With the outbreak of COVID-19 since 2019 December there has been heightened levels of anxiety and stress among the general public. There has been numerous advice offered from multiple sources causing panic among the populations. Governments offer information on keeping yourself safe during this testing time but we must also remember one more thing. Mental Health is as important as Physical health. Maintaining good mental health along with physical health is very vital and important for our community as a whole. How do we address this situation? MHFA offers some pointers to keep yourself mentally and physically balanced.
- Avoid news sources if they are causing distress to you. It is important to understand the facts. Rely on sources such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), Centers for disease control and prevention (CDC), or the local government on keeping yourself safe.
- Acknowledge health workers in your community and those who are supporting them as well.
- Be empathetic towards those who are affected. COVID-19 can affect anyone from any geographic location. Do not attach any ethnicity or nationality to it.
- Do not forward or encourage forwarding COVID-19 related news on Whatsapp, SMS or other communication channels before verifying it as authentic information.
- Children can get distrubed when coming across such situations. It is important to help them express their emotions. Sometimes this can be achieved by activities like drawing, playing or painting.
- When children are confined to home, it is better to keep up the daily routine as much as possible. Activity and socialization should also be encouraged even if it is only within the family.
- Children learn from adults to manage their emotions and behaviours. It is important for adults to be role models during times like these.
- It is common for children to be inquisitive and ask information on COVID-19. Honest and age-appropriate information should be passed on to them. Do not admonish them for being inquisitive or discourage them to ask questions.
- Older adults with physical illnesses can show varied symptoms like aggression, anxious, distress, anger, withdrawal. Emotional support through family members, health professionals and other informal supports should be encouraged.
- Information on the current situation can be shared in simple words without distressing the person. In case prevention measures are to be given to the person, involve family or support system.
People in isolation:
- If you are working from home or staying at home in isolation, keep yourself active among your social networks through communications such as messengers, email, social media, text messages and phone calls.
- It is important to take good care of physical health and sticking to your daily routine as much as possible.
- Engage in activities that you find relaxing such as reading books, listening to music or playing.
- COVID-19 news is everywhere and can cause a considerable amount of distress. Consuming information from authentic resources and avoiding listening to rumours will reduce this.
Remember that medical teams across the globe are working round the clock to slow down the infection and discover a vaccine for prevention. Taking care of your mental and physical health is most important till a cure for the infection is achieved.