Mitigating the effect of COVID -19 on your Mental Health

It seems that everywhere you look, the first thing that jumps out at you is “Coronavirus” or “Covid-19” — either on TV, on Social Media, Newspaper, online news. We know that the virus poses a physical threat to your wellbeing, but you should also be mindful of your your mental health.

Worries related to coronavirus can include fears that yourself or a family member will become sick, the negative impact the pandemic will have on your investments, and more recently — lost income due to reduced hours or workplace closure. When you add these stressors to other factors such as self-isolation and quarantine, general anxiety and uncertainty, your mental health can be negatively impacted.

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, try a few of these suggestions to bring yourself back to a calm space again:

Normalise any intense uncomfortable emotions you are having: These are tough times, don’t berate yourself for how you are feeling. People will tell you to be grateful for your health, but let’s be honest, it is equally important for us to acknowledge that social distancing, quarantine or isolation is hard.

Stay connected! Keep in touch with friends and family through via WhatsApp, facebook, skype etc.. and find online support groups or social-media communities related to your interests.

Consume news wisely: There are a lot of fake information going around, stay informed about the pandemic, especially at your local level, but try to get the news from reputable sources instead of information that is being distorted and passed around. Non-factual information can drive up your anxiety unnecessarily.

Establish a routine: Get enough sleep, get dressed in the morning, take a shower and eat a healthy diet. Exercise. Go out for a walk and some fresh air, even if it’s only into your own garden. Build some structure into an otherwise empty day.

More importantly, reach out to a professional if your mental health is getting the better of you. It is vital that you seek help rather than bottling it all in.

Remember, this is unchartered territory for all of us, so we are all in this together. Keep safe.

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