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It is a stressful time everywhere: Encountering an unknown new virus, without having a cure for it, no vaccine or medication;unable even to identify the way it spread so quickly. As a common response to a sudden threat people will feel scared, anxious and maybe panic. How to know if we are acting normally or things started to get out of control?
Everyone might feel anxious sooner or later. It is completely normal. Anxiety is a normal feeling of worry felt in all human beings. It protects us and can help us cope with a disturbing or perhaps dangerous situation. Hence, anxiety becomes a problem when it continually preoccupies the person or / and prevents him from functioning and acting normally at work, in society or in other areas of daily life.
How to prevent normal anxiety from becoming pathological in a stressful situation like the Corona virus?
- Reduce watching, reading or listening to news that make you anxious or distressed; instead always search for trusted sources/references, like the WHO, as facts can help you minimize fears.
- Do not use smoking, alcohol or drugs to deal with your emotions. Try to find healthier strategies to cope with your stress.
- Reach out for emotional support if you feel overwhelmed, talk to a trusted friend/relative, or contact a healthcare worker. Isolation is detrimental to your health.
- Consider what helped you manage previous stressful situations and use those skills to help you manage your emotions during this challenging time. (i.e. deep belly breathing, grounding techniques, guided imagery, calming sounds…)
- Focus on things you can control: washing hands, hydrate, nourish…
In other hand, how to plan for a smooth quarantine at home? There are few things you can be aware of:
- Maintain your social network
s, through the phone calls to your close ones or skype meetings.
- Try to keep your daily routine or create new routines, specifically eating and sleeping pattern.
- Pay attention to your own needs and feeling. In addition to the other members of the family, since you will be spending together 24 hours consecutive.
- As you plan your own schedule, do not forget your little ones: they, also need a routine to follow along to several activities to spend their time doing. (i.e making new handmade items, help you cooking, educational activities…)
- Do more enjoyable group activities with your family (watching old movies, or photo albums). Not all the activities must include studying or watching TV!
- Watch your eating habits, since people tend to eat less healthy food when bored or stressed.
- Plan more enjoyable outings to do once all of this is over and start imagining how you will do these. This will create hope for better times.
- Get focused on having some “ME” time (ex. Mindfulness, meditation, yoga…)
- Get organized and declutter! Remember all those things you wanted to take care of, but never had the time for before? Now you have time!
- If you are a person who is working from home, create a specific place to be your office-like at home. In addition to changing your clothes when you wake up, as it will be difficult for your brain to acknowledge the work time while you sit in your pyjama home.
Stay safe, stay home. Breath, rationalize your thoughts and remember, things willeventually come to an end!