Psychologist-Approved Guidelines To Help You Cope In This Time Of COVID
Taking care of your emotional and mental well-being is just as important in these times of viral outbreak
Increasing numbers of COVID-19 infected cases every day, here and abroad. Prolonged quarantine. Long lines at the grocery. Worrisome news on the TV and social media by the hour.
Every day, we’re getting more and more anxious and worried about the country (and the world's) situation as we plunge deeper into the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. But did you know that prolonged anxiety can cause your brain to release stress hormones on a daily basis? Instead of focusing on keeping ourselves healthy against this virus, subjecting ourselves to prolonged worrying is actually not helping our body.
But then again, don’t beat yourself up too much. It’s normal to worry about your health, your family and friends, your work, and the effects of all these in the next months. While these things are perfectly valid, you can also work on worrying less about things you can’t control. Try focusing on strengthening your body and mind, and looking at the bright side. There’s so many opportunities this quarantine is offering us.
The Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) released an official set of guidelines to help you cope and work on your wellness amidst these trying times. Here are some of their science-based advice to help you calm down and lessen your anxiety—which your body and mind will thank you for later.
Most of the time, you can’t control the things that trigger you. But what you can control is your outlook and your own healthy and immunity. Take concrete steps to safeguarding your and your family’s healthy by:
- Washing and sanitizing your hands frequently
- Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and objects in your home
- Practice correct sneezing and coughing
- Stay home and enjoy your home
While it’s good to always stay on top of important information, did you know that heavy consumption of news and social media can actually increase distress and anxiety?
We’re not saying that you should stop listening to the news. But what you can do is limit your exposure to specific hours or times of the day. You can also choose to avoid arguments about things that will make you feel worse. Sometimes, being the bigger person is the harder thing to do; but it’s the healthier thing to do.
Be cautious about fake news and information, which is even more widespread during times of crisis. For Covid-19 information and updates, it’s better to stay tuned to these websites and social media accounts:
Creating a regular routine helps some people get into the groove of the new lockdown policy. This can also give you a sense of purpose and order to your day.
While at it, incorporate good eating habits into your routine to increase your resistance to illness. Make drinking water a habit and take the opportunity to sleep at least six hours a night. If you can, it’s best to exercise regularly, which should also help your body cope up with the staying at home.
Now is the time to find yourself and your happiness. Watch that show you’ve always wanted to start, go back or start new hobbies, listen to your favorite songs on speaker, and do stuff that make you feel good. Draw, paint, dance, start tiktoking!
And don’t forget to pray for guidance and pray for patience. Pray for the people who are working hard to keep us safe.
We’re lucky to have technology on our side this time, so staying connected with your friends and social groups even in the midst of social distancing shouldn’t be hard. Know that you are each other’s support system and strength in these times.
If you find it difficult to cope, don’t hesitate to seek additional support from a trusted friend or mental health and counseling services. Currently, there are organizations offering online mental health services and tele-counseling services that you can still avail even at the comforts of your own home.
- MindCare Club – a network of mental health psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors offering tele-mental health service
- NCMH crisis hotline – contact the National Center for Mental Health 24/7 crisis hotline via 0917-899-8727 (USAP) and 989-8727 (USAP)
- Hopeline – the Department of Health’s 24-hour suicide prevention hotlines: 804-4637 / 0917-558-4673 and 2919 for Globe and TM subscribers
- Crisis Line - a free telephone counseling service offered by In Touch Community Services: 893-7603 / 0917-800-1123 / 0922-893-8944
This is also the time to find empathy and compassion in your hearts towards those who are less fortunate. Find ways to contribute or assist those who need help, especially those who live alone, the elderly, or the disabled. If you can, donate to agencies who can reach out to the less fortunate or help those working in the frontlines.
ABS-CBN is currently accepting donations under the Pantawid ng Pag-ibig donation drive.
Some reminders from PAP:
Majority of the people who contract COVID-19 will recover. According to a large study in China, 80% of confirmed cases only experienced mild symptoms and fewer than 5% of cases were critical. UK’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty believes that the mortality rate of COVID-19 will prove to be 1% or lower.
Currently, scientists are working hard to find a cure and vaccine for COVID-19. According to NBC News, China has already started clinical trials for the coronavirus vaccines last week.
We are together in keeping each other physically and mentally well!