The corona-virus, Covid19, has prompted nu-precedented changes throughout the world. Such sudden shifts can be disconcerting and create all kinds of hard to handle emotions. During a pandemic its normal to feel fearful, anxious and sad. Here are some tips from your psychologists on how to handle the emotional impact of the virus:
Focus on what you can control – control the ‘controllable’
There might be a lot that feels out of your control at the moment. Focus on the factors that you can control. Make sure you have enough food but don’t stockpile in a way that adds to your anxiety. Check you have a month’s supply of your prescriptions and a normal supply of over-the-counter medicines (e.g. cough medicine). Pay attention to thoughts that serve to increase your anxiety and work to shift your focus. Stay in the present. Plan your day, if you find yourself at home. Now is the time to do all those things you have been meaning to do in the house! Remember though that balance is important-factor in some things you enjoy as well as catching up on other things. Think about elderly or at-risk friends or relatives and what help they may need – being productive or contributing can often help us to feel better. A quick text or check-in may help reassure you both, especially if you have elderly relatives in another country that you are worried about.
Limit media exposure – don’t get sucked into corona-virus panic!
While it’s helpful to stay informed it’s important that you don’t expose yourself to anxiety provoking news all the time. Limit yourself to catching up only twice a day and consider muting alerts on your phone. When you talk with friends on social media, don’t just focus on the virus-make a conscious effort to talk about other things.
Acknowledge how you are feeling.
Suppressing distressing thoughts is generally an unhelpful strategy. The more you try and stop feeling anxious the worse you will feel! Acknowledge how you are feeling, and try and challenge some of the catastrophic thinking that underlies it. If you are struggling, talk it through with a trusted family member or friend or your doctor/therapist.
Eat healthily, take some exercise, spend some time out of doors, try and get a good night’s sleep, practice relaxation techniques. Stop smoking, limit or cut out alcohol consumption. Now is the time to look after yourself. Good self-care strengthens your immune system.
The corona-virus, Covid19, has prompted nu-precedented changes throughout the world. Such sudden shifts can be disconcerting and create all kinds of hard to handle emotions. During a pandemic its normal to feel fearful, anxious and sad. Here are some tips from your psychologists on how to handle the emotional impact of the virus
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