Writer: Carina Audrey | Illustrator: Safira Marini W.
These are terrifying times. A lot of us are unsure over what’s going on. Even though restrictions are slowly but surely being removed, we don’t know if it’s truly safe to return into our old life and habits. That sense of unsureness can cause a lot of stress on our mental health, thus many medical organizations around the globe have gathered their own tips on how to cope with the current situation. In this article, we’ve summarized what you can do to ease the stress and anxiety, and how you can also achieve a sense of normalcy in these turbulent times.
1) Be informed
It may seem to be counter-intuitive to constantly be reading the news 24/7, but what we mean by this is make sure that you have a specific set of time in the day where you can watch the latest news and be up to date with the situation in your location. In social media, you can follow trusted accounts that can give you a brief, concise, but accurate information for you to consume. Check it once or twice every day, just enough time for you to understand the situation but not let the stress of it get to you.
2) Keep A Healthy Routine and Lifestyle
A lot of us are currently at home with little to nothing to do except for our work. Making a list for your routine is one of the things that will certainly help you to cope. List things that you want to do in the day, for example ‘Wake up 7AM’, ‘Study 8PM-10PM’, ‘Exercise 6PM’. Eating healthy as well as making sure to exercise are also very important. Making sure you stay healthy physically is critical to making sure you’re also mentally healthy.
3) Stay Connected
With the restrictions that COVID-19 has on us, it’s hard for us to keep in touch with our friends and loved ones. But that doesn’t mean that they’ve forgotten about us. Most likely, they’re also worried about us and would love to be able to chat. There are tons of social media sites that can help us stay connected with loved ones but remember, too many hours on social media can be unhealthy for us. Make time in your daily routine to catch up with your family and friends without stressing yourself out.
4) Time To Focus On Yourself
Got that guitar that you haven’t played in months? Time to take it out! Have you been wanting to fill up that sketchbook you bought two months ago? Well, get on it! This is the perfect time for you to start focusing on yourself. Remembering the things that you used to love to do, but are too busy to do, can be a great way to keep yourself occupied. Since we’re all stuck at home anyway, there’s no better time than right now, and there’s no better way to come back to the new normal than with some new sick skill you’ve taught yourself during the quarantine.
5) Recognise What You’re Feeling Right Now Is Valid
The contrast between meeting up with your friends every weekend to having to lessen your physical contact with others can be off-putting for a lot of people. Many of them are probably feeling the same way as you do right now. It’s important to recognise that it’s a completely valid feeling to have. This pandemic is frightening, and it’s absolutely normal to have that fear. Talk to your friends and families, or if needed, reach out to a therapist and counselor. There’s no shame in feeling and talking about your anxieties.
Hopefully, in a couple of months, a cure will be found and we can all go back to our day-to-day lives. But currently, we’re all stuck in the same boat. A lot of people are feeling these types of anxiety and stress for the first time, and it’s very scary. Your feelings are valid and there’s no shame in talking about it. Don’t be afraid of reaching out to professional help if you truly feel like you need it. With that, we hope that everyone is safe and healthy. Maintain social distancing and don’t forget to wash your hands!