Coping with stress & anxiety during the quarantine

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GIVING in to stress and anxiety will wreak havoc on your physical and mental health – so try to stay positive.
The Covid-19 outbreak has been stressful for many people. Anxiety and fear about contracting the disease has been overwhelming and many have understandably become rather emotional about it.

Learning how to effectively cope with the stress of the current situation will not only help you maintain some semblance of normalcy but also help the people you care about as well.

Stress during the Covid-19 outbreak could result in one or more of the following:

  • Increased consumption of alcohol and tobacco.
  • Worsening of chronic health problems.
  •  Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
  •  Changes in sleep and eating patterns.
  •  Fear and concern about your own wellbeing and the health of your loved ones.

What you can do to cope with anxiety and stress

  • Stop watching, reading, or listening to news about Covid-19, including those circulating on social media.
  •  Spending too much time reading up about the pandemic can be upsetting.
  •  Take care of your physical health. Take deep breaths, exercise or meditate. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals, get sufficient rest and avoid consumption of alcohol and tobacco.
  •  Take time to unwind. Focus on doing activities you enjoy.
  •  Connect with others by talking to people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
  •  Share facts about Covid-19 and understand the real risk to yourself and your loved ones as this can make the situation less stressful.
  •  Spend time with your kids doing fun things – remember that they react in part to what is reflected from the adults around them.
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For parents

Your children react in part to what is reflected from the adults around them. If you or your caregivers manage a situation calmly and confidently, you can provide the best support for your children.

Parents can be a lot more reassuring to those around them, especially kids if they are better prepared themselves. That being said, not all children respond to stress in the same manner. Some different changes to monitor include:

  • Excessive crying or irritation.
  •  Returning to behaviours they have outgrown.
  •  Excessive worrying or sadness.
  •  Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits.
  •  Irritability and “acting out” particularly among teenagers.
  •  Below-average academic performance.
  •  Avoidance of daily activities enjoyed before the lockdown.
  •  Unexplained headaches or body pain.
  •  Consumption of alcohol or tobacco.
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What you can do to ease the stress

  • Always reassure your children that they are safe and that it’s normal to feel upset at times.-
  • Talk to them about how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn from you.
  • Reduce your family’s exposure to news coverage of the current events, including social media. Children can misinterpret what they see or hear and become frightened about things they do not fully understand.
  • Try to maintain daily routines. Set a schedule for learning and fun activities. Most importantly, be a role model to your children. Take breaks, get sufficient rest, exercise and eat well. Connect with your friends and family members.

Try to maintain a daily routine that includes some work and some time out to pursue activities that relax you.

For people who have been through quarantine

Being in isolation can be stressful even if you do not get sick or test positive for Covid-19. However, everyone reacts differently when coming out of quarantine too. Some of the feelings may include:

  • Having mixed emotions that include relief.
  •  Fear and concerns about your own health and the well-being of your loved ones.
  •  Stress from the experience of monitoring yourself or being monitored by others for signs and symptoms of Covid-19.
  •  Sadness, anger and frustration because people you know have unfounded fears of contracting the virus from you even though you have been given the all clear.
  •  Guilt about not being able to perform your normal activities or duties during the quarantine.
  •  Other emotional or mental health changes.

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