Know that being worried about coronavirus is alright
Watching the news about doom and gloom regarding infection rates, employment uncertainty, being separated from your family and friends and a loss of purpose in life, we are enduring a toll on our mental health as well as our physical health.
It is not easy eliminating the sort of stress that comes with this situation, but it is not impossible. You are encouraged to manage it to maintain your mental health, which is also directly related to your immunity.
Assure yourself of things you are certain of
There are many unknowns in the current pandemic - how long it will last, if it will affect our day to day lives for a very long time, and how it affects different people.
When we are not sure about something, we become anxious. Therefore we need to remind ourselves of what is certain, which can help us feel reassured, even if it’s something small. Deep inside, we feel a little more in control.
Keep your media exposure on the low side
Have you ever heard the phrase “you are what you eat”? Well, it works the same with your brain. Your mind processes what it takes in. And if you are constantly consuming repeated news on the negative impact of the coronavirus, this can only add to the anxiety you are already harbouring.
Add the above to people who have already have anxiety issues, and you have a recipe for a situation that is difficult to manage. There is no harm in knowing what is going on around you, but like anything else in life, one must do so in moderation. Something which is also critical about this point, is that you digest reliable information, not from undocumented sources.
It is recommended you check news from reliable sources only once or twice a day.
Protect yourself and the people around you by keeping high levels of hygiene and practicing social distancing
Keeping clean is always something we should carry out as a best practice, virus or no virus.
Make sure you clean your hands not only frequently, but thoroughly. Keep surfaces sanitized by using an alcohol rub with adequate concentration like 60% or higher. Leave home only for emergencies such as shopping essential goods.
Help your neighbours in need
We mentioned going out for essential goods in our last point, that counts for helping vulnerable people with their essential goods as well.
Simply staying home is also extremely helpful, even though it is a passive way of helping. The coronavirus affects us all in different ways. If you are infected with no apparent symptoms, you will be saving vulnerable lives by keeping yourself inside in quarantine.
You can spread the coronavirus easily by going out, so that choice might make the difference between life and death for someone else. Believe it or not, you are saving lives this way.
Not only are you saving lives, but you are helping in keeping the healthcare system from getting flooded. This is commonly known as “flattening the curve”.
Be grateful for what you have
You can spend a long time worrying that you will become infected, or your social events have been cancelled, or your childrens' education has been ruined, and it will not do a world of good.
Focus on what you value and you are grateful for.
You can actually spend more time with your family and children – and also teach them some new skills.
It can make all the difference to your mental health if you write down all the things you are grateful for and read it daily. Your brain takes in what you give it, so feed it with optimism.
Seek virtual help
We are so fortunate with technology, and some of us do not give it a second thought.
The Government of Malta has launched a number of helplines to support our ongoing situation, and some healthcare professionals specialising in mental health are offering advice online.
Here at We Connect we have our "Hear to Help" Helpline on +356 9932 0977, and our online Live Chat service, to assist you directly with your wellbeing concerns. Visit the Help Centre to find out more.