In the midst of managing a situation like the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and worried. Focusing on how to slow the spread of the virus is important for our physical health, however, identifying ways to manage our mental health is also crucial.
We may experience increased feelings of anxiety, powerlessness, impatience, irritability or frustration. We might also experience a sense of scarcity, or be concerned about increased stigmatization or xenophobia. We may feel uncertainty about the future or worry about isolation amidst rapidly changing schedules and social plans.
While feeling worried is normal and expected, there are many ways we can increase our resilience during this time.
1. ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR ANXIETY AND FOCUS ON THE PRESENT MOMENT
When you are feeling anxious or worried, it is important to acknowledge that you feel this way. A great way of letting go of negative thoughts is journaling. Allocate some time during the day when you can write down all your thoughts and feelings. Then put your notebook away and shift your focus and attention to something else.
Expressive writing creates distance between you, and your thoughts and feelings. This can give you an instant feeling of relief and help you gain a fresh perspective to challenge your unhelpful and intrusive thoughts.
2. STAY CONNECTED WITH YOUR LOVED ONES
Maintaining contact with your family and friends is crucial for managing your mental health and staying positive. Even though we are living with social distancing, you can still stay in touch with your loved ones through scheduling regular phone and video calls.
You could plan to have dinner, watch a movie or play games with friends over Zoom, FaceTime, Skype or Houseparty.