How to ease Lockdown anxiety
Written by Neo Sukude on 30th Apr 2020
The Covid-19 outbreak has affected many of us in different ways: from businesses, to physical health, panic, fear of indefinite isolation. Even a small thing like goals set for the year has been put on hold.
This could all be a recipe that results in anxiety and feelings of loneliness and uncertainty. Here are a few pointers that may help you tackle the negativity in these trying times.
Instead of saying “I am stuck at home” rather say, “I’m safe at home”
It’s all about perspective. There is a lot of uncertainty in the world at the moment as we wait for the next news update or address from our countries’ leaders. As restricting and dismal as it may feel, the contingency plans set by the government for citizens to “stay at home” is not only a safety measure to protect the lives of citizens and help flatten the curve, but it is also an opportunity to focus on yourself. Ticking off one productive thing off your “to-do list” can keep your mind active and lead to a positive attitude. You know all those things you had told yourself you’d when you had the time to? Well, now you’ve got plenty of time! Create something, start that business idea, clean and reorganise that wardrobe, begin that workout regime you’ve been meaning to. Focus on approaching this time with a mindset of introducing productivity and positivity, this is the chance to slow down and focus on yourself.
Avoid the news for a bit
When you get free time away from work, the kids, or social obligations, the best thing you can do in that moment is to not obsess over Covid-19 updates. Although it is important to stay informed, the key is to do so in moderation. Finding yourself in a pit where you’re consuming an overload of Covid-19 information can lead you into a panic, especially with so much fake news circulating. Remember to always check the facts and stats of any Coronavirus information you receive that hasn’t been released by health authorities, accredited media houses, and government.
Cleanliness is close to Godliness
A chaotic home can lead to a chaotic mind. Things are quite messy outside, but it doesn’t mean it has to be messy on the inside too (in your home). Aim to keep your home environment tidy and organised. This may not be so easy with those who live with kids! Whether it’s setting up a chores roster with your family, reminding the children to clean up after themselves, or even setting up a clear work space, this can ease up on your home feeling cluttered and you feeling “trapped”, so keep it tidy.
Don’t pressure yourself into a new quarantine ritual
Although this is the best time to invest in productivity and for forming new healthy habits, for some it may be a difficult time. You may be experiencing external stresses apart from the impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak. If you are feeling a little burnt out or drained, don’t forget to take the opportunity to just rest. This is all the “me time” you can get. So, jot your thoughts down in a journal, slouch on the couch and binge on your fave Netflix series or even finally finish watching the Titanic. Productivity doesn’t necessarily mean building a new you, it can also mean patching up and working on you. Some may exit the lockdown with insanely toned bods, and some may exit with a clearer and healthier mental state and well rested. You choose how to be productive.
Talk to a professional
Many licensed psychologists are offering help telephonically and some even physically. If you feel that you need to speak to a professional, please reach out.
Here are a few contacts of organisations that offer counselling in South Africa during these times:
Cipla SADAG 24-hour mental health helpline – 0800 456 789
or WhatsApp – 076 882 2775 between 9am – 5pm.
Helplines providing free telephonic counselling, information, referrals and resources 7 days a week, 24 hours a day – call 0800 21 22 23, 0800 70 80 90 or 0800 456 789 or the Suicide Helpline 0800 567 567.