The global community is currently facing the most dangerous challenge of the century in the form of COVID-19 which, due to its exponential spread across the world had snatched the happinesses among people. More than 130 countries have now closed schools nationwide, impacting nearly 80% of students globally. This is unprecedented; the world has never seen this many children out of school at the same time.
In a situation like this it is normal to feel sad, worried, confused, scared or angry.
(COVID-19), can be scary and can affect our mental health. While it is important to stay informed, there are also many things we can do to support and manage our wellbeing during such times.Without positive mental health, it will be almost impossible to realize your full potential, work productively, make a meaningful contribution to your community, or handle the stress that comes with life.
“Mental health is not a destination but a process. It’s about how you drive not where you’re going.”
The government is telling us to stay at home and only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work, to stay two metres (six feet) away from other people and wash our hands as soon as we get home.
This will mean that more of us will be spending a lot of time at home and many of our regular social activities will no longer be available to us.
It will help to try and see it as a different period of time in your life, and not necessarily a bad one, even if you didn’t choose it.
It will mean a different rhythm of life, a chance to be in touch with others in different ways than usual. Be in touch with other people regularly on social media, e-mail or on the phone, as they are still good ways of being close to the people who matter to you.
Create a new daily routine that prioritises looking after yourself. You could try reading more or having an exercise routine, trying new relaxation techniques, or finding new knowledge on the internet. Try and rest and view this as a new if unusual experience, that might have its benefits.
Try to avoid speculation and look up reputable sources on the outbreak.
Rumour and speculation can fuel anxiety. Having access to good quality information about the virus can help you feel more in control.
Follow hygiene advice such as washing your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds with soap and hot water (sing ‘happy birthday’ to yourself twice to make sure you do this for 20 seconds). You should do this whenever you get home or into work, blow your nose, sneeze or cough, eat or handle food. If you can’t wash your hands straightaway, use hand sanitiser and then wash them at the next opportunity.
We need be alert to and ask children what they have heard about the outbreak and support them, without causing them alarm.
We need to minimise the negative impact it has on our children and explain the facts to them.
“What does your anxiety do? It does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but it empties today of its strength. It does not make you escape the evil; it makes you unfit to cope with it “.