath or indulge in soothing creams.
It also helps a lot to eat well-balanced meals; they not only strengthen the immune system.
Finally, do not underestimate the power of human resiliency—your resiliency. This time may be too difficult to comprehend, but know that this, too, shall pass.