What is this coronavirus?
- CORONA VIRUS THE SYMPTOMS: Corona Virus (COVID-19) is a type of virus that causes flu like symptoms like fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. This may cause us a lot of anxiety and be a cause of stress.
- CORONAVIRUS THE SPREAD: Coronavirus is spread if an infected person coughs and releases thousands of droplets and Corona virus into the air around them. These droplets stay in the air for a long time. If you stay around and breathe this air you can pass on this Corona virus to your lungs.
- CORONAVIRUS THE SOCIAL DISTANCING: That is why our Government advises ‘social distancing’. If you also touch anyone with the Corona virus infection (shaking hands) or touch any objects in public, you can pass on this virus by touching your face, mouth, nose or eyes. So, you need to wash your hands for 20 seconds after you touch anything that you are not sure about to prevent entry to your eyes, nose and mouth.
- CORONOVIRUS THE STRESS: I can understand why you feel stressed about Corona virus. Let me talk through 3 simple ways to handle your stress about Corona virus infection.
UNDERSTAND THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT – SOCIAL DISTANCING, LOCKDOWN AND SELF ISOLATION
Social distancing is a method where you prevent breathing in this virus into your lung from the air around a person with Corona Virus infection. You are advised to keep 2 metres away from them.
This reduces the chances of you getting the infection and passing on to your family members. Learning to keep a distance and think about the fear of catching this infection can be a stressful situation.
This is a technique of crowd management where the spread of Corona Virus can be reduced even further as it stops people from meeting each other, shaking hands, and getting close to breathe in the virus accidently. This may cause stress as we are not able to go out and relax and see our friends, go shopping or to a movie.
This is a method to prevent spread of the Corona Virus between people as it stops all the possible ways this virus can spread among us. But staying indoors alone and in isolation, will make it difficult to relax as some are our hobbies and fun cannot be enjoyed alone. If being socially isolated is causing you stress… don’t worry. Here are 3 simple and instant techniques that will help you handle it.
MANAGE YOUR STRESS …. “I am very stressed that I or my family will get coronavirus. What to do?”
BREATHE OUT OF PANIC
First use a breath technique to combat panic. Use 5 counts to breathe in: 5 counts to hold: 5 counts to breathe out and regulate your panic. You may feel stressed after reading about Coronavirus and the COVID 19 pandemic horror stories! Let’s use perspective now
PRECAUTIONS AND PERSPECTIVE
When we travel to work, we automatically take an amount of risk. Do we spend the whole journey in panic? No. However, we try to minimise the risk by wearing helmet, seat belt and travelling during day time.
COVID-19 AND PREVENTION
Translate this to the COVID 19 situation. Just like we wear helmets and seat belt to prevent road traffic accidents, we practise handwashing, social distancing from people and staying at home. People with additional health problems and older people may be at extra risk and should follow preventive methods more diligently.
HANDLE THE WORSE CASE
Sometimes just like an accident despite precautions, coronavirus infection may occur. It is possible that sometimes people do die with this coronavirus infection. We don’t worry and get stressed every time we take out our bike or car and acknowledge the risk of an accident or death. Reflect now about why you worry constantly about risk of death with COVID 19?
MANAGE YOUR TIME AT HOME “OK. Staying at home is getting to me! What to do?”
LOCKDOWN – A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY
You have had a busy and active lifestyle. You miss the daily commute, interactions, eating out and the sunshine. Look at the lockdown period as a golden opportunity to come out stronger physically and mentally.
IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN YOU PLAN TO FAIL
First brainstorm what you have always wanted to do. Reading those books; movies you wanted to watch; the wardrobe that you wanted to clean etc.
Secondly, set weekly goals. Plan for the week. Break down each day into major time chunks. Set times for 3 meals a day and sleep for 8 hours.
- Dedicate early morning to exercise – push ups, jumping jacks and squats
- Mid-morning – Positive chat with the family and mentally challenging work such as your office work if you are working from home, reading or watching news etc.
- Afternoon – Have a nap for 30-40 minutes
- Evening – Relaxing activities and cleaning the house etc.
1 pleasant activity per day (e.g., 5 minutes praying, reading, cleaning, cooking relaxing in meditation, listening to your favourite music etc). Be mindful and live for the day.
MANAGE EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION …. TALK TALK TALK
Social distancing does not mean emotional distancing. It does not mean you should stop connecting on the phone and WhatsApp! What a boon digital revolution is now! It is bringing people together
Communication can be at a more creative level. Use this opportunity to talk meaningful things to family and play charades and board games.
Sometimes conflicts may arise between siblings or family members. Think about how to get space and give each other some healthy space during this time.
Meditation and exercising together as families can always help manage stress and relax.
Support the sick people you know, shop for them if required and keep reassuring them. It can be lonely and scary to be sick and isolated. Keep talking to them patiently and guide them to use medical services appropriately.