With the closure of schools, colleges, public facilities, businesses, we are all understandably feeling a little overwhelmed. Some people might be feeling the pressure more than others. You may know some friends that are experiencing mild anxiety, while others may be feeling completely helpless. Many won’t be assuming any stress at all. So, we must be mindful that as individuals we process events and feelings in a variety of ways that are personal to us. Be sure to check in with friends and family who you think might be feeling particularly stressed during this time, as well as those who may be lonely during isolation. Remind them that medical, scientific and public health experts are working hard to contain the virus.
The HSE.ie has some practical, panic-free advice. If you are worried about something or unsure of how to isolate or what that means, the HSE website is the place you need to go to. They will keep you informed on the facts and will reduce any irrational thoughts that may occur as a result of social media rumours or phony WhatsApp messages. These messages should not be passed on. When you are passing on information, make sure that it came from the HSE or a similarly reliable source. Alleviating panic and stress will happen only if we are mindful of what we share with friends and family.
Social media is playing a massive role during the pandemic. It’s helping to lift spirits and is spreading happiness as people share their daily isolation routines, movie and TV show recommendations and fun videos that are helping people to see positives in these uncertain times. That said, it’s important to remember to set yourself a time limit for how long you spend both online generally and on social media. Overloading yourself with information is not going to help feelings of anxiety.
Keeping up a healthy routine will help you to remain calm during times of isolation. Although, your regular routine will be affected by the virus, you can still maintain a healthy lifestyle. It is still possible to go outside for walks. If you do, however, please ensure social distancing is taking place. Take routes that you know there will be plenty of space between people. Going out early in the morning will ensure less people will be outside too. If you cannot go outside, practising exercise indoors is also possible and can be as rewarding. The HSE advise that you remain active in any way you can. Regular exercise is proven to help with stress and anxiety.
Other daily routines and pastimes can still be maintained. Sleeping regularly, chatting to friends, doing something creative or wholesome and keeping a healthy diet are all things that will help you to remain calm in the coming weeks. Everyone needs to work together during the isolation period. If we all do our own small part, it will lift the wellbeing of the country as a whole.
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