“The new realities of working from home, temporary unemployment, home-schooling of children, and lack of physical contact with other family members, friends and colleagues take time to get used to. Adapting to lifestyle changes such as these, and managing the fear of contracting the virus and worry about people close to us who are particularly vulnerable, are challenging for all of us. They can be particularly difficult for people with mental health conditions,” says World Health Organisation.
Fortunately, we can do a lot to look after our own mental and physical health and to help others who may need some extra support and care.
Here is a list of 10 things you can do to keep yourself and your family safe, healthy and happy:
1. Fear of COVID-19. It is normal to be afraid of COVID-19. But if you follow the rules laid down by the health officers then you do reduce your risk of contracting the illness. It also helps keep your family stay healthy.
2. Loneliness, anxiety and depression. Loneliness is the state of mind. You can be in a company or relationship and you may feel lonely. You may be alone and feel sorry for yourself. It’s a feeling of sadness or even anxiety that occurs when you want company. Humans are social animals. Our connection to others enables us to survive and thrive. So, stay connected with your family and friends. Talk to them frequently and laugh with them.
3. Fear of fake news. Follow trusted news channels, such as local and national TV and radio. WHO website is another place to check for facts.
4. Maintain your daily routine. Early to bed, early to rise and go for a walk, go to a gym or workout at home.
5. Control your desire to eat. That is the best way to control your weight. If you are spending more time at home due to the pandemic then organize your eating routine. Avoid snaking in between meal times. Remember, it is easy to put on weight but very difficult to get rid of it.
6. Dangers of alcohol and drugs. Do not start drinking alcohol if you have not drunk alcohol before. Avoid using alcohol and drugs as a way of dealing with fear, anxiety, boredom and social isolation.
7. Support your children. Your children need your attention with at-home learning and make sure time is set aside for play. Help children find positive ways to express feelings such as fear and sadness. Sometimes engaging in a creative activity, such as playing or drawing, can help you with this process.
8. One for all, all for one. Each individual should act for the benefit of the group, and the group should act for the benefit of each individual. Even if we cannot be close physically, we need to stay close emotionally and reach out if someone needs support.
9. Protect yourself and protect others. Wearing a face mask is becoming mandatory in many places. You must also consistently and strictly adhere to good hygiene and public health measures, including frequent hand washing and physical (social) distancing.
10. Finally, have a sense of purpose in life. Make the best use of the time you have due to the circumstances beyond your control. Be in charge of your dreams and wishes. Never lose hope. Never give up. Tough times never last but tough people do.
Take care. Be safe. We can win this battle together.
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