Saturday, March 21, 2020
Many of us will be at various stages of dealing with the news about the current Covid 19 outbreak.
Some of us are just starting to gather information whilst others are in a queue for toilet roll or tomatoes. Many are already sick of hearing about it now.
Unfortunately for most of those I share this with, we still have some way to go in this tunnel before we see the light.
Whichever stage you are at, there is a heightened sense of anxiety around the world right now and there has never been a better time to look after your mental health.
Persistent states of anxiety can result in long term physical and mental illnesses including hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome, hair loss, skin diseases like psoriasis and many more.
Here's a few suggestions that might be handy:
Try to avoid constant News updates throughout the day. 1-2 times daily updates will be enough, unless you require information for work or direct information about a loved one.
Find a reliable information source like:
-Your local health authority.
Remember that this is a new disease. Even the experts do not have all the correct information yet.
Be mindful that children are suffering too. A lot of them are confused and very anxious. Their sense of normal has been disrupted and many face isolation from friends and family, reduced physical activity and uncertainty about their education in the immediate future.
Many will start to constantly hear words like Hospital, Death, Wartime, Quarantine and so on, which can be quite frightening.
They are also feeding off our own anxiety.
Let us try to keep things positive for them. Engage them in household activities: DIY projects, Gardening. writing, outdoor play. Watch telly together -avoiding News of course. Many will now have an online school programme. Try to keep a routine to their day.
If you now have to stay at home or work from home, don't forget to look after your health too. There are lots of online exercise videos.
Go for walks where possible. This may be a good time to take up gardening or to tidy up that wardrobe/kitchen store/spare room!
There are many TV series available to watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime etc which can be a useful distraction.
Try to have first aid supplies at home and avoid going to any hospitals unless absolutely necessary. Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Hayfever medicines, Anti diarrhoea medicines, plasters and multivitamins are basic essentials.
Ensure that you have ordered adequate supply of any prescription medication from your doctor.
Many doctors are now able to offer video and telephone consultations to reduce your need to attend clinics. The aim of this is to protect you from highly susceptible environments for disease transmission.
Many people also find religious faith, prayers and mindfulness practices helpful.
Remember that if you do get Covid 19, you have a high chance of survival and there's good chance that you will only get mild symptoms.
Above all, avoid all non-essential social contacts and wash your hands! ....... instead of singing happy birthday whilst washing your hands, you can sing:
"Staying Alive" by the Beegees
"Living on a Prayer " by Bon Jovi
"Scrubs" by TLC
Hang in there!