Infectious disease outbreaks are one of the most troublesome global events we have to deal with because they bring great uncertainty in our life. They are a direct threat to our personal physical health, which stands at the very core of our functioning. Staying in a prolonged tensed state of anticipation leaves a mark on our bodies and mind. Now it is the time to address the stress we are living under to prevent it from becoming overwhelming.
These days all our attention and focus goes to maintain our health, both as individuals, but also as a community, to better pass together through the Corona virus health crisis. But with all the changes in our daily routines and the constant exposure to worrisome and negative content, means we need to make time for our mental health as well. For some of us change comes easily. But for some others, it may be difficult.
So what can we do to better manage our mental health these days?
Get control of your stress
That are a lot of things out there, especially nowadays, that we cannot control. But we need to start working on the ones that we can indeed do something about it.
If you feel your worrying thoughts pop up all the time and disrupt your activities you can try these simple ideas that can help you organize your thoughts throughout the day:
➡️ Set a place and a moment during the day when you will allow yourself to experience all your worrying thoughts. Try, the best you can, for the rest of the day, to control your line of thoughts and emotions: acknowledge them, but put them on idle until your special designated moment arrives.
➡️ Challenge your thoughts: Make a list of what troubles you the most at the present moment. And now analyse them: what is the worst possible scenario for each one of them? What would the best outcome be? And most importantly “What is the most probable outcome?”
Chose your news carefully
We need to be up to date with all the latest news on the corona virus health crisis. But being exposed to repetitive news with worrisome content can do more damage to our mental health. This is how we can better manage being correctly informed while maintain our wellbeing:
➡️ Set a fix time frame during the day when you actively search the latest news and official recommendations and use reliable sources of information
➡️ Once you are informed use the rest of your free time doing things you love. My suggestion: keep contact with your loved ones – social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation.
Remember it is normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry during a crisis. Try the following ideas to better pass through this period:
➡️ If you feel like it can do you good, talk about it. Talk to your friends, family member or search a helpline that offers psychological support during this crisis. Social support can be very important in times of self-quarantining, isolation, and social distancing. Now it the time to make use of all our social networks and the technology that helps us stay connected.
➡️ Physical activity has long been proven to have beneficial effects on our mental health. When we exercise, our body releases chemicals called endorphins, triggering a positive feeling in the body and a positive and energizing outlook on life. If it doesn’t come naturally to you, try to schedule it during your day.
➡️ Rediscover your hobbies or find new means of relaxation that work for you and make them your priority at least once per day. You may like to meditate, read a book, watch a movie, do some puzzles or clean the house.
Choose this exercises and do them daily while reducing time looking at fearful images on TV or listening to rumours and you will be in control of your mental health wellbeing for the duration of this health crisis.