As the new normal comes, various countries have introduced restrictions as part of efforts to lessen the number of people infected with COVID-19. Progressively, we are still adjusting and making huge changes to our daily routines. With the new realities, we need to take time to get used to them. The new realities may include home-schooling, temporary unemployment, working from home, and lack of physical contact with other family members, friends, and colleagues. A change of lifestyle and managing the fear of contracting the virus is a challenge for all of us. Worrying about people who are close to using that may be vulnerable is also a huge challenge for us. It can be particularly difficult for people with mental health conditions.
Fortunately, we have lots of things to do to look after our mental health and to help others who may need some extra care and support. The following are some advice that we hope will find useful:
Have a routine. You may keep up your routines or you can make new ones.
- Get up and go to bed at the same time each day
- Keep up your hygiene
- Eat healthy meals at regular times
- Manage your time for work and time to rest
- Allocate time for doing the things you enjoy most
Keep informed. Be updated for advice or recommendations from your local or national authorities. Follow trusted news channels.
Minimize newsfeeds. Try to lessen how much you read, watch, or listen to news that makes you feel anxious. You may get the latest information at specific times of the day, once or twice a week will do.
Social contact. This is very important. If your movements are restricted, keep in regular contact with people close to you by any social media or by telephone.
Use of alcohol. If possible, don’t drink alcohol. Don’t start drinking if you haven’t drunk alcohol before. Avoid the use of alcohol as a way of dealing with boredom, anxiety, fear, and social interaction.
Social media. Promote positivity and hopeful stories using your social media accounts. If you see misinformation, correct it.
If You Have Mental Health Condition:
- Make sure that you continue your medications if you are being treated with a certain condition.
- Keep in touch with people who care for you. Know also who you can contact if your mental health condition declines.
- If you are being treated for an alcohol use disorder, be aware that the COVID-19 outbreak may lead to an increased feeling of anxiety, fear, and isolation. It can increase the risk of relapse and disengagement from treatment or non-compliance with treatments. Make sure that you continue taking your medications as prescribed by your doctor.
Fear is a normal reaction in situations of uncertainty. But, sometimes fear is expressed in ways that are hurtful to other people. Always remember to be kind and don’t discriminate against the people who you think may have the infection. Also, don’t discriminate against people because of your fears of the spread of COVID19. Most especially, don’t discriminate against health workers and frontliners. They deserve our respect and gratitude.